“This is hardcore cinema.”

Peter Kubelka1


“A film about haircuts, clothes and image/sound relationships.”

John Smith


“This four-minute film explores our response to stereotypes – aural, visual and ideological. Smith signals these stereotypes to the viewer through a chiefly associational system, which deftly manipulates the path of our expectations. The structure is stunningly simple and deceptively subtle. We are taken on a journey from one concrete stereotype to its diametric opposite, as images transform and juxtapose to, ultimately, invert our interpretation of what we see and hear.”

Gary Davis


“John Smith’s films, videos and installations are the work of a master craftsman and a maestro of deception. As such, they offer multiple access points – thematic, formalist – whilst being irrefutably entertaining. Form and content are intrinsically bound together, puzzles to play with, to partially solve, as we are instructed not only in ways of seeing, but in an understanding of film predicated on demystifying its oft-masked means of construction.”

Ian White2

  • 1Peter Kubelka, “What is Film” lecture series, National Film Theatre, London 2001.
  • 2Ian White, “Information: Suspect, Construction: Evident,” catalogue essay for John Smith retrospective at Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, 2002.
UPDATED ON 01.12.2017