Anthology Film Archives


October 16 – October 18

An unparalleled animator, gifted painter, and notable musicologist, Harry Smith (1923-91) was an underground renaissance figure bar none. Smith’s kaleidoscopic experimental films have influenced generations of wide-eyed enthusiasts, and his landmark six LP compilation THE ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC (1952) laid the foundation for the folk music revival of the late 50s and 60s. Today, Smith is renowned not only for his dazzlingly ecstatic and eccentric works but also for the vast assortments of curious objects that he voraciously collected throughout his colorful life. Anthology and J&L Books have joined together to issue two new publications focused on Smith’s most unusual collections, PAPER AIRPLANES: THE COLLECTIONS OF HARRY SMITH, CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ, VOL. 1 and STRING FIGURES: THE COLLECTIONS OF HARRY SMITH, CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ, VOL. 2. Each book features new essays and richly detailed photographic documentation of Smith’s decidedly eclectic assembling and research obsessions.

To celebrate the release of these publications we proudly present an expanded series of Smith’s films, including the premiere of a new 35mm blow-up of his seminal EARLY ABSTRACTIONS and the rarely-screened 35mm restoration of Smith’s longest and most complex work, MAHAGONNY. Kirt Markle and the late Rosebud Feliu-Pettet, who Smith called his “spiritual wife,” are represented with the premiere of their magnum opus KAMO AND SMITH MAGIC (NO. 1-16), and Smith’s main body of films will be featured as part of Anthology’s regular Essential Cinema screenings. To top it off we are thrilled to host our Composer-In-Residence, John Zorn, for a rousing concert event featuring live soundtracks for some bona fide rarities from Smith’s back catalog.

For more info about the two books, visit: +

A book release event featuring unheard field recordings made by Smith will be held at Mast Books (66 Avenue A) on Wednesday, October 14 from 6-8pm.

Special thanks to Jason Fulford (J&L Books), Simon Lund (Cineric), Bryan Leitgeb (Mast Books), John Zorn, John Cohen, and Terry Winters.

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