Re: Vj Art

From: Pip Chodorov (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Dec 14 2008 - 16:11:56 PST

No, the story is this:
Harry Smith painstakingly painted those films to synch up frame by
frame with specific jazz recordings (thelonius monk and others). That
was in the early 40s. Twenty years later, he asked Jonas to have
prints made with something contemporary. He didn't specifically say
what. He felt the jazz had become old-fashioned, and wanted to
connect with young audiences. Jonas went down to the record store;
Meet the Beatles had just been released and was a new hit record. He
got it and had it printed onto the soundtrack per Smith's wishes.
Jonas maintains that Smith was happy with the choice, and to this day
insists that the film should be shown with the Beatles music. Mystic
Fire released the early animations with a Teiji Ito score; when I
released the same films I kept the Beatles track. Smith was also
known to put on random 78s during film screenings, to change midway
through, to throw discs out the window, etc. or just to play the
radio during the screenings. One could conceivably show the films
with any contemporary music.
Small disclaimer: I have heard all these stories, but never met Smith
or attended any of his screenings.

At 12:41 -0800 14/12/08, Myron Ort wrote:
>I am envious, although I think I saw them at Canyon Cinematheque 20+
>years ago with a pretty decent print. Cannot remember any
>commentary, just the track.
>One tends to think that Smith, also being a musicologist, knew what
>he was doing with his track. Then again maybe is was just one of
>those NY underground cavalier in the moment default decisions (eg.
>ten years on the film, 2 minutes on the track).

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.