Thursday, January 16, 2014, 12:00 am

Ravishing, Radical, and Restored: The Films of Jack Smith

Flaming Creatures


701 Mission Street (at Third St)

San Francisco, CA 94103

Admission: $10 regular/$8 YBCA Member, Cinematheque member, senior, student, teacher

Purchase advance tickets here

Jack Smith (1932–1989) profoundly changed experimental film and theater forever, inspiring artists as diverse as Robert Wilson, John Waters, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol, to name only a few. His uncompromising work blended distorted orientalism, burlesque, fluid sexuality, social critique, and deadpan satire into an orgy of radical ecstasy. This series presents brand-new restorations of Smith’s films, all presented on glorious 16mm film. We also screen two documentaries which provide context for a deeper understanding of Smith’s aesthetic and influence.

Flaming Creatures

Both primitive and elegant, this visionary underground film takes place on a rooftop, where characters act out an orgiastic fantasy, disrupting gender and sexual norms. Smith’s notorious film was seized and banned, ultimately reaching the Supreme Court in an obscenity case. (1962–1963, 43 min, 16mm) Preceded by the short Yellow Sequence. (1963–1965, 15 min, 16mm)


“Forget everything you might have heard about Jack Smith's legendary bisexual, orgiastic, superlow-budget experimental masterpiece—a lot more is going on here, artistically and otherwise, than either Jonas Mekas or Susan Sontag ever suggested.”—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader.

Image copyright Jack Smith and Courtesy Jack Smith Archive and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.