Flaming Creatures

Federico Windhausen writes about experimental film and video and teaches film history at California College of the Arts.

The influence of Jack Smith's casually outrageous style, which interpreted the B movie in a sexually inventive manner, and his refusal to separate his persona from his art can be seen in artists from George Kuchar to Andy Warhol; performances in his New York loft, even more fugitive and underground than his film production, were forebears of the avant-garde theater. Among classics of New American Cinema, Flaming Creatures was the most maudit, and the most frequently seized for obscenity. The setting for this pre-Cockettes fantasy of sexual confusion is a transvestite orgy where Smith's "creatures" go in for the kind of role-playing and exhibitionism that made him the (il)legitimate daddy of camp.

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