Today is definitely Sinner day here at the TCE! First up is a submission from friend of the blog Matt Meisenhelter of Pittsburgh, PA. Says Matt, “While going through some long boxed up correspondence, I came across the attached poster. It dates from, I’m guessing, 1991 or 92 and promotes a showing of The World’s Greatest Sinner. A college friend who’d migrated to LA sent it to me with a description of sorts of the film and experience. He described a wizened Carey introducing the film in his gold lame suit and how he was seen afterward in the lobby, ready to meet and talk with the moviegoers.” This sounds very much like the screening of the film that Grover Lewis described in his article of and interview with Timothy in Film Comment. Matt also tells me the poster was originally a vibrant pink but had faded over the years. I have taken the liberty of restoring it to its original pinkness. Many thanks, Matt!
Next up, I am excited to tell you about an upcoming screening of Sinner in New York City next month! Please feel free to share this announcement:
Anthology Film Archives Screens The World’s Greatest Sinner!!! New York City
32 East 2nd Street, New York NY 10003
Hosted By Walter Ocner
The screenings will be Sat, July 18 at 9:00pm and Thurs, July 23 at 7:00pm!
MONUMENTALLY RARE 35MM SCREENING! NEVER RELEASED ON VIDEO!
Hollywood maverick Timothy Carey was called plenty of things in his day: Genius…Rebel…Nut. Sometimes all three.
He was cast in major features by courageous directors like Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes, often playing a towering heavy or a leering criminal overlord. He brought a wildly unique fire to every role, and intensified it beyond comprehension for his own feature, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in: THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER.
In it, Carey plays insurance salesman Clarence Hilliard, who one day decides to change his name to “God” and build a powerful religion, using sex and rock n’ roll as his recruiting tools. It’s a truly legendary masterwork of outsider filmmaking that profoundly shocked audiences wherever Carey screened it (often renting out the theater and even running the projector himself).
Half a century later, the largely unseen film has become one of cinema’s great curiosities, impossible to find and entirely deserving of its infamy. You’ve never experienced anything like it, and you never will again.
Grab the snake, sip the blood, and sacrifice yourself to the inhuman artistry of Timothy Carey’s visionary blue-collar epic. After all, you don’t want to anger God, do you?
A delightful drawing provided by Walter Ocner. Artist unknown (Isaac something??)