<i>Cocksucker Blues</i>. 1972. USA. Directed by Robert Frank
  • S-8 Stones Footage from Exile on Main Street

    1972. USA. Robert Frank. 5 min.

  • Cocksucker Blues

    1972. USA. Robert Frank. 93 min.

Thursday, November 15, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

  • S-8 Stones Footage from Exile on Main Street

    1972. USA. Directed by Robert Frank. Shot during the making of the Exile on Main Street album cover. Digital projection. 5 min.

  • Cocksucker Blues

    1972. USA. Directed by Robert Frank. “After seeing these pictures you end up finally not knowing any more whether a jukebox is sadder than a coffin,” Jack Kerouac wrote in his introduction to Robert Frank’s landmark 1958 photographic essay The Americans. Nearly 15 years later, Frank would use Super 8 camera stills from that same journey along Route 66 for the cover of The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, while also following the band on their promotional concert tour of the album—their first cross-country trip since Altamont, with Truman Capote, Terry Southern, Andy Warhol, and Princess Lee Radziwill as hangers on. Chronicling the loneliness and weary hedonism of life on the road—Frank would later say, “This totally excludes the outside world. To never get out, to never know what city you are in…I cannot get used to it”—Cocksucker Blues was suppressed for years and seen only in bowdlerized, bootleg form. Don DeLillo, in his novel Underworld, would write of the film’s “washed blue light, a kind of crepuscular light, a tunnel light that suggested an unreliable reality,” while Paul Arthur in Film Comment would call it “a sour idyll…sustained by Frank’s uncanny gifts of composition and jagged movement. Typically, he will pan from an off-kilter view of band members signing autographs in a San Francisco hotel lobby to a homely middle-aged woman, cigarette dangling from her fingers, eyeing the crew with a caustic look of disbelief. More than most observers, Frank understands the collision of social opposites, the precise juncture at which media-haunted celebrity rubs (and bruises) elbows with the hoi polloi.” 93 min.

In the Film exhibition The Rolling Stones: 50 Years on Film

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