How’s this for an enviable first sentence of a Wikipedia entry:
Harry Everett Smith (May 29, 1923 in Portland, Oregon – November 27, 1991 in New York City) was a visual artist, experimental filmmaker, record collector, bohemian, mystic, and largely self-taught student of anthropology.
That’s cramming a lot of hey-what-now into a small amount of space, which the world tends to do to even the most important and influential among us. And so the world largely has been remembering Smith as a folklorist since his death, on account of Anthology Of American Folk Music, a document so important that one could argue that the ‘60s wouldn’t/couldn’t have happened the way they did without it. But recently, Smith has been getting his due, largely overdue, as a groundbreaking experimental filmmaker, thanks to a restoration project by Anthology Film Archives. This screening, featuring newly restored Smith films, also coincides with the twin publications of Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 2 and String Figures: The Collections of Harry Smith, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 2, both of which expand upon Smith’s status as artistic and curatorial polymath.
Tickets available here.