The Perfect Queer Appositeness of Jack Smith

  • Talk & Screening with Jerry Tartaglia
  • Friday, July 18, 8 pm
  • @ Cinecycle, 129 Spadina Ave.

Part of Summer 2003

Join us for this unique screening and talk with Jerry Tartaglia – filmmaker, writer, professor and the restorer of Jack Smith’s remarkable film and video oeuvre. Jerry will share with us his reflections on Jack Smith’s work and his involvement with the ongoing restoration of the Smith films and videos as well as screen the most recently restored video titled Performance and other short works. The following evening Jerry will introduce and discuss Smith’s 1963 classic follow-up to Flaming Creatures, the lost paradise of Normal Love.

The late Jack Smith maintained an intense lifelong rapture conjured out of the frayed magic and the glamour of old Hollywood that was both tarnished and obsessive. Vanguard filmmaker, radical photographer, and seminal performance artist Smith was a key figure in the cultural history of Downtown film and performance art, emerging as one of the most accomplished and influential underground artists of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Chiefly recognized for his work in film and performance, he explored and developed a deep, deceptively frivolous camp aesthetic, along with social commentary. Upon his death from AIDS in 1989, his film work was in danger of being lost were it not for the efforts of Penny Arcade and Jim Hoberman. They approached Jerry Tartaglia to begin the restoration and preservation of the film legacy of Jack Smith in the early 1990s under the auspices of the Plaster Foundation, Inc. To date, all of the 16mm films have been restored, preserved and made available for viewing.

Jerry Tartaglia is a graduate of Albright College and San Francisco State University and professor of media art. To date he has made over eight films including Lawless (1977) which was made with Pope Ondine. His work has been screened worldwide including the Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum and the Berlin Film Festival. He has written and lectured extensively on Queer Experimental Cinema and wrote the seminal article “The Gay Sensibility In American Avant Garde Cinema” in 1977. His most recent article “The Perfect Queer Appositeness of Jack Smith” appeared in the Quarterly Review of Film and Video Vol. 18 (1).