Consists of six short episodes, loosely linked by Brooklyn slum locations and the intermittent presence of Jack Smith in pierrot costume. Three are accompanied by old and scratched 78 r.p.m. records, one by the director's own narration, and two are shown silent. Titles are as follows: (1) In the Room; (2) They Stopped to Think; (4) It Began to Drizzle; (6) The Spirit of Listlessness. Parts (3) and (5) are untitled.
Ken Jacobs has been an important figure in New York experimental filmmaking for the last 50 years. He has been pivotal to the development of the New York Filmmakers Coop and the Anthology Film Archive. A prolific artist, he began filmmaking in the 1950s, making early work in collaboration with filmmaker Jack Smith. Since then Jacobs has continued to build on a number of core interests including a reinterpretation of early cinema and photography in works like Tom, Tom the Piper‚Äôs Son (1969) and more recently in videos such as the stereoscopic Capitalism: Child Labour (2006).
Ken Jacobs Little Stabs at Happiness, 1963 ¬© courtesy of the artist / LUX