Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot nearly 500 Screen Tests, beautiful and revealing portraits of hundreds of different individuals, from the famous to the anonymous, all visitors to ...
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Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot nearly 500 Screen Tests, beautiful and revealing portraits of hundreds of different individuals, from the famous to the anonymous, all visitors to his studio, the Factory. Subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong keylight, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film. The resulting two-and-a-half-minute film reels were then screened in slow motion, resulting in a fascinating collection of four-minute masterpieces that startle and entrance, mesmerizing in the purest sense of the word. The 13 Screen Tests included are Paul America, Susan Bottomly, Ann Buchanan, Freddy Herko, Jane Holzer (Toothbrush), Dennis Hopper, Billy Name, Nico, Richard Rheem, Lou Reed (Coke), Edie Sedgwick, Ingrid Superstar and Mary Woronov. Songwriters Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, formerly of the band Luna and currently recording as Dean and Britta, created new soundtracks for the 13 films, ...
I am not even going to try to give "13 Most Beautiful..." a numerical score, as it isn't a movie in any real sense--just a strange experiment that was recently set to music. It's also a project that is for only a limited group of viewers--those who will appreciate the film and all its oddness. In fact, I am surprised I stuck with this one!
Back in the 1960s, Andy Warhol made a lot of experimental films that were never intended for mass consumption. Among the many odd projects were some black and white video portraits he made of friends and interesting people who came into his studio, his so-called 'Factory'. These consisted of closeups of an unmoving movie camera that simply stared at the individuals. During the entirety of the this, the subjects were instructed to do nothing or next to nothing--mostly just stare into the camera. In a few cases, reactions such as crying occurred but in every case the faces remained stone-like.
Recently, the singers Dean & Britta took these old images and set them to music--very, very evocative and maudlin music. The combination make for a very odd and haunting film--one that would work best in a modern art museum. As a DVD you would buy and enjoy, I am just not sure who would want this. As for me, I meant to turn it off but was distracted and actually completed this oddity. Not terrible but certainly not something I want to see again.
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