SONGS FOR ANDY WARHOL’S SCREEN TESTS
February 3, Palace of Fine Arts
Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol — nurturing a career-long fascination with the transience of celebrity — created revealing cinematic portraits of the actors, socialites, poets, drag queens and fresh-faced Gotham arrivals that visited the Factory, his New York City studio. The 2-3/4-minute films — known as Screen Tests — were projected in slow motion so that each lasted four minutes.
On Tuesday, February 3, the Film Society will present 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests with a live, original score performed by Dean & Britta at the Palace of Fine Arts at 8 pm.
13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests comprises a selection of these screen tests, which for many years were rarely seen. They will be screened during a live performance of music composed by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, formerly of the legendary indie rock band Luna and currently making music as Dean & Britta. The duo will perform with a four-piece band in front of large-scale video projections of a selection of Warhol’s silent “living portraits” of his proto-superstars, including Nico, Lou Reed, Dennis Hopper and Edie Sedgwick.
Tickets are $20 for year-round Film Society members and $25 for non-members. $75 VIP tickets are also available and include reserved seating in the theater and a post-screening reception with Dean & Britta in attendance.
MY TAKE – Awesome. The films were mesmerizing, the live band thrilling… very Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground like. Imagine a camera on your face for 4 minutes in harsh light. The first, Richard Rheem, lighted from his right side, didn’t move a muscle, but he blinked and swallowed, that’s the only way we could tell it wasn’t a still. The second, Ann Buchanan, didn’t even blink, but her eyes teared up and a tear ran down and dripped off her chin. Others moved, or chewed gum or smoked. The last, Jane Holzer, brushed her teeth. Yuk. Most were lighted from the front or side, but Dennis Hopper was lighted from both sides, causing a shadow down his forehead, nose and mouth. DVD in March – see it – but it won’t be anything like a big screen and live band in front of a packed house of over 900 committed folks.