Andy Warhol’s Early Films

Andy Warhol’s Early Films

While happily buzzing along on Obetrol, a diet pill often abused as a stimulant, Andy Warhol began filming his boyfriend, poet John Giorno, as he slumbered at night. This resulted in the long silent film Sleep, which was composed of twenty-two different shots, some of which were looped and repeated several times. Warhol also began working on a series of Kiss films, which included little more than scenesters such as Ed Sanders locking lips in semi-slow motion. “When he made his first films, Kiss, already I had almost fifteen years of cinema in me,” Jonas Mekas recalled. “I was publishing Film Culture magazine already for ten years, and writing. So I was very familiar, and I immediately saw that this is different—this is new, this is important. I was running at that time a filmmakers’ showcase on Twenty-Seventh Street between Park Avenue and Lexington, and that’s where I presented that series of Kiss films and premiered Sleep and his early silent films.”

From Chapter 10 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


Andy Warhol's longtime residence
216-218 E 75th St, New York, NY 10021