Mary Jordan - Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis

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Perhaps America’s most important artist from the last fifty years, Jack Smith is simultaneously hailed as the godfather of performance art, a groundbreaking photographer and the ‘William Blake of film’. His utopian ideals, artistic processes and bejeweledPerhaps America’s most important artist from the last fifty years, Jack
Smith is simultaneously hailed as the godfather of performance art, a
groundbreaking photographer and the ‘William Blake of film’. His
utopian ideals, artistic processes and bejeweled artworks left no
generation untouched since, and became essential influences to
contemporary art superstars like Andy Warhol, Federico Fellini and
Matthew Barney.

In her feature-length film debut, director Mary Jordan combines
Smith’s rare and unseen films and photographs with rare audio
recordings, acting appearances, and other relics squeezed from Smith’s
vaulted archives. Commentaries from art luminaries, critics and Smith’s
friends and enemies (such as screenwriter/playwright Ronald Tavel, New
York Observer critic Andrew Sarris, transvestite extraordinaire Mario
Montez, and filmmaker Ken Jacobs) intercut Smith himself proffering
condemnations of capitalism, critics and institutional-art
“gatekeepers.” Jordan also delves into Smith’s tenuous relationship
with Andy Warhol—who adopted Smith’s ideas and actors in his own work
(including Smith’s “Superstars” concept), his vilification of New
American cinema pioneer Jonas Mekas, and other previously undocumented
biographical topics.

From the Whitney to the Louvre, Smith is acknowledged as one of
America’s most influential artists, yet his legacy remains at the edges
of obscurity. Pure in his artistic pursuits, Smith smashed head-on into
the politics intersecting creativity, capitalism and meaning in
contemporary art. Since his 1989 death, Smith’s work has been rarely
publicly displayed. Still his influence pervades contemporary art and
pop-culture today. This documentary portrait pays homage to New York’s
ultimate anti-hero and the original King of the Underground.

cast:

Tony Conrad

Ken Jacobs

Sylvère Lotringer

Judith Malina

Jonas Mekas

Mario Montez

Ronald Tavel

John Waters

John Zorn

Agosto Machado

Andrew Sarris

Ari Roussimoff

Billy Name

Ela Troyano

Gary Indiana

George Kuchar

Helen Gee

Henry Hills

Holly Woodlawn

Ira Cohen

Ivan Galietti

Jerry Tartaglia

John Matturri

John Vaccaro

Lawrence Rinder

Mary Woronov

Mike Kelley

Nayland Blake

Nick Zedd

Richard Foreman

Robert Heide

Robert Wilson

Taylor Mead

Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt

Uzi Parnes

William Niederkorn
Further Information:

Bonus Features Include:

- Glitter

- Agosto Machado with Mario Montez on Jack the Master

- Lawrence Rinder on Jack's photography

- Ken Jacobs on Jack's life as theater

- Jack's Loft

- Mario Montez on being Mario Montez

Includes 5 more interviews about Jack’s life.

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Data

Price: 

29.95 USD

Publisher: 

Label: 

Arts Alliance

Publishing date: 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Runtime: 

125

Discs: 

1

Language: 

English

Subtitles: 

Region: 

Multizone

Video: 

NTSC

Aspect ratio: 

4:3

Colour: 

Colour & B&W

Sound: 

DD2.0