Preview :: Andy Warhol ‘Underground Films’ at UTS

November 5th 2012

Many do not know that Andy Warhol, (born Andrej Varhola), did so much more than create endless prints of Marilyn and Campbell’s Soup sold by the dozen (consumerism irony overload!) and donning the notion that “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” Warhol was a filmmaker.

It’s 1965. Sitting in The Factory in New York, amongst silkscreens and walls covered in endless rolls of shiny foil and silver paint are a hoard of people that Warhol has somehow managed to collect. A menagerie of adult film performers, drag queens, socialites, drug addicts, musicians, and free-thinkers, otherwise known as the Warhol Superstars. Candy Darling, Baby Jane Holzer, Gerard Malanga, Jim Morrison, Billy Name, Ondine, Ingrid Superstar, Ultra Violet, Chuck Wein, Lou Reed, Nico and one of the most famous; the It girl, youthquaker and tragic beauty, Edie Sedgwick, among many others.

Warhol became more interested in the bohemian eccentrics attracted to the studio and captured some incredible scenes through his experimentation with film. Some of these gorgeous films have been brought over from MoMA, NYC for our viewing pleasure.

Now it’s true that on Thursday, Alaska Projects in Kings Cross already screened Chelsea Girls (1966); Poor Little Rich Girl (1965) and The Velvet Underground & Nico (1966), some of the most stunning Warhol/Sedgwick & Velvet Underground films made. I’m truly devastated to inform you that you missed out on viewing them. HOWEVER, the end is not nigh. This Thursday, November 8, there will be a screening of both Kitchen (1965) and Beauty #2 (1965) at Bon Marche – University of Technology, Sydney.

Ronald Tavel on the film, ‘Kitchen’.

“… Warhol said to me, ‘I want several things this time. First, I want a vehicle for Edie Sedgwick. We’re going to make her our Superstar. She will be the queen of the Factory, and I want it in a kitchen because I want, now, white. Completely white… I want this one more involved than any of the previous ones.’ So, I said, ‘So you want a plot?! said I in complete amazement, and then, he said, ‘No , I don’t want a plot, but I want a situation or situations.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ And then, I brought him the script, and… I think he read it right there and said, ‘This is the best thing you’ve done.’ I don’t think so, but as a film – it was clearly the most developed as a play. And then he wanted to direct it. So, we really co-directed it, and this was the first time. I mean, he sat and rehearsed it. He was very interested clearly in her, and this was a break for her.”

Beauty #2‘ has a fixed point of view showing a bed with two characters on it, a barely dressed Sedgwick and Piserchio. Chuck Wein is heard speaking but is just out of view. It is stunning to watch and observe, yet full of tension. Starting off flirty and light, Wein asks Sedgwick questions seemingly designed to harass and annoy her and her anger grows.

Sedgwick is the tragic beauty you can’t help but fall in love with. If you want to know more about the short life of Edie Sedgwick and her time with Andy Warhol, I highly recommend watching the 2006 film, ‘Factory Girl’ with Sienna Miller pulling off Sedgwick seamlessly and Guy Pierce as an astounding Warhol.

Alternatively you can ask The Flog’s Jayne Cheeseman, who has a slight, borderline creepy obsession with Warhol/Sedgwick, may or may not have channelled Sedgwick for her HSC drama monologue and possibly collects Sedgwick paraphernalia off eBay.

What: Andy Warhol ‘Underground Films’ – Kitchen (1965) and Beauty #2 (1965)
When: Thursday, November 8, 6pm
Where: Bon Marche, University of Technology, Sydney.
How Much: FREE
Why: Is this a trick question?



Read more from FBi Radio