Irish/English/Hungarian artist and provocateur Jack Smith (1932-1989) is not easy to put into an artistic pigeonhole. He has been involved in theatre, performance, film and photography and his work focuses on theatrical forms, aesthetising daily life, celebrating a private fantasy world and announcing a free morality. Smith has also been an actor in films by, Ron Rice and Ken Jacobs for instance. His cause célèbre was Flaming Creatures (1963), banned in 22 American States following a brief screening. A well-kept secret is that Jack Smith had an enormous amount of influence on the film oeuvre of Andy Warhol. This documentary also sketches their fairly difficult relationship. After Flaming Creatures, Jack Smith did not attempt any complete works, but rather a flux of fragments that were repeatedly re-edited, accompanied by different soundtracks, always screened in the presence of the maker - improvisation in anti-capitalism. It should be clear that this approach did not help the canonisation of Smith's oeuvre. This biographical film can be called a paradox: It is the fossilised image of an artist who wanted to be moving continuously and hated labels. Alongside many fragments from his work, interview fragments can be seen, for instance with Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas, Ronald Tavel and George Kuchar. (EH)

Filmmaker
Mary Jordan
Premiere
World première
Country
USA
Year
2006
Medium
Betacam Digi PAL
Length
75’
Language
English
Producer
Tongue Press, Kenneth Wayne Peralta
Sales
Tongue Press
Writer
Mary Jordan
Cinematography
Mary Jordan, Jon Fordham
Editor
Alex Márquez
Sound Design
Andrew Sterling, Jonathan Jackson
Music
Joel A. Diamond
Website
http://maryjordan.com