"Critics are writers. They like writing - and written characters. Maria Montez's appeal was on a purely intuitive level. She was the bane of critics - that person whose effect cannot be known by words, described by words, flaunts words (her image spoke). Film critics are writers and they are hostile and uneasy in the presence of a visual phenomenon. They are most delighted by bare images that through visual bareness call thought into play to fill the visual gap. (...) A spectacular, flaming image - since it threatens their critic-hood need to be able to write - is bad and they attack it throwing in moral extensions and hinting at idiocy in whoever is capable of visually appreciating a visual medium"

Smith puts in his love and enthusiasm for camp movies and, especially, for Maria Montez 'flicks', to him, this is 'real film': "These were light films - if we believed that films are visual it would be possible to believe these as rather pure cinema - weak technique, true, but rich imagery. (...) The primitive allure of movies is a thing of light and shadows. A bad film is one, which doesn't flicker and shift and move through lights and shadows, contrasts, textures by way of light. If I have these I donít mind phoniness (or the sincerity of clever actors), simple-minded plots (or novelistic "good" plots), nonsense or seriousness. I donít feel nonsense in movies as a threat to my mind since I donít go to movies for the ideas that arise from sensitiveness of ideas. Images evoke feelings and ideas that are suggested by feeling".

Jack Smith's Page

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