EATING TOO FAST and MARIO BANANA (No.1) by Andy Warhol

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Warhol, one of the key visual artists of the 20th Century, was also a prolific and equally talented filmmaker. It is only fairly recently, as his work has started to become available again (or available for the first time), that the larger body of his films (beyond the well-known titles such as Sleep, Empire, Blow Job, and My Hustler) are finally being recognized in their own right as major works of the American avant-garde. Warhol is being discovered as an important cinema stylist, whose seeming “bad” technical elements really are in the service of a profound understanding of cinema form.

Over the past decade, myths and chronically perpetuated bad information about Warhol’s films have been dissolving, thanks to the careful and detailed research of Callie Angell of the Andy Warhol Film Project. Angell has not only been correcting and disproving inaccuracies about Warhol and his films (such as that he had very little involvement in their production leaving the work to assistants – not true!) but has also been uncovering many previously unknown or unseen films made by Warhol, including Eating Too Fast.

White Light Cinema and The Nightingale are pleased to be presenting one of the very few public screenings of Eating Too Fast, the little-known “sequel” to his infamous classic Blow Job. This is a rare opportunity to see Warhol re-interpreting one of his own classic films.


EATING TOO FAST (1966, 66 min, 16mm, sound, black and white) by Andy Warhol
“EATING TOO FAST, also called BLOW JOB NO. 2, is an ironic remake, with sound, of Warhol’s 1964 minimalist classic; it is also a stunningly beautiful portrait film. Art critic and writer Gregory Battcock faces the camera in close-up, determined, it seems, to show little response to the sex act taking place below the frame. For most of the first reel, there is no camera movement, no dialogue, and little perceptible action, until a phone call prompts a humorous downward pan. Battcock’s animation during this phone conversation is in stark contrast to the resignation with which he returns to the tedium of sex. The unclimactic second reel contains many pans and other camera movements, suggesting that this film may have been intended for double-screen projection.” (Callie Angell)

MARIO BANANA (NO. 1) (1964, 4 min, 16mm, silent, color) by Andy Warhol
“Mario Montez, the well-known drag performer who also appeared in many Jack Smith films, suggestively eats a banana in close-up. MARIO BANANA, which won an award at the 1965 Los Angeles Film Festival, is an important precursor to HARLOT, in which Montez elaborates on this performance.” (Callie Angell)

Filed under: 16mm, experimental, queer, Uncategorized