Thursday, April 02, 2009

13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests (2008)

In a previous entry, I highlighed the excellent book Factory Made by Steven Watson, which vividly detailed the people and craziness of the Andy Warhol Silver Factory of the 1960s. It was stated at the end of the book that Andy Warhol's films were "resting safely in the Museum of Modern Art's film vault in a rural setting outside Scranton, Pennsylvania."

In 1997, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts donated the copyright of all of Warhol's films to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA; the original film material was donated to the Museum of Modern Art, and they presently reside in its film vault, The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, located in Hamlin, PA in Wayne County--approximately 18 miles outside of Scranton.

The Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with The Andy Warhol Museum, is now making some of Warhol's rarely-seen films officially available on DVD for the first time. 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests is an collection of Warhol's legendary screen tests he filmed of visitors and regulars at The Factory in New York City in the mid 1960s. Each screen test is 4 minutes in length and was shot at a speed of 16 frames a second. Dean & Britta, former Luna members Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, were commissioned to write and record new music to serve as background for each of the short, silent films, whose subjects include Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Mary Woronov, Dennis Hopper, and several others. Dean & Britta have also been touring the country with 13 Most Beautiful... and performing live with the Warhol's screen tests projected in the background, similar to Warhol's own Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Undergound and Nico from 1966.

13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests is available to borrow on DVD from the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold, click here.

Another of Warhol's short silent films, 1964's Mario Banana, was released on the DVD collection American Film Treasures IV: Avant Garde 1947-1986, which is also available to borrow from the library. To place a hold, click here.

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