Chelsea Girls

Director: Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey
Year Released: 1966
Rating: 3.0

One of the (many) infamous Warhol pictures - made with complete disregard for the standards of moviemaking and consumed with the idea of "looking" - about his dubious cast of "superstars" shooting up, bickering or staring into space. The technique and audaciousness of the project is probably more valuable than what each of the participants bring to it (Morrissey and Warhol had to have given them instructions - to stay in frame, never stop talking, etc.), as the split screen approach (along with alternating audio channels) keeps the eyes moving and occupied, unsure of what to devote attention to. It could be argued that the two screens are a statement about the process of viewing a picture - that no matter what is being perceived, there's always something that's being missed - and that the entire 3 hour and 15 minute picture is basically a study in human behavior, with oddballs like Mario Montez, Mary Woronov and Nico placed in confined little spaces like slides under a microscope. Do you want to see three girls arguing in a room? An older woman shoot up and take a phone call? Some kinky sex games in a bed? Or is it better to look away from all this and pretend these people don't exist?