In this double bill, we present two of the foundational works of the 1960s underground on glorious 16mm, inspired by the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip (opens November 22).
From the late summer into the early fall of 1962, on $300 and the sun-beaten rooftop of an old East Village movie house, Jack Smith labored to consecrate a new kind of cinema, one where, as he once wrote, “it is possible to clown, to pose, to act out fantasies, to not be seen while one gives." The result was an ethereal vision, fashioned from buckets of plaster and beds of flowers, from garbage and gauze, but above all from bodies clothed and unclothed, male, female, and indistinguishable, dancing and writhing against a single, 9' square backdrop of a painted vase. Alternately revered and denounced, pulled from circulation and later retrieved, here is the film itself, bold, unblushing, and beautiful.
Andy Warhol, 1965, 67 min
Jack Smith himself appears in this absurdist rejoinder to Susan Sontag's official statement on the eponymous theme, performing alongside Jane Holzer, Paul Swan, Dorothy Dean, and his own beloved star Mario Montez (also in Flaming Creatures) in a variety show led by Gerard Malanga. While Andy Warhol, the famous man behind the camera, crashes the zoom with cultivated impreciseness, Tally Brown seizes the frame's scattered attention long enough to intone the film's moral point: “I don’t think anybody’s camping - I think we’re all doing ourselves."
Conversation to follow, speakers to be announced.
Includes Museum admission and complimentary beer courtesy of Harlem Blue.
Smile, It’s Your Close Up 2: New York’s Documentaries, a nonfiction film series co-programmed by Jessica Green and Edo Choi of the Cinema at the Maysles Documentary Center and the Museum of the City of New York, zooms in on key moments, individuals, and communities to pose the question, “what makes New York New York?” Each program includes an introduction or conversation with filmmakers or other notable guests.
- $15 for adults | $12 for seniors, students & educators (with ID) | $10 for Maysles Documentary Center members and Museum of the City of New York members. Includes Museum of the City of New York admission.
- Attention, Maysles Documentary Center members MDC is the code for advance ticketing discount.
- Attention, Museum of the City of New York members, to receive your discount, click on the "Buy Tickets" button above, then sign in to your account on the ticketing page.
- Groups of 10 or more get discounts and priority seating, email or call us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-492-3395.