Jonas Mekas respone on Deren's Haiti Footage

From: andrew lampert (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 25 2010 - 09:56:42 PST

Hi to all,

There has been some misinformation on the list about exactly how much Haiti footage exists (more than the print screened in Paris in 2004) and most definitely the cost to properly order and preserve the footage before full access can be made available. I was in touch with David Baker about this before he wrote to the list, but have resisted to reply here. Jonas Mekas is aware of the discussion that has emerged over the last few days and asked me to post this message.

"Andy, please let all well-meaning but little informed enthusiasts know that the work on preserving HAITI footage has been going for several years now with Martina Kudlacek and myself in charge of it. Martina has put a lot of work into it, and has prepared a detailed description of materials , a plan for how to go about the preservation work, and a budget for doing that work which in 2005 was c.70,000 but I figure now it will be over $100,000. Martina is returning back to New York to continue the work this March, so it will be at that time that we'll have an updated budget and updated plan how to go about it (changing technologies have opened other choices and possibilities). In 2005 all my efforts to find suport for sponsoring the project ended on dead ears. It looks like it took an earthquaque and destruction of half of Haiti, to open some ears and eyes. No guarantee that this will also open the checkbooks, but all of you, excited well meaning
 people should know that I have never given up on any of the projects that I worked on, you should know that much about me by now. Maya's HAITI film will be preserved and made available to all. And so will be our LIbrary wing built too. On the completion of Anthology, our Cinema Cathedral, I have been working for thirty years. On completion of Maya's HAITI I have been working only for five years. Both cathedrals will be completed, I promise you that. But I want you to know that talking, no matter how enthusiastic and well--meaning, has not built any cathedrals yet. I need your concrete, in this case your money, to complete the two cathedrals.


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