Anthology Film Archives


November 13 – December 1

Though he passed away in 1989, avant-garde luminary and downtown NYC legend Jack Smith would have turned 83 on November 14. To celebrate his birthday, and undeterred by his removal to another plane of existence, we’re presenting a series of films selected by Jack himself. And we’ll also be hosting Jerry Tartaglia, who will present two programs of recently restored Jack Smith films and fragments.

Utilizing a document from our archive – a 1971 letter from Jack to the filmmaker and writer Peter Gidal identifying his “favorite” films – we’ve actualized the Jack Smith Selects film series that Jack was never able to present in his lifetime. A typically revealing and mystifying reflection of Jack’s sensibility, the list encompasses famously Smithian objects of obsession such as Maria Montez (WHITE SAVAGE) and THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, as well as surprising choices including the shockumentary classic MONDO CANE, Luis Buñuel’s EL, and Alexander Korda’s THE PRIVATE LIFE OF DON JUAN. Throughout late November, we’ll be screening as many of the listed films as we can, alongside Jerry Tartaglia’s presentations of Jack Smith rarities, and special screenings of Jack’s legendary feature film NORMAL LOVE and a related film (another favorite of his), the Universal horror classic FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN. Happy birthday, Jack, wherever you are!

Special thanks to Jerry Tartaglia; J. Hoberman; Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Jacques Boyreau (Cosmic Hex Archive); Fleur Buckley (BFI); Peter Conheim; Paul Ginsburg (Universal); Mark McElhatten (Sikelia); Anne Morra & Mary Keene (MoMA); Kit Parker; Joe Reid & Caitlin Robertson (20th Century Fox); and Martin Scorsese.

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