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Chelsea Girls

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Director: Andy Warhol
Year: 1966

The projection is the most visible aspect of Warhol's most famous work, as it is projected as two screens side-by-side, with the two reels overlapping each other for most of their 30-40 minute length. The sound comes from one or the other. These reels capture his Factory actors mostly improvising in rooms at the Chelsea Hotel, so we get groups of people sitting on the bed talking, shouting, haranguing, arguing with one another.

At times, it drags, at other times it enervates. Nico sits looking distraught in the penultimate reel, while another actor (Ondine) plays 'the Pope' and brutally mistreats Rona Page. Mostly it captures figures from this era of experimentation, and fascinates us with their personae as they had developed under Warhol's gaze. At times it even attains a luminous beauty.
Cinema's Location:
London SE1 8XT
Rating (out of 5):
thoughtful ****
Cinema:
BFI Southbank
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