Rolling Stone: Do you think Yoko’s film of you smiling would work of it were just anyone smiling?
John: Yes, it works with somebody else smiling, but she went through all this. It originally started out that she wanted a million people all over the world to send in a snapshot of themselves smiling, and then it got down to lots of people smiling, and then maybe one or two and then me smiling as a symbol of today smiling-and that’s what I am, whatever that means. And so it’s me smiling, and that’s the hang-up, of course, because it’s me again. But they’ve got to see it someday-it’s only me. I don’t mind if people go to the film to see me smiling because it doesn’t matter, it’s not harmful. The idea of the film won’t really be dug for another fifty or a hundred years probably. That’s what it’s all about. I just happen to be that face.
Yoko: The films SMILE and TWO VIRGINS were done in a spirit of home movies. In both films, we were mainly concerned about the vibrations the films send out-the kind that was between us. Imagine 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. I think all the doors are just ready to open now.
23 Nov 1968