Marie Menken (1909 - 1970) became one of New York?s outstanding underground experimental filmmakers of the 1940s through the1960s, inspiring artists such as Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger, and Gerard Malanga. She was a probable role model of Edward Albee?s ?Who?s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and ended up as a Warhol Superstar. The documentary allows a glimpse into her social and artistic struggle and radical integrity, drawing the picture of a modern myth in personal diary style.
Marie Menken was an abstract painter when she began to experiment with film. ?Film making was a natural evolution while I was engaged in painting, particularly since I was primarily concerned in capturing light, its effect on textured surfaces, its glowing luminescence in the dark, the enhancement of juxtaposed color, persistence of vision and eye fatigue,? Marie Menken explains.
The filmmaker Jonas Mekas wrote: ?Marie was one of the first filmmakers to improvise with a camera and edit while shooting. She filmed with her entire body, her entire nervous system. You can feel Marie behind every image, how she constructed the film in tiny pieces and through the movement. The movement and the rhythm - it is this that so many of us seized upon and have developed further in our own work. ? And she gave us a new beginning. She took the film - the non-narrative film, the poetic film, the language of film - in a completely new direction, away from classic filmmaking and into a new adventure.?