Three “Anti-Films” by Andy Warhol: Sleep, Eat & Kiss

We recent­ly told you the sto­ry. In the mid 60s, Andy Warhol quit paint­ing rather abrupt­ly and began some new adven­tures in mul­ti­me­dia. Tak­ing a quick detour into music, Warhol became the man­ag­er, “pro­duc­er” and over­all patron of the up-and-com­ing band, The Vel­vet Under­ground. But film is where he focused his cre­ative ener­gies.

Between 1964 and 1966, the pop artist shot close to 500 short movies — or what he called “screen tests” — of friends, celebri­ties and mod­els. (Find screen tests of Lou Reed, Nico, Edie Sedg­wick, and Den­nis Hop­per here.) And then he shot a series of longer films, or rather “anti-films,” that chal­lenged the con­ven­tions of film­mak­ing. No three act struc­tures here. Above, we start you off with his first film, Sleep (1963). Orig­i­nal­ly Warhol want­ed to make Brigitte Bar­dot the star, but he even­tu­al­ly set­tled for his friend John Giorno, and you get what the title promis­es. 40 silent min­utes of Giorno’s long slum­ber.

Next in the loose tril­o­gy comes Kiss, a 54 minute film built out of a series of short­er films. It’s all cou­ples kiss­ing. Men & women. Women & women. Men & men. And it’s all silent again.

Then we cap things off with Eat (1964), 40 min­utes of watch­ing the starv­ing pop artist Robert Indi­ana gnaw on a raw mush­room and noth­ing more. The tril­o­gy-ender was first screened at the Wash­ing­ton Square Gallery, along with anoth­er long-take film, Blow Job.…

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent

4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More

The Big Ideas Behind Andy Warhol’s Art, and How They Can Help Us Build a Bet­ter World

Andy Warhol’s 1965 Film, Vinyl, Adapt­ed from Antho­ny Burgess’ A Clock­work Orange

by | Permalink | Comments (7) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (7)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Dhiraj says:

    He was about ‘pre­sent­ing’ things rather than ‘rep­re­sent­ing’ things. This allowed him to be free of require­ments of unique cre­ation. ‘Rep­re­sen­ta­tion’ entails an exclu­siv­i­ty of out­put. It is the artist’s inter­pre­ta­tion of some object, event or process. A rep­re­sen­ta­tion of female form will find expres­sion in cubist recon­struc­tion of Dora Maar in Picasso’s work or Odal­isques of Matisse or stur­dy phys­i­cal­i­ty of Hussain’s nudes. These are cus­tomized cre­ations which abhor mass pro­duc­tion. Even por­traits like Mona Lisa are not free of enig­mat­ic inti­ma­cy of exclu­sive cre­ation. But in Warho­lian uni­verse even seri­graph prints using silk screen tech­nique is valid art because he is not rep­re­sent­ing but pre­sent­ing.

  • Ted Vollers says:

    This is a waste of band­width and space on the serv­er. And I did not even have to watch them to fig­ure that out.

  • Warwick Moffat says:

    Inter­est­ing Dhiraj,that your state­ment both hits and miss­es the point. While obvi­ous­ly not to your taste (and each to their own), the whole point to these is to ques­tion ‘what is a film?’. Your crit­i­cism assumes it is the sub­ject that is intend­ed to be ‘rep­re­sent­ed’ here. Far from it, it is the medi­um that he is mis­chie­vous­ly rep­re­sent­ing / mis­rep­re­sent­ing here. I respect­ful­ly sug­gest that to miss this point is to mis­un­der­stand almost the entire artis­tic project of Warhol through­out his career. And cer­tain­ly with­out that under­stand­ing this work would all seem to be sheer non­sense.

  • Jeebus says:

    An over-rat­ed hack, like many of the “artists” of that era.

  • reversalmushroom says:

    These movies suck.

  • BOB says:

    judges nev­er done.

  • Hamin says:

    i think the link died

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.