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NY Underground: Smith versus Rubin

Christmas on Earth

Barbara Rubin was the equally angelic and bold matchmaker and ambassador of the New York underground scene in the 1960s. She introduced Bob Dylan to Allen Ginsberg, The Velvet Underground to Andy Warhol and Knokke-Zoute to Jack Smith’s scandalous Flaming Creatures. Together with Jonas Mekas she smuggled the film into her backpack at the EXPRMNTL film festival. At the age of seventeen she filmed Christmas on Earth, hailed by Mekas as down to earth beauty, so real as only a terrible beauty can be”. This experimental short film – the working title was Cocks and Cunts’ – shows explicit sex scenes with painted and masked performers. The film consisted of two bobbins projected over each other, one as an insert of the other. Even before she was 30, Rubin turned her back on the New York art scene. She died at 35 of a postnatal infection at the birth of her fifth child.

Programme: Isolde Vanhee

Also during Film Fest Gent, the documentary Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground (2018) by Chuck Smith will be screened. Info: www​.filmfestival​.be


Flaming Creatures © Light Cone

Christmas On Earth2

Jack Smith

Flaming Creatures

US • 1963 • 45' • b&w • 16mm

Barbara Rubin

Christmas On Earth

US • 1963 • 29' • colour & b&w • 16mm