Escape from Rented Island: The Lost Paradise of Jack Smith

USA, 2017, Video, 88', b/n-col.

director:

Jerry Tartaglia

Escape from Rented Island: The Lost Paradise of Jack Smith

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.

cast

Jack Smith, Mario Montez, Beverly Grant, Tony Conrad, Agosto Machado, Francis Francine, Irving Rosenthal, Tally Brown, Mary Waronov, Tiny Tim

producer

Jerry Tartaglia

 

Light Cone

www.lightcone.org

 

Jerry Tartaglia

Biofilmography

Jerry Tartaglia is a filmmaker, writer, and educator. He was a co-founder of Berks Filmmakers Inc., one of the longest surviving showcases for non-traditional film and video making in the U.S. During the 1970's, he produced his lost feature, Lawless. The film trilogy, A.I.D.S.C.R.E.A.M., Ecce Homo and Final Solutions, made during the early days of the AIDS epidemic in America, have been screened at major festivals and museums in Europe and America. His experimental documentary Is What Was (2008) was screened at the TGLFF in 2009.