Another gem from my Ubuweb video feed.
Just found this series of audio files that feature David Cronenberg curating an Andy Warhol exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto back in 2006. Here’s a nice quote from Cronenberg about Warhol’s influence on his own work:
Andy was making underground films when I was making underground films,…And I was more inspired by him than by Hollywood. He created himself: He was an outsider, a Slovakian, Catholic, gay, an artist, poor; an outsider in his own family, a triple outsider like Kafka, with his nose pressed against the New York window. And, he became the ultimate insider, the center of his own world, and drew people to him. He became a huge example of the invention of an identity.
I love how Cronenberg relates Warhol to Franz Kafka, at first seemingly impossible but in fact utterly brilliant and deeply resonant. The audio files are not too long (no more than two minutes a piece), and the provide not only insight to Warhol’s work, but also suggest just how much of Cronenberg’s themes and obsessions might be premised in the violence, sexuality, and experimentation of an artist/filmmaker like Warhol.
I particularly like the clip “Underground Filmmaking in the 60s,” which provides a discussion of the difficulty of sound in experimental filmmaking. What’s more, is that Cronenberg touches on an idea I have heard before about Warhol: he had his own “silent era.” What is meant by this is that Warhol own film career, marked in the beginning by the challenge of incorporating sound into his early underground films, can be seen as a mini-history of film. The silent era, the talkies, then a move later o to color etc. The very limitations of underground filmmaking re-enacted in a far shorter time period a kind of technical history of cinema in miniature.
Here it is, also enjoy the way Cronenberg understands the importance of presence in a theater, something we have lost a bit.
Download David Cronenberg – Underground Filmmaking in the 60s
If you liked that, the discussion of the Warhol triptych featuring Kiss (1963), Silver Disaster #6 (1963), & Blow Job (1964), may suggest some of Warhol’s influence on Cronenberg’s continued filmic fascination with sex, sadomasochism, and violence in his own films, a topic discussed recently on the bava here. You have to love quotes like, “I have no doubt that Andy understood that sadomasochistic part of formal state execution.” Add to that Blow Job, and how could you not listen? (As an aside: I imagine the triptych featured stills from his films Kiss and Blow Job, which served as bookends for the print of Silver Disaster #6, but this is pure speculation. Anyone have a better sense of this?)
Download David Cronenberg – Kiss, 1963 – Silver Disaster #6, 1963 – Blow Job, early 1964