7.4/10
146
7 user 19 critic

Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis (2006)

A mesmerizing collage of images and audio from the life and work of Jack Smith, the underground filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, and anti-capitalist, who worked in New York from... See full summary »

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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jack Smith ...
Himself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nayland Blake ...
Himself
Ira Cohen ...
Himself
Tony Conrad ...
Composer
Richard Foreman ...
Himself
Ivan Galietti ...
Himself
Helen Gee ...
Limelight Gallery founder
Robert Heide ...
Himself
Henry Hills ...
Himself
Gary Indiana ...
Himself
Ken Jacobs ...
Himself
Mike Kelley ...
Artist
...
Himself
Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt ...
Himself
Sylvere Lotringer ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

A mesmerizing collage of images and audio from the life and work of Jack Smith, the underground filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, and anti-capitalist, who worked in New York from the '60s until his death in 1989. Highlights include the story behind the Supreme Court case over the banning of his 1963 classic Flaming Creatures. Written by official film description

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

26 April 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Jack Smith kai i katastrofi tis Atlantidas  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jack Smith: I was knocking myself out to make this stuff. And I always assumed that people would see this and have pity and give me a little support.
[shouts]
Jack Smith: They didn't!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Here Comes Godot: Tax and Snacks (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Hath-Arob
from the album "Electric Masada"
Written and performed by John Zorn
Published by and courtesy of Tzadik
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating documentary about an unique figure
22 December 2007 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

Jack Smith was, as several noted in the film, the artist's artist. His work was unique, revolutionary, and quite daring. However, his greatest asset (a highly uncompromising nature) was also his greatest downfall. His insistence on doing things his own way and having no interest in commercial prospects was commendable, but certainly no way to live. He starved for most of his life, seeing his most notorious work "Flaming Creatures" gain more and more infamy with all the proceeds going to its distributor. While artists he influenced such as Andy Warhol and John Waters became cultural landmarks, Smith is still largely unknown. However, his output is truly amazing even today and this film is probably the easiest way to see clips from his work.

The documentary itself takes on a highly subjective tone, but I feel that it for once works in the favor of its subject. The makers obviously felt great sympathy towards Smith, and their biased format makes it easier to tap into Smith's mind and his disdain for commercial art. The film finds the perfect balance between interviews and archival footage - this is far more than just a series of talking heads and is much more quickly paced than the average documentary. "Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis" is a highly valuable cultural artifact and the easiest way to learn about an influential artist who's still unfortunately overlooked. (8/10)


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