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 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 cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!