Harry Smith: Portland’s Prodigal Son | Film +  Events

Join us in Portland June 15th-17th 2024 to celebrate the legacy of Harry Everett Smith – filmmaker, musicologist, mystic, and one of the least understood figures in postwar American culture.

Sat., June 15, 7:30 pm @ Hollywood Theatre. $15

Harry’s short films with live musical accompaniment curated by Mississippi Records.  $15 


Featuring The Portland Sacred Harp Singers, Roman Norfleet And Be Present Art Group, Collate, and Jay Ringer. Special guest Rani Singh, Director, Harry Smith Archives 

A celebration of the work of artist, alchemist, anthropologist, filmmaker, and creator of The Anthology Of American Folk Music —Harry Smith! A night to make your head spin in all the right ways. We’ll show some of Harry’s best known films accompanied by live musicians performing pieces based on what Harry would play while screening the films. Here’s the program! 

Film #11: Mirror Animations and Film #15: Untitled Animation of Seminole Patchwork | Accompanied by The Portland Sacred Harp Singers. This huge acapella Gospel ensemble will perform the kind of music Harry Smith spent years researching and loved best. A powerful sound that’ll shake all the walls and doors. The films are as stunning as films come. 

Early Abstractions: Films # 1-5, 7 & 10 | Accompanied by Collate. Collate is a local high-caliber angular rock band. They’ll be performing covers of early Beatles songs (!) as a homage to how Harry Smith would often play The Beatles’ first album during these beautiful hand-painted abstract films. 

Film #14: Late Superimpositions | Accompanied by Roman Norfleet And The Be Present Art Group. These practitioners of Spiritual Jazz / Great Black Music will be riffing on Dizzy Gillespie songs that Harry would often play during films.

In addition to all this, Jay Ringer will be playing songs from The Anthology Of American Folk Music on melodica as transitional music between films. 

Sun, June 16 @ Turn, Turn, Turn 4-7 pm. $5 suggested entry. Harry Smith and the PNW: (Stories, Scholars, and String Figures). $5-10 suggested entry. Join local and guest scholars and writers for an afternoon “matinee” that delves into Harry Smith’s roots in the Pacific Northwest. Meet PNW musician-historian Bret Lunsford, author of Sounding for Harry Smith and Portlander friend of Harry Smith, and Darrin Daniel, publisher of Think of the Self Speaking: Selected Interviews of Harry Smith (1999) in conversation, followed by local poet Katherine Factor. Learn about Smith’s connections to the Pacific Northwest, where his diverse interests in string figures, Native Americans, record collecting, and esoterica began

Mon., June 17, 7 pm,  Clinton Street Theater: Harry Smith’s Film #18: Mahagonny,
PNW Premiere of the 4K restoration (1970- 1980, 220 minutes).  $18

Introduction by Rani Singh, Director of the Harry Smith Archives. 

Filmmaker, anthropologist, painter, and musicologist Harry Smith worked on Film # 18 Mahagonny, his final film, for over ten years and considered it his magnum opus. His cinematic transformation of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s caustically satirical opera is an allegory that explores human needs and desires amid the rituals of daily life in New York City. The film is a collage composed of various film genres, intercutting portraits of important avant-garde figures such as Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Marty Balin, and Jonas Mekas, New York City landmarks, and Smith’s visionary animation. This is an ultra-rare opportunity to experience one of the most legendary underground films of all time. 

Get Tickets Here: cstpdx.com/event/no-18-mahagonny/

NOTE: Out-of-town guests receive a 10% discount on lodging at the Jupiter Hotel. Just go www.jupiterhotel.com and Click:  the “Book Now” button in the top right corner of the page. Then Click: “Enter discount code” and Enter: “SLEEPWITHUS” 


06/15/2024 - 06/17/2024

Hollywood Theatre, Portland, OR