WARHOL’S WORLD IS A MONTH-LONG FILM SERIES
PLAYING AT THE MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE
October 20-November 11, 2007
The Museum of the Moving Image will present Warhol’s World, the most extensive single retrospective of Andy Warhol’s films ever presented in New York City, from October 20 through November 11, 2007. This month-long series features 36 films directed by the prolific and influential American artist, including many rarely screened films, as well as such better-known works as his monumental double-screen film The Chelsea Girls, and also includes two documentaries and a panel discussion examining the significance of Warhol’s films.
“Film was the perfect medium for Andy Warhol,” said David Schwartz, the Museum’s Chief Curator, who organized the series. “He was fascinated with everything about the medium, from the camera’s ability to mechanically create images, to the opportunity to be in control as a director while also being an observer. From 1963 to 1968, he virtually reinvented the medium, going from short silent films to creating his own star system and avant-garde version of a Hollywood studio in his midtown Factory.”
The series includes his early silent films, such as Eat, Haircut #1, and Kiss, as well as excerpts from his famous epic-length films Empire and Sleep. These films belie the false notion that Warhol’s films were simplistic. For example, Eat, a 35-minute film of artist Robert Indiana eating a mushroom, is an exquisitely lit, beautifully composed film that wittily jumps around in time.
In his sound films, Warhol created an underground star system, drawing on such memorable performers as poet Gerard Malanga, drag queen Mario Montez, Ondine, Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Taylor Mead, and many more. He occasionally spoofed Hollywood genres, such as westerns and musicals, and he invoked Hollywood mythology with movies about Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, and Jean Harlow. His films also serve as time capsules of the 1960s; the uncompleted film Since reenacts the assassinations of John Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, and the 1967 movie Nude Restaurant evokes the anti-war movement of the Summer of Love.
Although Warhol made more than forty films and shot hundreds of rolls of film starting in 1963, he withdrew his films from circulation in 1972. Shortly after his death in 1987, the Andy Warhol Film Project was created, and since then his films have been gradually restored and made available for public screening.
On the opening weekend of the series, on October 21, a discussion with Callie Angell, curator of the Andy Warhol Film Project and film critic Amy Taubin, moderated by David Schwartz, will address the artistic significance of Warhol’s films, the social and cultural milieu surrounding their production, and the history of their reception and their restoration. During the final weekend of the series, on November 10, the Museum will present a preview screening of Esther Robinson’s A Walk into the Sea: The Danny Williams Story about the experimental filmmaker and Warhol’s onetime lover—and Robinson’s uncle—followed by a conversation with the director. Also on November 10, filmmaker James Rasin will present a 30-minute segment from his documentary in progress about Candy Darling, a fixture at Warhol’s Factory in the late 1960s and early 1970s, featuring revealing interviews and priceless archival footage.
“Though the films, often comprised of long, unedited reels shot with the camera running nonstop for 33 minutes, had the veneer of objectivity, Warhol’s main subject was deeply personal,” said David Schwartz. “In one form or another, his films are implicitly or explicitly about sex: sex as performance or power play. And they raise fascinating questions about observation and participation, implicating the viewer as well as the filmmaker.” SCHEDULE FOR ‘WARHOL’S WORLD’ Organized by Chief Curator David Schwartz. All film are 16mm sound prints from The Museum of Modern Art, and directed by Andy Warhol, unless noted.
The Museum Of The Moving Image is located in Astoria on 35th Avenue at 36th Street. See www.movingimage.us for hours and admission prices.