Friday, February 5, 2010

Warhol Screen tests

During Andy Warhol's time making weird little Factory movies in the mid-sixties he also did hundreds of screen tests where he'd put visitors to his studio in front of the camera for a few minutes. Subjects ranged from people off the street to Edie Sedgwick (above) to Salvador Dali, Dennis Hopper and Bob Dylan. And as moving art they're very captivating. I don't believe they'd ever had much public exposure until a couple of years ago when the Warhol Museum commissioned Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips to put music to 13 of them.

As evidenced by his otherwise interesting memoir, Wareham is a rather boring knee-jerk leftist jackhole, but I've always been enamored with his music. A Luna producer once aptly characterized it as being like urban prairie music. And to me it complements the films rather well. I believe the shows are on hiatus at the moment, but I'd highly recommend seeing Wareham and Phillips performing with the films projected as a backdrop should the opportunity present itself.

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