Jem Cohen

2007 | 00:07:37 | United States | English | B&W | Stereo | 4:3 | Super 8 film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Music, Performance

Patti Smith asked if I would do a short film to accompany the release of her version of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. As neither of us are fans of the music video format or industry, we approached the project as a short film, with no lip sync, that would simply try to get at the heart of her version of the song. I shot in Super 8 film and pulled a few things from my archive. The film is a domestic portrait of Patti and her son, Jackson. William Blake was invited in the form of a plaster cast of his death mask. Kurt Cobain, (conflicted, fierce, gentle, and another mother's son) was invited as an admirer of Leadbelly. Cats were invited as household saints. The film invokes New York and rural America. It is about picking up guitars and doing dirty dishes. --Jem Cohen (Spirit is formerly known as Smells Like Teen Spirit.)

Pricing Information

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Exhibitions + Festivals

European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrouck, 2007

Internationale Kurtzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2007

Kasseler Dok Fest (film laden) (Germany), 2008

Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2008 

Athens International Film and Video Festival, Ohio, 2008

PDX Film Festival (Portland, OR), 2008

Internationale Kurtzfilmtage Oberhausen (Germany), 2008

Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2008

Gijon Film Festival, 2008

FC Center, Film and the Folk/Punk Connection, July 15 2009

Florida Experimental Film and Video Festival, 2009

Kasseler Dokfest, 2009