Flaming Creatures

Director: Jack Smith
Year Released: 1963
Rating: 3.0

Notorious avant-garde work by Jack Smith that's both comical and a little scary - there's no story, but there are plenty of people - males and females - huddled together, applying lipstick, cross-dressing and sexually assaulting/'pleasuring' each other. Susan Sontag wrote that since it's the "very opposite of a 'literary film,'" that means all that's left to relish is the visual aspects, but in the past forty years, this type of material has, if not become 'popular,' certainly lost its shock value. It's admirably brazen in its amateurism, but exists primarily as a time capsule of the sixties (and, for critics from the sixties, an object to be mythologized) and most recognizable as a precursor to the transgressive films of the 70's (like Rocky Horror Picture Show and Pink Flamingos).