Ronald Tavel's THE LIFE OF JUANITA CASTRO is one of Andy Warhol's triumphs as a filmmaker. A playwright (Tavel himself) taunts a number of actors into improvising a truly ridiculous but ...
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Ronald Tavel's THE LIFE OF JUANITA CASTRO is one of Andy Warhol's triumphs as a filmmaker. A playwright (Tavel himself) taunts a number of actors into improvising a truly ridiculous but subtlely meaningful meditation on Fidel Castro and his family, at a time when the revolution was bringing back disquieting stories of executions and imprisonments and, particularly, virulent hatred and torture of homosexuals in Castro's Marxist paradise. Hilarious as JUANITA is, it remains a history lesson wherein fascism itself is on display and the audience is encouraged to laugh---but with some discomfort.
A satire on the Cuban Revolution as seen through the eyes of Castro's sister.
The Team of Ronald Tavel and Andy Warhol devised to turn out movies prodigiously at the breakneck speed of one or two features per month. The inspiration for Juanita Castro, (a satire on the Cuban Revolution as seen through the eyes of Fidel Castro's sister) came easily from a variety of contemporary sources, but mostly from an article in Life magazine. Before shooting Ronald Tavel aranged three rows of seats for the actors, then he and Warhol set up the camera in front of them, not satisfied with it he moved it of to the side and placed a lamp stand where the camera was and told the actors to address the lamp stand. The dialogue is read out to the cast, then the cast recites what was said as a sort of a verbal card cue, meanwhile the camera rolls capturing everything. At the end when Juanita is ordered to stand up and address the camera she steps out of veiw of the camera and talks to the lampstand. Although Edie Sedgewick is not credited in this film, she is off ot the side and can be seen breifly.
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