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Normal Love

Jack Smith
USA 1963 / 105’

Normal Love is supposed to be for Smith a kind of ‘commercial’ sequel of Flaming Creatures realised thanks to the support and pushing of Jonas Mekas, who was delighted with the artist’s first film. Mekas, after watching material from a working version of Normal Love compared it to works of Rubens, Monet or One Thousand and One Nights. Intensive, rich colours, exotic music, and lush flora create a garden of imagination in which live characters from classic horrors from the 1930s, plastic monsters, muslin mermaids and wanton fairies. Stars from American underground from the 1960s – Mario Montez, Tiny Tim, Diane DePrima, Beverly Grant and Andy Warhol – play the inhabitants of this world.

Jack Smith never ended the process of creating Normal Love; he re-directed the version from 1963 numerous times. Subsequent shows differed in structure, music background, playback pace, sometimes becoming epic poems that lasted for several hours. The reconstruction of Jerry Tartagli is a presentation of the original material based on notes which Smith prepared to the never completed soundtrack of Tony Conrad.

prepared by Grzegorz Kurek, based on the text of J. Hoberman

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.

Filmography

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, Jerry Tartaglia
cast Mario Montez, Diane DePrima, John Vaccaro, Beverly Grant, Tiny Tim
producer Jack Smith
sales Gladstone Gallery
language no dialogues
colouration colour