Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hamlet in the Rented World

& other recently released Short Films
Jack Smith, Manhattan, 1963 - 1973

Hamlet in the Rented World, 1970 - 1973

In a post a year ago April I mentioned that Jerry Tartaglia was working on a restoration of this fragment.  Misunderstanding what he had said in an article, I assumed that scenes with Stefan Brecht, Marie Antoinette and Silva were filmed along with Jack Smith’s performance as Hamlet, but it turns out that only Jack appears in the film.  I still haven’t seen any of it, but it has been shown at least a few times publicly, in Berlin, New York and Philidelphia, and some more articles have been published about it (notably a short essay by Jim Hoberman in the May 2015 Artforum) along with these frame enlargements that can be seen above.  I’m hoping there will be a showing here in San Francisco, say at the Yerba Buena Center or that snooty place up the hill on Chestnut Street, and that I’m in town when and if it happens.

The program that Tartaglia put together for NYU back in February sounds like it was well worth seeing.  It may have included most of the films represented below.  It should be noted that the first frame enlargement directly following is of Ira Cohen as a Sea Captain and that he described this performance as belonging to Reefers of Technicolor Island and that I could not help but note its absence when I finally had the opportunity of seeing that particular film in January 2014.  It's good to see that the footage at least ended up in another of Jack's pictures and that it may eventually be more widely seen.

Boiled Lobster of Lucky Landlady Lagoon, 1967

The Borrowed Tambourine, 1966

Nun and Zebra, 1969 - 1971

Exotic Landlordism, 1971

Coffin Scene, 1967

Hatchet Picnic, 1970

Milk Bath Scene from Normal Love, 1963 - 1964

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