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A look at the WTC Haikus short film

As the name infers, the film WTC Haikus is actually very short. At 14 minutes, it is a bit longer than a 17 syllable poem, but not by much as it would be the perfect analogue for the cinematic world. The film was created by Jonas Mekas, who will turn ninety this Christmas, and is known to most as the Godfather of American avant-garde.

The WTC in the film’s title stands for the World Trade Centre which is fitting since Mekas moved from Lithuania to New York where he has lived for over sixty years. The film is on show at the London Serpentine Gallery and will easily take away the breath of most viewers.

The film is projected up on the wall and visitors are able to see faded figures wonder through Manhattan. Within the fourteen minutes you see a windswept woman smile from the Staten Island Ferry during the eighties, a New York crazy in a hat with a house plant growing from it, people eating watermelon, kids playing in Central Park, and even a quick shot of Andy Warhol who was a friend of Meka.

While the scenes may seem ecliptic and docile, what is noticeable is that fact that behind all of the scenes are the twin towers before they went down. Sometimes blurred, sometimes sunlit, it is unmistakable that they still ruled the sky line when the footage was shot.

Although the film may have been composed just two years ago, the actual film that was spliced together to create it was shot over the past 28 years allowing viewers an innocent look at the Twin Towers taking them back to a time when they meant something else then they do today and that is the magic in the exhibit.


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