Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania – MO
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Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania

I had my Bolex, when I arrived in Vilnius in Lithuania and nobody was allowed to leave Vilnius, and you stayed there and that as all you saw of Lithuania. I said no, I don’t want to I want to go to my village. They say yes? Yes really? And they have to go and get approval from the ministry but they could not refuse, so okay, so they took me to my mother. But they said yeah, but you have only Bolex, you are making a film? I mean we have all this technology with us, it’s a real, we have a camera, we will give you a cameramen and soundmen and I said, no I don’t want I just I want my you know my Bolex. So all the time wherever I went there was always like a mile away and further there was a truckload of, full of film equipment because they thought, they said there will be time he will realise that he needs it and he will call us, call us. No, I never called then and of course I filmed with my Bolex and all the time though, you know, you could hear helicopters sort of going there and you know, I was never really alone and I never, I could never really know, I was never able to be really free in what I was talking, I did not, because there was also they sent a woman from the party that went, you know, to help me to be, you know for you know and she was always there and you did not know in what bush there was a microphone or so I had to be very, very, very careful.

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So then I filmed, then I came back and I put the material under the bed and there it was. And I had completely forgotten that Hans Brecht in Hamburg whom I had met some months before I went there with Kenneth Anger and Steve Waskin for something had he said, oh, I hear you are going to Lithuania, are you filming? I said no, I don’t know because my camera broke down. So I said yeah, but Hans Brecht said, I will buy you a camera and I will pay for the film for the rights to premiere it in Hamburg. So he bought me a new Bolex and all the film that I needed but then I forgot about it and I receive like December, I don’t know, tenth, I receive a telegram from him saying, yes the date is set, its 23rd December, send us the film. God! So I had like one week to finish the film and make a print or something and ship then I made the date really, I made a date but I had then to really figure out some very simple and straight structure how to, and that’s how, since it was so close to me so like very personal footage I sort of, distanced myself by putting the numbers like mathematically numbers and I just strung it and very, very- I did in two or three days you know, editing so called process.

Then it was screened and in Germany it was repeated every year practically on that day for like ten years because German refugees identified themselves with that film so it was very successful in Germany and then at the end of that year, I think it was the same year, a Soviet film, the head of the Soviet film expo came to New York, Serebrekov was his name and with him came, actually he came Banionis, he brought the print of “Solyaris” and Banionis is the star of “Solyaris” which I screened for friends and told them about the Elgin Theatre just for ourselves. Then he said I want to see this film that everybody is talking, the reminiscences if a journey to Lithuania and Banionis, old friend still from Lithuania he used to come and teach us in my little theatre group. I knew him from those days, said I want to see it too. So they saw the film and the film ends and Serebrekov said you have to destroy this film this doesn’t show any progress in this, how do you dare to show this film, don’t show it! And Banionis, you know, my friend, he began defending and indeed it practically went into a fistfight between the two Banionis and Serebrekov. Of course you know I did not destroy that film but he really was mad, Serebrekov. So that is more or less on “Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania”.

Lietuvos kultūros taryba