A few years ago, Barcelona’s Centre of Contemporary Culture had Victor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami exchange digitally filmed ‘letters’ for an exhibition called ‘Correspondences’. So successful was it that the institution has now embarked on further such pairings. Here, notwithstanding a few fine moments, the four contributions of the veteran Jonas Mekas sometimes feel rather unfocused and inconsequential compared to the five truly excellent black and white ‘cartas’ of the Catalan Jose Luis Guerín (himself a long-term admirer of Mekas’s work). Reflections, philosophically and politically sophisticated, on the relationship of film to reality, time, place, memory and death mix with subtle, telling, elegant images to produce intellectually provocative cinema – closing, as it happens, with a wonderfully lyrical sequence that resonates with echoes of Ozu, Kiarostami and the collaborative endeavour of filmmaking itself.
José Luis Guerín, Jonas Mekas
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