Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jonas Mekas on the Mars Bar

As we pointed out on Monday, "My Mars Bar Movie," the 87-minute documentary directed by Jonas Mekas, opens tomorrow at the Anthology Film Archives.

Mekas, who is 90, talked about the film and Mars Bar in The Wall Street Journal today. Here's an excerpt from the Q-and-A (I believe it is subscription only to access the piece):

Every city needs some messy, dirty place where you can go and lose yourself and leave some of your dirt there. Paris has. Hamburg has. New York does not have it anymore. This area had Mars Bar. Now it's gone. Now New York is cleaner but not for the better.

And the best thing about the Mars Bar?

You felt very free. The drinks were cheap in price and very often cheap in quality. But you didn't care. It was very open. You always saw the same people, very devoted to the place. From South America, there was this guy Hamlet, who was always there. It made you feel a little bit like home. There was something like a family feeling.


iagowasframed said...

I agree that it's missed. I loved that even though I hadn't gone to it for 20 years I walked in and spend the afternoon drinking and talking with a ton of interesting people, and I felt welcomed...not a lot of places like that anymore.

Anonymous said...

In the interview, he says he moved to Orchard Street from Brooklyn in 1953. His rent was $14.95.

glamma said...

As if Jonas Mekas were not my hero before "My Mars Bar."
Jonas Mekas for president!
Well done sir and thank you kindly indeed.

randall said...

Kind of reminds me of the Hard Rock Cafe slogan, "Love All, Serve All"

Maybe they should open a Hard Rock Cafe in the former Mars Bar spot.

Marty Wombacher said...

I'm glad he mentioned Hamlet, I just had a few beers with him last Sunday at Milano's. I'm looking forward to seeing this film!

Goggla said...

"A family feeling" - that is what I loved and what I miss.