Disc 1 - Reels 1-3
Hey, kids, welcome to the 'sixties avant-garde! If you are an Eastern European intellectual exiled in mid-20th century New York, pursuing your passion for non-narrative art film with a capital ART, and your friends are musicians, poets, painters, and filmmakers, this is what your home movies (diaries, notes, and sketches) look like. It's the view of early-to-mid-'60s NYC from Brakhage Avenue to the intersection of Warhol and Ginsberg. As Mekas warbles in a seemingly impromptu ditty that meanders over part of reel one: "I make home movies, therefore I live. I live, therefore I make home movies. They tell me I should always be searching, but I'm only celebrating what I see. I am searching for nothing. I am ha-a-appyeeee...." Just to warn readers of the official synopsis: Expectations of star-gazing should be kept to a minimum. Yes, you get a fair helping of Dreyer, Brakhage, and others, but to give another example, I counted about two seconds of screen time in its entirety for a radiantly blonde Nico.
Disc 2 - Reels 4-6
Continues through to 1969 with another idyllic visit chez Brakhage, the posh Newport society wedding of Peter Beard and Minnie Cushing, the rather different wedding of filmmaker Shirley Clarke's daughter Wendy, with its mod strobe-lit reception at 80 Wooster Street, a visit to the country cottage and fish pond of Hans Richter, to rural New England during hunting season, to the peace-in of John and Yoko's honeymoon, and, always, always, New York, New York.
The box set comes with a book containing about 140 pages of forewords, introductions, essays, indices, and a lovely annotation of the films. And about 140 more pages of the same stuff in French translation.