12+ hours with Andy Warhol

3 February 2017

On the occasion of 30 years since his death on the 22nd of February 1987, “Flix it at the Onassis Cultural Centre” dedicates 12+ hours to the filmmaker Andy Warhol by screening seven of his films and attempting a long plunge into his cinematic universe, which is as unsorted as his artistic one.

Kicking off on the afternoon of Saturday 4 February and concluding on the morning of Sunday 5 February, the fifth floor of the Onassis Cultural Centre meets the lively setting of legendary New York City club Factory, with film screenings from 16mm projectors, impromptu screen tests that will ensure everyone their own 15 minutes of fame, interactive discussions about the cinema of Andy Warhol, music playing from vinyl records and an all-night party with music of that era (The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Nico, John Cale, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and more), but also from bands and artists who were influenced by the revolution of the Factory and the glam rock ’n’ roll of a whole generation.

In 16mm projection copies, directly from The Circulating Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the superstars of a whole era –from Factory’s “it girl” Edie Sedgwick to The Velvet Underground, and from poet Gerard Malanga to legendary Viva– will narrate in their own way the history of a purely revolutionary idea which envisioned the Factory becoming Hollywood of the underground, and Andy Warhol incorporating –in his hyper-productive brilliance– cinema like nobody had ever seen it before (and after) him.

The six-hour-long Sleep (the first film that Warhol shot on 16mm), Poor Little Rich Girl (the most well-known film featuring Edie Sedgwick, the girl Andy Warhol loved more than anything), Vinyl (an early cinematic adaptation of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange), Kitchen (shot entirely within the few square meters of a New York City kitchen), The Nude Restaurant (Warhol’s response to the porn industry trend), the rare The Life of Juanita Castro (a political statement on fascism), and The Velvet Underground and Nico (the most important document of the band that Andy Warhol filmed), are films which will be screened all together as part of this special event of “Flix it at the Onassis Cultural Centre” and which demonstrate in the best way possible the essence of cinema, as it was defined by Andy Warhol.

Equally fascinating today, as it was at the very moment of its creation, Andy Warhol’s cinema is first and foremost a deeply anthropocentric cinema, based on observation, voyeurism, improvisation –both in terms of acting and of filming– and, naturally, repetition. Consistent with the pop aspect of his art, Andy Warhol prolongs time, plays with the concept of “ennui”, denies the fact that the filmmaker has to continuously stand behind the camera and pushes the boundaries of mainstream, merely to confirm his philosophy, that wanted his films to be screened continuously inside, or even outside, the Factory, without necessarily someone watching them. “I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.”

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