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Andy Warhol’s Early Films

Apr 6–9, 2006

The Factory, Andy Warhol’s studio in New York, was a gathering place for a cast of characters — stars, socialites, and hustlers — that Warhol made into “superstars.” Inspired by the underground cinema of Jack Smith and others, Warhol began filming ordinary activities such as eating, sleeping, and kissing. Fueled by voyeurism, the films became as much about watching as seeing, although Warhol said the early works were just “a way of passing the time.” As he became more sophisticated at filmmaking, Warhol added sound and moved into more radical challenges of how to shoot, perform, and watch films. This film series of Warhol’s early films is in conjunction with the exhibition ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Deaths, and Disasters, 1962-1964 (March 18 – June 18, 2006).

Thursday, April 6, 7:30 pm
Four of Andy Warhol’s Most Beautiful Women and Outer and Inner Space

Saturday, April 8, 4 pm
Kiss, Eat, and Couch

Saturday, April 8, 7:30 pm
Four of Andy Warhol’s Most Beautiful Women and Outer and Inner Space

Sunday, April 9, 4 pm
Restaurant and Kiss

Sunday, April 9, 7:30 pm
Kiss, Eat, and Couch

Kiss (1963–64)
Beginning in 1922, Hollywood began regulating films in an effort to avoid government censors. In response to the mandate forbidding what was termed “excessive kissing,” Warhol’s pairings last three minutes each and create a pattern of repetition that relates to his multiple silk-screen paintings.
Black and white, silent, 58 minutes.

Couch (1964)
Playing against the joke of Hollywood casting couches, Warhol chose the giant red couch of the silver-painted Factory as the set for this series of sexual adventures. One of his most explicit films, and ranging from the mundane to the overtly erotic, it was made with an “all-star” group of co-conspirators that includes Allen Ginsberg, Baby Jane Holzer, and Jack Kerouac.
Black and white, silent, 40 minutes.

Eat (1963)
Warhol made a number of portrait films that exist somewhere between the dynamic world of cinema and the static world of painting. Here he assembled nine, three-minute rolls of film, depicting the artist Robert Indiana eating a mushroom, out of sequence, so there is no direct relation between the time spent eating and how much of the mushroom remains.
Black and white, silent, 39 minutes.

Four of Andy Warhol’s Most Beautiful Women (1964)
In these Screen Tests — three-minute film portraits shot at twenty-four frames per second and projected at sixteen frames per second to create an eerie fluidity — each woman becomes the momentary star for the watchers. With Baby Jane Holzer, Ann Buchanan, Ivy Nicholson, and a woman called Sally. Black and white, silent, 15 minutes

Restaurant (1965)
Warhol’s camera holds unblinkingly on an artful still life of a restaurant table, eventually pulling back to reveal the comically absurd world where Edie Sedgwick, Ondine, and others carry on like the seedy superstars they were. Black and white, sound, 33 minutes.

Outer and Inner Space (1965)
In this fascinating film a beautiful and effervescent Edie Sedgwick rambles on about fame, fashion, and celebrity. Warhol filmed her sitting in front of a television showing a video of her speaking, allowing her doubled image and voice to become a mediated meditation on outer and inner life.
Black and white, sound, 33 minutes.