Normal Love

USA 1963. Dir Jack Smith.

With Diana Baccus, Mario Montez, Beverly Grant. Costumes Jack Smith and actors.

After completing Flaming Creatures, Smith shot the more ambitious Normal Love in dazzling colour, with elaborate sets (including a Busby Berkeley-esque multi-tiered cake made by Claes Oldenburg), and costumes inspired by horror films and Maria Montez epics. Smith cast poets, artists, and actors from the New York underground scene, including Mario Montez as the Mermaid, Beverly Grant as the Cobra Woman, plus Andy Warhol and a very pregnant Beat poet Diane di Prima as chorus dancers on Oldenburg’s cake. Smith never finished editing a definitive version of the film, but what remains wonderfully illustrates his visionary appropriation of Hollywood sensuality and excess.