Flaming Creatures & Blonde Cobra

Date: 31 March 2007 | Season: London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2007 | Tags: ,

Saturday 31 March 2007, at 6.10pm
London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival at BFI Southbank

Jack Smith, Flaming Creatures, USA, 1963, 16mm, black and white, sound, 42 min
Ken Jacobs, Blonde Cobra, USA, 1959-63, 16mm, black and white & colour, sound, 33 min

Two gloriously primitive flicks which define and transcend the idea of “underground” film. Flaming Creatures, Smith’s impoverished, epic fantasy of Babylonian proportions, is a decadent celebration of the joy and torment of existence. This bleached-out orgiastic rite, all limp penises and shaking breasts, is populated by a blonde vampire, exotic Spanish dancers and androgynous bohemian poseurs. Blonde Cobra, as close to an authentic portrait of Smith that we have, is propelled by a delirious monologue (witness the scurrilous tale of Madame Nescience and Mother Superior) and was shot amongst the rubble of his apartment. The two films were premiered together in April 1963, and remain fresh, provocative and startlingly original over 40 years later. (Mark Webber)