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Friday, June 24, 2005

Review: The Velvet Underground and Nico - A Symphony Of Sound (videotape)

I watched most of this last night. More specifically, the most I could handle was ten minutes. What I remember is retained like a dream - a slow moving, senseless, melodically noisy yet tuneless dream. It's in the collection of the Museum Of Modern Art Film Library. Way in the back somewhere.

Paul Morrissey, who filmed Chelsea Girls, Flesh, Trash and other movies people think were directed by Andy Warhol, here displays the talent of an eight year old on hashish. He zooms in and out, focuses and unfocuses, moves the camera up to the ceiling then down to the floor, and films the spaces between people. There's also a thousand edit cuts that create endless annoying time skips. It's hard not to think of both Fritz Lang and David Lynch. It's art because an artist says it is. I understand that much.

The jam they're playing is about 54 minutes long and drugs would definitely help for both musicians and viewers. The sound may or may not be synched but I can say it sounds like it's coming from a heat vent in a tenement.

After the band stops playing the camera stays on while people mill around. A policeman shows up and Andy Warhol walks around. Lou Reed stands next to Nico The Drug Sponge and other people stand around for a few minutes. I don't remember much because it was a dream I had, I think.


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