Marie Menkevicius (25 May 1909 in New York City, New York - 29 December 1970) was an American experimental filmmaker and socialite.
The daughter of Catholic-Lithuanian immigrants, she grew up in Brooklyn.
In 1931 she met and married Willard Maas, a professor of literature at Wagner College in Staten Island. It was a rocky and unstable marriage.
Willard Maas, a verbally abusive husband who was jealous of Marie's popularity and acceptance as an artist, as his own was in decline, will forever be remembered for his off-screen appearance in Warhol's Blow Job (1964) as the catcher (fellator), rather than the pitcher, during the performance of the act.
The strongest bond that held Maas and Menken together (besides their friends in common) was their "wild parties," and "wild fights," fortified by the consumption of drugs washed down by distilled spirits.
Filmography and Professional Career
- 1968 Excursion
- 1967 Watts with eggs
- 1966 Lights
- 1965-70 Women in touch
- 1965 Andy Warhol
- 1965 Mood Mondrian
- 1966 Sidewalks
- 1964-66 Moonplay
- 1964 Go Go Go
- 1964 Wrestling
- 1963-64 Lita’s party, The Duel
- 1962-63 Notebook
- 1962 Here and there with my octoscope
- 1961 Drips in strips
- 1961 Bagatelle for Willard Maas
- 1961 Eye music in red major
- 1961 Arabesque for Kenneth Anger
- 1960 Faucets
- 1958 The gravediggers from Guadix
- 1957 Hurry! Hurry!
- 1957 Glimpse of the garden
- 1957 Dwightiana
- 1957 Zenscapes
- 1952 Image in the snow (dir.Willard Maas; collaboration)
- 1945 Visual variations on Noguchi
- 1943 Geography of the body (dir.Willard Maas; collaboration)
Friend Edward Albee based the characters of Martha and George and their relationship on Menken and Maas in his play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962).
She was the basis of the 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken by Martina Kudlacek. The film featured Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Gerard Malanga, Jonas Mekas, and Marie's nephew Joseph J. Menkevich.
"There is no why for my making films. I just liked the twitters of the machine, and since it was an extension of painting for me, I tried it and loved it. In painting I never liked the staid and static, always looked for what would change the source of light and stance, using glitters, glass beads, luminous paint, so the camera was a natural for me to try but how expensive!" (circa 1966).
Notes on Marie Menken (film) (Source:Wikipedia)