Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry - My Work Speaks For Itself

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Hori Smoku Review



Sailor Jerry

he Phawker just gave Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry this, naming the film one of the few entertaining films of this year's Philadelphia Film Festival.

HORI SMOKU SAILOR JERRY (2008, directed by Erich Weiss, 77 minutes, U.S.)

BY DAN BUSKIRK FILM CRITIC There are few more entertaining films in this year’s festival than this enthralling look at the origins of modern tattooing. Held in highest esteem among ink lovers is Norman “Sailor FIlmFestogoheaderCROPPED_1.jpgJerry” Collins, who from his shop in Hawaii created the iconic American designs that decorated the chest, arms and backs of soldiers headed into battle in WW2. Hori Smoku makes a convincing case for Collins as a major folk artist and he’s as colorful as his designs, full of pranks, hard-bitten wisdom and contradictory in his respect for Asian art and his racism towards the Asian people. There’s a long line of tattooists who line up to pay their respects to Sailor Jerry and most of them curse like sailors as well, with hysterically profane language that would leave JoePesci tongue-tied. They describe the art’s history from the carny tattooers and the red light districts to its final arrival a modern day sterile respectability in a way that will make you nostalgic for dirty needles and blood-soaked storefronts (one artist writes off the latest generation as “the black t-shirt crowd”). The legendary Philadelphia Eddie (who got his start in Coney Island) is on hand for local color.

Thursday, April 10th, 9:30pm, Prince Music Theater