Fiction

MAHAGONNY

Harry Smith
USA 1970, 1980
141 min
V'03

For Harry Smith, art was often a matter of placing the right things in the right order. Its also true of Smiths magnum opus, the 1980 Mahagonny, a 2 hour 21 minute experimental feature. He originally presented it for a five-night run at the Anthology Film Archives using four 16-millimeter projectors, arranged to create a four-panel square. Each projector displayed a different stream of images, creating a constantly shifting mosaic of shapes, colors and human figures. Unseen for 20 years, Mahagonny (which Smith sometimes called his Film #18) has been restored. The four 16-millimeter tracks of the original have been printed onto a single 35-millimeter strip, solving the thorny problems of synchronization posed by the original. Smith died in 1991 without completing Mahagonny. But even unfinished, it is a monumental work, intellectually ambitious and quite lovely to look at. (Dave Kehr)

Credits
  • Patti Smith
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Lotte Lenya
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Harry Smith nach der Oper «Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny» (1929) von Bertolt Brecht
  • Harry Smith
  • Harry Smith
  • Kurt Weill
  • Bertolt Brecht
Harry Smith Archives Getty Research Institute 1200 Getty Center Drive Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA T 440 76 25 rsingh@getty.edu
35 mm
col
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