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Jack Smith
USA 1960 / 6’

Shot in black and white in Smith’s Lower East Side apartment (the location for the movie that, as edited by Ken Jacobs, would become Blonde Cobra), Overstimulated featured Bob Fleischner and Jerry Sims – a sometime Smith model, also prominent in Ken Jacobs’s Star Spangled to Death – wearing long, filmy dresses and jumping up and down in front of a flickering TV set. The camera work is scarcely less frantic; made after Scotch Tape, Smith’s second film likely dates from late 1959, before Smith and Fleischner had their falling out. In the aftermath of Flaming Creatures’ success, Jonas Mekas paid the cost of printing Overstimulated, which may have been (briefly) distributed by the Film-Makers’ Cooperative before Smith withdrew it, along with Flaming Creatures, two years later. Two years after that Overstimulated was incorporated in the program Horror and Fantasy at Midnight, which subsequently evolved into No President.

J. Hoberman / Live Film! Jack Smith!

Jack Smith

the father of the Cinema of Transgression and the initiator of camp and thrash trends, has, since the 1950s, been creating anarchist films and performances inspired by Hollywood B movies. In his productions, transvestites and drag-queens radically manifested their sexuality. Smith made his movies purposefully violate all the principles of zero-style cinema. They inspired later generations of cinematic outcasts and experimenters. Smith was born in Ohio in 1932 and moved to New York in the 1950s. He began using film no longer independently but as a component of performances. His Midnight Performances often started as late as 2 a.m. and lasted several hours. In many of his LIVE FILM performances, Smith completely reedited the film material, integrating excerpts, slides, text, and music. After Smith's death as a result of AIDS in 1989, Jim Hoberman and Penny Arcade founded the "Plaster Foundation", which commissioned Jerry Tartaglia to restore his films.


1950–1966 Porządne istoty / Respectable Creatues (short)

1960 Przestymulowany / Overstimulated (short)

1962 Taśma klejąca / Scotch Tape (short)

1963 Płonące istoty / Flaming Creatures

1963 Normalna miłość / Normal Love

1963 Żółta sekwencja / The Yellow Sequence (short)

1967 Ziele z wyspy Technikolor / Reefers of the Technicolor Island / Jungle Island (short)

1967–1970 (1998) Byłam panem Yvonne De Carlo / I Was a Male Yvonne De Carlo (short)

1968 Bez prezydenta / No President

1969 Piosenka do wynajęcia / Song for Rent (short)

1970 Ujęcia bez tytułu / Untitled Film Rushes

1971 Północ w Plaster Foundation / Midnight at the Plaster Foundation (short)

1978 Sinbad z Bagdadu / Sinbad of Baghdad (short)

1979 Oszołomy / Hot Air Specialists (short)

Cast & Crew

director Jack Smith
screenplay Jack Smith
cinematography Jack Smith
editing Jack Smith
cast Bob Fleischner, Jerry Sims
production Jack Smith
sales Gladstone Gallery
source of print Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst
language no dialogues
colouration b&w