Andy Warhol

"The most significant alternative filmmaker of the 1960s may turn out to be famed Pop artist Andy Warhol. Warhol encompassed many of the categories of alternative filmmaking - he made both structural films and narrative fiction works - and at the same time exploded the most cherished category, that of the individual artist." - Robert Sklar (Film: An International History of the Medium, 1993)

Andy Warhol

Director / Producer / Screenwriter / Cinematographer
(1928-1987) Born August 6, Forest City, Pennsylvania, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Avant-garde/Experimental, Short Film, Documentary, Visual Arts, Drama, Trash Film, Gay & Lesbian Films
Key Collaborators: Edie Sedgwick (Character Actress), Paul Morrissey (Cinematographer/Director), Ronald Tavel (Screenwriter), Gerard Malanga (Character Actor), Ondine (Character Actor), Rufus Collins (Leading Actor), Brigid Berlin (Leading Actress), Taylor Mead (Leading Character Actor), Nico (Character Actress), Eric Emerson (Leading Character Actor), Tosh Carillo (Leading Actor), Mario Montez (Leading Actor)

"Although he did not 'direct' in the conventional sense, from 1963 to 1967 he produced some fifty films, mostly in collaboration with Paul Morrissey, a member of his 'Factory'. Warhol employed a passive, mechanical aesthetic of simply turning on the camera to record what was in front of it. The shortest of these films (Mario Banana, 1964) was four minutes in length and the longest (Four Stars, 1967) twenty-five hours. Warhol's films generally featured the antics of members of his Factory - friends, artists, junkies, transvestites and exhibitionists - who became underground celebrities, epitomizing his ideal of fifteen minutes' fame for everyone." - The Movie Book, 1999
"Underground film-maker, and the leading exhibitionist of this branch of the cinema. A fashion illustrator and 'pop' artist, Warhol took to film-making only in 1963. He immediately attracted widespread attention with his three-hour Sleep (1963), made up of one-reel segments recording a man sleeping… Not all his films are directed by himself; he is in effect the master-supervisor of a team of film-makers, notably Paul Morrissey on whose work he stamps his own very individual style and treatment." - The International Encyclopedia of Film, 1972
"Most widely publicized of all the underground film-makers who rose to prominence during the Sixties… As a director he is best known for a minimalist technique which involves positioning the camera and letting it run on, with occasional slight camera movements, but allowing the actors to develop and improvize a performance unbroken by subsequent cuts or editing. At its most tedious this method produced such numbing and unwatchable minimalist works as Sleep and Empire, running six or eight hours. But his later short pictures featured his own troupe of camp and outrageous 'superstars' including Edie Sedgwick, Mario Montez and Viva, some of them quite talented and witty in from of the camera." - The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema, 1983
"Given Warhol’s penchant for the automatic and mass-produced, his movement from sculpture, canvas, and silkscreen into cinema seemed logical; and his films were as passive, as intentionally 'empty', as significant of the artist’s absence as his previous work or as the image he projected of himself... Despite Warhol’s cultivated image as the 'tycoon of passivity,' his films display a cool but very dry wit. Blow Job, for example, consisted of thirty minutes of a closeup of the expressionless face of a man being fellated outside the frame—a coyly humorous presentation of a forbidden act in an image perversely composed as a denial of pleasure (for the actor and the audience)." - Ed Lowry (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 2000)
"Warhol's movies reach the parts other films don't wish to. Why should Hollywood have all the stars? Warhol creates his own 'superstars', Viva, Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Joe Dallesandro. Drag-queens, male and female hustlers who get together and improvise their own uncensored Hollywood fantasies in the films called Blow Job (1964), Harlot (1964), My Hustler (1965), and Blue Movie (1968). Chelsea Girls (1966) has two screens on which to watch them perform and Lonesome Cowboys (1968) shows what Hawks's male heroes might have got up to with each other had they been allowed to." - Ronald Bergan (A-Z of Movie Directors, 1983)
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Chelsea Girls (1966) , Lupe (1966)
Worth a Look
Couch (1964), Beauty No. 2 (1965), Kitchen (1965), My Hustler (1965) [co-directed by Chuck Wein], 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests [2009 DVD; features 13 screen tests] (1964-1966)
Approach with Caution
Kiss (1963), Blow Job (1963), Soap Opera (1964), Empire (1964) , Mario Banana I (1964), The 13 Most Beautiful Women (1964), Vinyl (1965), Horse (1965), Poor Little Rich Girl (1965), Outer and Inner Space (1966), Bike Boy (1967), Imitation of Christ (1967), Lonesome Cowboys (1968)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Lupe
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