Escape from Rented Island: The Lost Paradise of Jack Smith

Documentary USA 2017

Excessive, visionary, innovator, crazy, camp: this is Jack Smith. He is a precursor of the queer aesthetic and underground cinema, who, with films like Flaming Creatures and Normal Love, defined a fantasy world and blazed a trail for generations of filmmakers. A trail made of characters in drag, flamboyant costumes, a spirit of decadence, and situations that reproduced his own ambiguous and orgiastic idea of Hollywood. Jerry Tartaglia, a director from New York, honors him with a short video essay, where he has combined clips from Smith's films with recordings from the interviews he gave so rarely. Not without some surprises: his aversion to the term "underground", which became a cinema category that, somehow, he had also contributed to create, his critical attitude to Jonas Mekas and the Anthology Film Archives, who he felt had exploited him, his memories of Mario Montez, the future superstar of Andy Warhol's films, who frequently worked with Smith.

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