Jonas Mekas was the co-founder, in 1954, of the seminal publication Film Culture. He was the first film critic of The Village Voice, and his self-chosen beat was the noncommercial cinema. Mekas founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and then, in 1970, Anthology Film Archives. He’s also a filmmaker. Any of these activities would establish him in the history books as one of the most important modern movie-people. But the activity that’s suddenly in the forefront is his critical writing: his “Movie Journal: The Rise of a New American Cinema, 1959-1971” has just been reissued by Columbia University Press, and it’s a cause for celebration—and consideration. The original edition, from 1972, is long out of print. The book is a rich trove of cinematic wisdom, an artistic time capsule of New York at a moment of crucial energy, and a reflection of controversies and struggles regarding independent filmmaking that endure to this day.