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Adolfas Mekas (1925–2011)

Avant-garde filmmaker Adolfas Mekas died on Tuesday of heart failure in Poughkeepsie, reports Bruce Weber of the New York Times. He was eighty-five. Brother of filmmaker and avant-garde film archivist Jonas Mekas, Adolfas is perhaps best known for his film, Hallelujah on the Hills, which received widespread popular and critical acclaim at the New York Film Festival in 1963. Other films by Mekas include Going Home, 1972, The Brig, 1964, directed by both brothers, and Windflowers, 1968. Born in the Lithuania in 1925, Mekas immigrated to the New York in 1949 after surviving the Holocaust. He and his brother began the journal Film Culture that looked at movies as “a serious art form and a potent influence on the culture at large.” At the time of his death, Mekas was working on a film about Italian thinker Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake in 1600. He described Bruno as “the first beatnik,” and often referred to the film as, “Burn, Bruno, Burn.”