Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis
Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis
Director:
Mary Jordan


Synopsis:
Perhaps America's most important artist from the last fifty years, Jack Smith is simultaneously hailed as the godfather of performance art, a groundbreaking photographer, and the 'William Blake of film'.  His utopian ideals, artistic processes and bejeweled artworks left no generation untouched since, and became essential influences to contemporary art superstars like Andy Warhol, Federico Fellini, and Matthew Barney.  

In her feature-length film debut, director Mary Jordan combines Smith's rare and unseen films and photographs with rare audio recordings, acting appearances, and other relics squeezed from Smith's vaulted archives.  Commentaries from art luminaries, critics and Smith's friends and enemies (such as screenwriter/playwright Ronald Tavel, New York Observer critic Andrew Sarris, transvestite extraordinaire Mario Montez, and filmmaker Ken Jacobs) intercut Smith himself proffering condemnations of capitalism, critics and institutional-art "gatekeepers." Jordan also delves into Smith's tenuous relationship with Andy Warhol--who adopted Smith's ideas and actors in his own work (including Smith's "Superstars" concept), his vilification of New American cinema pioneer Jonas Mekas, and other previously undocumented biographical topics.

From the Whitney to the Louvre, Smith is acknowledged as one of America's most influential artists, yet his legacy remains at the edges of obscurity. Pure in his artistic pursuits, Smith smashed head-on into the politics intersecting creativity, capitalism, and meaning in contemporary art.  Since his 1989 death, Smith's work has been rarely publicly displayed.  Still his influence pervades contemporary art and pop-culture today. This documentary portrait pays homage to New York's ultimate anti-hero and the original King of the Underground.

Cast:
Tony Conrad
Ken Jacobs
Sylvère Lotringer
Judith Malina
Jonas Mekas
Mario Montez
Ronald Tavel
John Waters
John Zorn
Agosto Machado
Andrew Sarris
Ari Roussimoff
Billy Name
Ela Troyano
Gary Indiana
George Kuchar
Helen Gee
Henry Hills
Holly Woodlawn
Ira Cohen
Ivan Galietti
Jerry Tartaglia
John Matturri
John Vaccaro
Lawrence Rinder
Mary Woronov
Mike Kelley
Nayland Blake
Nick Zedd
Richard Foreman
Robert Heide
Robert Wilson
Taylor Mead
Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt
Uzi Parnes
William Niederkorn
website:
www.jacksmith.com

technical:
95 Mins | 1.33 | Stereo | Color | Not Rated
Stills:
Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis