Guns Of The Trees

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Jonas Mekas wrote, produced, directed, and photographed this arty experimental study of the beatnik movement in America. The story centers around young Barbara (Francis Stillman) and her feelings of hopelessness in a worthless, horrible world. She first turns to a priest for help, then to Gregory (Adolfas Mekas), a tormented intellectual, to no avail. Two close friends, Ben and Argus (Ben Carruthers, Argus Carruthers), a married couple who genuinely care for her and for each other, attempt to convince her of life's worth, but ultimately, they cannot save her from her own despair. Rather than a narrative style, Mekas chooses to show a series of scenes backed by poetry readings. Ben and Argus, although supporting cast, create a mood of dignity and genuine caring. The other characters seem to be sterile and self-pitying in a less-than-convincing interaction with their environment. Blame for the girl's is both moralizingly placed on society itself and on her inability to live with the unwarranted failings life deals to everyone. Overall, the film tends toward romantic over-philosophizing and obvious symbolism.

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