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Avant-garde filmmaker Adolfas Mekas dies at 85

June 1, 2011 |  1:15 pm

Adolfas Mekas, a member of the avant-garde New American Cinema movement of the 1960s and a longtime professor of film at New York's Bard College, died Tuesday at a hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was 85.

Bard College announced the Lithuanian-born artist's death but did not give the cause.

Mekas immigrated to the United States in 1949 after time spent in a Nazi concentration camp and later in displaced-persons camps in Germany.

In the U.S., he and his brother Jonas founded the journal "Film Culture" and the Filmmakers' Cooperative independent cinema-distribution house. His feature "Hallelujah the Hills" (seen in the Vimeo clip above) played at the Cannes Film Festival in 1963.

Mekas founded the film program at Bard in 1971 and taught until his retirement in 2004.

-- Associated Press