Flaming Creatures & Little Stabs at Happiness



Flaming Creatures Directed by Jack Smith Jack Smith described Flaming Creatures as "a comedy set in a haunted music studio" – it remains a staple of queer experimental cinema. Flaming Creatures marked a significant moment in the history of post-war American film and culture. The New York City police seized the film at its premiere in 1963, and it was subsequently banned in 22 states and four countries.  And yet Flaming Creatures was, according to Smith, ultimately meant to be a comedy. On a rooftop above one of New York’s oldest (and now demolished) movie houses, characters disrupt gender and sexual norms as they act out carnal fantasies. 1963, 43 min.

Little Stabs at Happiness Directed by Ken Jacobs Jacobs has been called “one of the most extraordinary unknown personalities in the history of American movies” by critic J. Hoberman. Ken Jacobs describes his film this way, “Material was cut in as it came out of the camera, embarrassing moments intact. 100' rolls timed well with music on old 78s. I was interested in immediacy, a sense of ease, and an art where suffering was acknowledged but not trivialized with dramatics. Whimsy was our achievement, as well as breaking out of step.” 1963, 18 min.

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