Artists Space

The Great Pasty Triumph

September 10, 2018, 6:30pm

This screening takes place at Metrograph and is part of the Jack Smith Film Retrospective program series.


Normal Love, 1963-64, 16mm, (sound, color), 105 minutes

Yellow Sequence, 1963, 16mm, (sound, color), 20 minutes

Total running time: 125 minutes

A faded image of a silhouette holding an umbrella outdoors
Jack Smith, still from Yellow Sequence, 1963. 16mm, (sound, color), 20 minutes. [A faded image of a silhouette holding an umbrella outdoors]

Following the controversy over Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures and the subsequent seizure of the film by the NYPD, Smith never completed another film. Shown in many versions and often edited live in his film performances, Normal Love is emblematic of Smith’s new approach to filmmaking. The film features many of Smith’s “creatures” including Mario Montez (whose stage name pays homage to Maria Montez, Technicolor star and Smith’s lifelong muse) cast in the role of a mermaid, and the Velvet Underground’s Angus MacLise as a mummy. Enacting his “pasty” fantasy of Atlantis through scenes of bacchanalian excess, Smith’s exotic creatures bathe in a pool of milk, cavort with a slithering cobra, and chase each other through the woods in Edenic pursuit. In this visually entrancing work, Smith privileges the color and texture of his subjects over a comprehensive narrative. This program will also include the coda to Normal Love entitled Yellow Sequence, which features outtakes from the film.

Thank you: Anthology Film Archives, Isaac Alpert, Barbara Gladstone, Claire Henry, J. Hoberman, Ed Leffingwell, Jerry Tartaglia.

Organized by Kathrin Bentele, Stella Cilman, Jay Sanders, and Jamie Stevens.

Presented in collaboration with Metrograph.