Mario Montez (foreground)
and Piero Heliczer (in hat and dress) in Jack Smith's "Flaming Creatures"
Film still courtesy Anthology Film Archives
Conrad has been a key figure of the New York avant-garde since the early 1960s.
He is well-known as a musician for his role (along with John Cale, LaMonte Young
and others) in the Dream Syndicate, and as a filmmaker he created
1965's classic "The Flicker."
Lesser known is the fact that Conrad played an important role in the creation of
works by other filmmakers, some of which are among the most popular and enduring
avant-garde films of the 1960s. Frequent Small Meals and Table of the Elements
are proud to host Tony Conrad for a unique event at Eyedrum. Conrad will
introduce films by Jack Smith, Ron Rice, Piero Heliczer, and Ira Cohen – films
in which Conrad appears or for which he did soundtrack work.
** Jack Smith's "Flaming Creatures" is one of the most
controversial films ever made. Groundbreaking for its polysexual imagery, it is
widely admired today as a prime example of the artistry, humor, and visual
brilliance of this visionary director and performer.
"Flaming Creatures" will be screened in its original format of 16mm, along with
Ron Rice’s "Chumlum," a sumptuous pre-psychedelic work from the early 1960s with
a typically charismatic Jack Smith performance.
** Like "Chumlum," Ira Cohen's "Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda" features a
musical score by the legendary percussionist (and Conrad collaborator) Angus MacLise, best known as the original drummer for the Velvet Underground. J.
Hoberman of the Village Voice called MacLise’s score a "masterpiece of
Tibetan-Moroccan-Druidic trance music [which] truly blossoms in conjunction with
the exotic smorgasbord served at Cohen's psychedelicatessen." The evening also features a world-premiere
of a new Cohen work, "Brain Damage."
** Piero Heliczer's 1967 "Joan of Arc" features a mesmerizing
soundtrack by Conrad. This extremely rare film has not been screened outside of
New York in many years and represents one of Conrad’s finest musical
PART 1 Chumlum (Ron Rice, 1964), 22 minutes, 16mm Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, 1963), 42
PART 2 Joan of Arc (Piero Heliczer, 1967), 9
minutes, 8mm (screened on DVD) Joan of Arc is shown courtesy the
Estate of Piero Heliczer
WORLD PREMIERE of Tony Conrad's Joan of Arc soundtrack CD Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda expanded version
(Ira Cohen, 1968/2006), 22 minutes, 16mm (screened on DVD) WORLD PREMIERE Brain Damage (Ira Cohen, 2006), 34
minutes, 16mm (screened on DVD) WORLD PREMIERE
Carnivals of Ecstasy is a Film Love event and is part of the Table of the
Elements Festival #4.
Angus MacLise in Ira
Cohen's "Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda"