“Do they make a lipstick that doesn’t come off?”
Underground director Jack Smith presents tableaux of orgiastic sensuality, lipstick application, rape, and dance over an eclectic soundtrack, culminating in a plaster-shaking earthquake.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Experimental Films
Jack Smith’s infamous 43-minute underground classic — shot on partially destroyed film stock, lacking any cohesive narrative, and meant to be “a comedy set in a haunted music studio” — is admired by at least one critic (Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader) as a “jubilant, celebratory film” which possesses “the collective force of a delirious apocalypse”. For my money, however, I find the film devilishly difficult to grasp, and probably more hype than substance. Nonetheless, it remains an undisputed icon of experimental film, and should be seen (endured?) by every film fanatic at least once.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A groundbreaking example of anarchistic filmmaking
Yes, simply for its place in cinematic history. Listed in the back of Peary’s book as a film with historical importance and a Cult Movie.
- Controversial Film
- Historically Relevant
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)