Sunday, November 13

From Jack Smith's Normal Love

What’s Showing Today? Sunday, November 13
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Featured Screening: Jack Smith at MoMA‘s To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation. Laura Major of Colorlab, a go-to source for preservations which made the new prints acquired by the Museum, guest posts:

In September of 2010 my coworkers and I learned we would be working on several Jack Smith titles, including the infamous Flaming Creatures. It was very exciting for everyone at the lab—we often get films from the big underground names, but it’s rare that we get to work with the vast majority of a filmmaker’s collection.

The elements arriving at the lab the next day were not Smith’s camera originals, but instead 16mm laboratory printing intermediates—color internegatives, and black-and-white duplicate negatives—made at DuArt in the 1990s. We don’t have much information about the creation of these intermediates, but for all intents and purposes, they are the printing masters and in all likelihood the most complete and best elements available.

The intermediates had seen better days, and they really aren’t the most ideal elements from which to make a new print. They were created 30 or so years after the work was shot and a few years before preservation became a specialty in many film labs. I would venture to say the intermediates are a couple of generations away from the camera originals. Structurally, the films arrived in decent shape—there were small areas of damage that required repair, but these were few and far between, and a great deal of dirt and scratches are apparently printed in the negatives.

These films did pose quite a challenge to our color timer, Chris Hughes. Aside from being old and slightly worn, the intermediates’ exposures are very unbalanced. Each scene is either extremely under or over exposed, and because there weren’t any acceptable reference prints available to us and Jack Smith is no longer living, Chris had to make several editorial decisions regarding the look of the film. As a timer with a great deal of experience, he was able to make these decisions quite successfully. Each time we made and screened a new set of the Jack Smith prints we found areas that could use some improvement, especially in some of the overexposed areas. After seeing the new prints, Jerry Tartaglia, the man in charge of this project and our contact at Gladstone Gallery, told us that “Jack Smith has never looked so good.”

This entire project has been really fun, and I’m glad to be a small part of the history of the films. It’s hoped these prints will introduce Smith to new audiences and extend the life of this body of work. —Laura Major

MoMA’s Jack Smith series is split into four programs running through November 25. Today’s includes his best known work, Flaming Creatures. The above post image is from Normal Love, screening Monday November 14 and Friday November 25.

Also Recommended

Jack Smith’s esteemed partner in crime Ken Jacobs has assembled a program of his work to be screened in Zuccotti Park for Occupy Cinema. Among the works is Seeking the Monkey King, which premiered a few weeks ago at the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde program. Coincidentally, Jacobs appears on screen in the MoMA Jack Smith program’s Scotch Tape, shot on the rubble of the future site of Lincoln Center, for which over 7,000 non-white families in tenement housing were evicted through eminent domain, their homes demolished. In lieu of a traditional Q&A, when Jacobs appeared on stage at Views, he simply held up a sign reading “occupywallstreet.org.” Here’s a picture of him with the sign. Foetus’s J.G. Thrilwell, who also provides music for The Venture Brothers, scored Monkey. Other films include Capitalism: Slavery, Another Occupation, and Capitalism: Child Labor. 5 pm sharp! Arrive early if you want to hang out or help set up.

Cheryl Henson introduces The Muppet Movie at BAMcinématek.

Jean Eustache‘s My Little Loves plays Spectacle Theater 9:30 pm. A number of people who work at Spectacle claim its the greatest film they have ever shown. Tall praise! Newly subtitled by Spectacle. I should be in the booth so say hello if you make it out.

Elaine May is in attendance at MoMA for Mikey and Nicky, in which Peter Falk and John Cassavetes, to whose naturalistic directorial style the film owes an obvious debt, play chatty gangsters.

The Margaret Mead Film Festival concludes tonight with a closing night reception following Flames of God, to be introduced by Mead Award Jury Head Darren Aronofsky. People I spoke to also seemed excited for Blue Meridian and Rainmakers.

Today

The Margaret Mead Film Festival at The American Museum of Natural History

Ken Jacobs Occupy Cinema at Zuccotti Park
(FREE—Bring a portable radio to listen in) 5 pm.

  • Capitalism: Slavery. 2006. 3 min.
  • Another Occupation. 2011. 16 min.
  • Capitalism: Child Labor. 2006. 14 min.
  • Seeking the Monkey King. 2011. 40 min.

Festival Playlist at 92YTribeca

  • Naomi (Eitan Tzur). 2010. 90 min. 1 pm.
  • The Lie (Joshua Leonard). Q&A hosted by Adam Schartoff. HDCam. 2011. 80 min. 3:15 pm.

Puppets on Film at BAMcinématek

  • Kid Films: Shortstack!. Work by Jim Henson, Paul Andrejco, John Kennedy and more. Andrejco and Heather Henson in attendance. 60 min. Noon.
  • The Muppet Movie (James Frawley). Introduced by Cheryl Henson. 35mm. 1979. 95 min. 2 pm.
  • Dumbstruck (Mark Goffman). 2010. 84 min. 4:30 pm.
  • Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy (Roman Paska). Introduced by John Turturro & Roman Paska. 2009. 77 min. 6:50 pm.
  • Rubber (Quentin Dupieux). 2010. 82 min. 9:15 pm.

Robert Gardner Artist/Ethnographer at Film Forum

  • Still Journey On and Other Recent Films. 1, 2:50, 4:40, 6:30, 8:20 and 10:10 pm.

Hollywood’s “Jew Wave” at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Ted Kotcheff). 1974. 120 min. 1974. 1 pm.
  • The Owl and the Pussycat (Herbert Ross). Q&A with Buck Henry. 1970. 95 min. 6 pm.
  • Funny Girl (William Wayler). 1968. 151 min. 8:30 pm.

To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation at MoMA

  • Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May). Introduced by Elaine May. 1976. 106 min. 12:30 pm.
  • Jack Smith Program 1. Includes Respectable Creatures, Scotch Tape, Overstimulated and Flaming Creatures. Introduced by Mario Montez. 1950-1966. 75 min. 3 pm.
  • Jack Smith Program 2. Includes Yellow Sequence, Jungle Island and No President. 1963-1970. 80 min. 5:30 pm.

In Focus: Fortissimo Films at MoMA

  • Springtime in a Small Town (Tian Zhuangzhuang). 2002. 112 min. 1:30 pm.
  • Yes Nurse! No Nurse! (Pieter Kramer). 2002. 104 min. 4 pm.
  • All About Lily Chou Chou (Shunji Iwai). 2001. 146 min. 7 pm.

Mario Montez, Superstar at Museum of the Moving Image

  • Arabian Nights (John Rawlins). 1942. 86 min. 4 pm.
  • An Evening with Superstar Mario Montez. Featuring Screen Test #2 (Andy Warhol) and Lupe (Jose Rodriguez-Soltero). Montez in attendance for discussion with Agosto Machado. 1966. 116 min. 6:30 pm.

Late Ealing Studios at Spectacle Theater

  • Lease of Life (Charles Frend). 1954. 94 min. 5 pm.

Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste at Spectacle Theater

  • You Are Not Alone (Lasse Nielsen &Ernst Johansen). 1978. 90 min. 7:30 pm.
  • My Little Loves (Jean Eustache). 1974. 123 min. 9:30 pm.

Essential Cinema: Christopher Maclaine at Anthology Film Archives. 16mm. 1953-1959. 65 min. 4:30 pm.
The Leningrad Cowboys Go to America (Aki Kaurismäki) at IFC Center. 1989. 78 min. 11:05 am.
Sometimes a City (Tom Jarmusch) at Microscope Gallery. Director in attendance. 2010. 80 min. 7 pm.
“Brought to you by…” The Short Films of Sesame Street at Museum of the Moving Image. 1 pm.
Communicating Science at UnionDocs. Discussion with Pat Walters, Dennis Overbye, Natalie Jerimijenko and Olivia Koski. 7:30 pm.

Ongoing

Night Shifts (Ivette Löcker) at Anthology Film Archives. 35mm. 2010. 97 min. 6:15, 8:30 pm.
The Other F Word (Andrea Blaugrund Nevins) at Film Forum. 2011. 99 min. 1, 3, 6:10, 8:10, 10:10 pm.
The Love We Make (Albert Maysles, Bradley Kaplan & Ian Markiewicz) at Film Forum. 2010. 1:15, 3:15, 6, 8 and 10 pm.

Galleries

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