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The Notorious Jack Smith: Normal Love


Images courtesy of Film-Makers' Cooperative

The Notorious Jack Smith: Normal Love


Many classic films are just as powerful today as when they were first released. We add such films from many genres to our schedule throughout the season. Many are shown on the occasion of their rereleases, in fresh, new or restored prints.

Tue, June 12, 2012 7 PM

“The only true underground filmmaker.”—John Waters

Pioneering underground filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith came into the world in Columbus in 1932, and we’re devoting three programs of Cinema 614 to his influential, and truly inimitable, work. This second program features his second feature length film Normal Love, which seems to derive from his adoration of B-movie star Maria Montez.

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. Because the film was never fully completed, this restoration (overseen by filmmaker Jerry Tartaglia) is an assemblage of edited sequences that Smith would use in various combinations as part of his projection-performance pieces. It features horror movie monsters of the 1930s, a mermaid, a lecher, and various cuties performed by a cast of noted underground stars, among them Mario Montez, Diane de Prima, Tiny Tim, Francis Francine, Beverley Grant, and John Vaccaro.

It is being screened in a new 16mm prints from the Film-Makers’ Cooperative in New York City. (120 mins., 16 mm)

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