Sex, Leather Jackets & Cigarettes

Sex, Leather Jackets & Cigarettes

74 Minute Running Time
Programs: Andy Warhol 1960s Gay Cinema, U.S. Features

This Andy Warhol retrospective program begins with two celebrated short films by the pop art master, Mario Banana #1 and Mario Banana #2. The shorts were filmed at The Factory and feature Mario Montez, a renowned drag performer in 1960s New York. Montez appeared in a number of Warhol’s early films, as well as in Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1963). In the Mario Banana shorts, Montez is decked out in drag and suggestively eats a banana while staring into the camera.

Vinyl, Warhol’s interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange, is an intensely physical film, increasingly violent with an ominous edge. Warhol eschews Burgess’s dystopian Britain in favor of controlled dystopia inside his own Factory. The tale’s violence is manifested here by scenes of homoerotic sadism, omnipresent in the background and often brought to the forefront, with a silent and stunning Edie Sedgwick looking on. Jubilant dance sequences break up the violence, with anachronistic use of “Nowhere to Run,” by Martha and the Vandellas (to see Gerard Malanga and Sedgwick dance 60s-style to this song is worth the price of admission!). Filmed unrehearsed, pain — and relief from pain — is brought into sharp focus toward the end of the piece, while “Tired of Waiting for You” by The Kinks plays in the background.

IMAGE: Vinyl,1965 ©2010 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.

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