No. 5 ("Smile") by Yoko Ono, 1968
Cast: John Lennon
Music: John Lennon
Bring your own instrument
Premiere at the Chicago Film Festival
"In Film No. 5 (Smile), Ono used the capacity of
film to alter time to create a unique visual portrait. The film consisted of a
single shot of John Lennon, in soft focus, standing in a garden. The three minutes
of film were then printed with multiple frames to create a running time of 51
minutes. The film recorded subtle and evocative changes in John's facial expression
and magnified his gestures and emotions."
Yoko Ono Arias
and Objects, Barbara Haskell & John G. Hanhardt, 1991
afternoon, John and I went out in the garden and shot Film No. 5, the smile film,
and Two Virgins. They were done in a spirit of home movies. I both films, we were
mainly concerned about the vibrations the films send out - the kind that was between
us. But, with Film No. 5, a lot of planning, working and talking out things had
preceded the afternoon. For instance, I had thought of making Film No. 5 into
a Dr. Zhivago and let it go on for four hours with an intermission and all that,
but later decided to stick to a more commercial length of an hour (approx.). 8
mm. copies of the film are also available for people who'd like to have the film
on their wall as a light-portrait Also, we'll store some copies for the next century."
a painting that smiles just once in a billion years. John's ghostly smile in Film
No. 5 might just communicate in a hundred years' time, or maybe, the way things
are rolling, it may communicate much earlier than that."
critic recently commented on us, John and I, as being lollypop artists who are
preoccupied with blowing soap-bubbles forever. I thought that was beautiful. There's
a lot you can do with blowing soap-bubbles. Maybe the future USA should decide
their presidency by having a soap-bubble contest."
from the essay on Film no. 5 (known as Smile) and Two Virgins by Yoko Ono, October