Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jack Smith and The Lower East Side (as Seen by Ken Jacobs): BLONDE COBRA, FLAMING CREATURES

Thursday, September 17, 10:00 PM
All screenings are at the Millennium Film Workshop,
66 East 4th Street, NY NY 10003.
Programs are subject to change.
Advance Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/79753
Admission: $10
Recommended for adults only. Ages 18 +.

Jack Smith and the Lower East Side (as Seen by Ken Jacobs)
Introduction by Ken Jacobs, filmmaker:
BLONDE COBRA, 1963, directed by Ken Jacobs, based on images gathered by Bob Fleischner. Cast: Jack Smith. B/W, sound, 16mm. 33 min. 16mm print courtesy of the New York Film-Makers’ Coop.
“BLONDE COBRA is an erratic narrative – no, not really a narrative, it’s only stretched out in time for convenience of delivery. It’s a look in on an exploding life, on a man of imagination suffering pre-fashionable lower East Side deprivation and consumed with American 1950s, ‘40s, ‘30s disgust. Silly, self-pitying, guilt-stricken and yet triumphing – on one level – over the situation with style, because he’s unapologetically gifted, has a genius for courage, knows that a state of indignity can serve to show his character in sharpest relief. He carries on, states his presence for what it is. Does all he can to draw out our condemnation, testing our love for limits, enticing us into an absurd moral posture the better to dismiss us with a regal ‘screw-off’.” (Ken Jacobs)

FLAMING CREATURES, 1963, directed by Jack Smith. Cast: Francis Francine, Sheila Bick, Joel Markman, Dolores Flores, Arnold, Judith Malina, Marian Zazeela. B/W, sound, 16mm. 42 min. 16mm print courtesy of the New York Film-Makers’ Coop.
“Jack Smith has graced the anarchic liberation of new American cinema with graphic and rhythmic power worthy of the best of formal cinema. He has attained for the first time in motion pictures a high level of art which is absolutely lacking in decorum; and a treatment of sex which makes us aware of the restraint of all previous filmmakers. He has shown more clearly than anyone before how the poet’s license includes all things, not only of spirit, but also of flesh; not only of dreams and of symbol, but also of solid reality. In no other art but the movies could this have so fully been done; and their capacity was realized by Smith” (Film Culture Magazine)

Plus sequences from other films made by Ken Jacobs starring Jack Smith, including TWO WRENCHING DEPARTURES and STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH. B/W and color, sound. DVD courtesy of Ken Jacobs.

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