Thursday, August 12, 2010
I'm reading a biography on Andy Warhol as I write this and as such have been sort of voraciously researching and needing to see all the things I never knew I needed to see. I've always been sort of indifferent to a lot of his work, understanding that at the time he WAS doing something completely revolutionary with painting. It's just a personal thing, I guess- I'm not big on his colours and the obsession with celebrity- although the idea of consumerism as a subject matter is something I am (clearly?) drawn to.
He is known as being one of the worst filmmakers in history. I agree and disagree. Watch for yourself.
The above 'Screen Tests' were filmed from early '64 through late '66 and were originally conceived as film portraits (I love this and have seen more contemporary takes on it in modern art museums in the recent past)- portraits done on film rather than on canvas. Bob Dylan's piece was highlighted in 'Factory Girl' a few years back, and it has been said that Dylan got up within minutes and left the factory because he was disgusted by Andy's allegedly talentless leaching and worship of consumerism.
It's wild how differently each subject 'handles' their time in front of the camera. Nico seems a bit distracted, perhaps sort of self-conscious, while Lou Reed is the fucking epitome of cool indifference. Sedgwick is such a damaged, beautiful muse. Apparently Warhol also did screen tests with Allen Ginsberg and Donovan, but I can't find them!
I've also got some slices of 'Vinyl' (which you might also recognize from 'Factory Girl') and 'Blow Job Movie' with Gerard Malanga.
An interesting way to watch? Turn all the screen tests on at once. Maybe a little Brady Bunch-y, but way cooler.