Screening & Live Event
Jack Smith's Normal Love and Underground Opulence
Friday, April 15, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Introduced by Marketa Uhlirova and David Schwartz
Live music by Makia Matsumara
Bursting with color, this program reconnects the avant-garde queer sensibility of the underground with some genres in early film that—with their ornamental costumes and décor—anticipate some of the richness of the underground’s camp aestheticism. Total running time: 140 mins.
Tit for Tat (La Peine du talion)
Dir. Gaston Velle. 1906. France. Digital projection. Gloriously winged insects seek revenge for the practice of lepidoptery. Velle’s richly colored film is one of the finest examples of its kind.
Dir. Segundo de Chomón. 1907. France. Digital projection. The special effects pioneer Segundo de Chomón reinterprets a famous stage illusion in which a statue turns into a butterfly fairy and performs a number of ravishing costume transformations.
Dir. Kenneth Anger, with Yvonne Marquis. 1949. 16mm print. Puce Moment pays tribute to the mythological Hollywood of the Jazz Age and the perversely luxurious tastes and lifestyles of such female sirens as Mae Murray, Marion Davies, and Gloria Swanson.
The Pearl Fisher (Le pêcheur de perles)
Dir. Ferdinand Zecca. Pathé Frères. 1907. France. Digital projection. A deep-sea diver encounters marvelous creatures in an underwater kingdom.
Dir. Jack Smith. 1963. 16mm. With Diana Baccus, Mario Montez. 16mm print courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York. After completing Flaming Creatures, Smith shot the more ambitious Normal Love in dazzling color, with elaborate sets (including a Busby Berkeley–esque multitiered cake made by Claes Oldenburg) and costumes inspired by horror films and Maria Montez epics.