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Respectable Creatues

Jack Smith
USA 1950–1966 / 24’

Jack Smith’s ‘live films’ incorporate footage going back to the mid 1950s. Thus, Respectable Creatures intercuts material from Smith’s first movie, Buzzards over Baghdad, with scenes shot over a decade later during carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and scenes from Normal Love, including an alternate version of The Yellow Sequence. The extant footage suggests a relatively straightforward gloss on the María Montez vehicle, a harem girl and her lover putting poison in the caliph’s wine. Jacobs regarded Smith’s intentions as devoid of irony – although that was certainly not the case a decade or more later when Smith reassembled the footage, discovered in a film can labeled.

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.

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
music Tony Conrad
cast Tiny Tim, David Sachs, Beverly Grant, Francis Francine
producer Jack Smith
sales Gladstone Gallery
source of print Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst
language English
colouration colour