There are films in the list that I have been avoiding like the plague. Given how late into this project I am, my hand is being forced and I am having to watch them like so many Godards. At little over an hour long, Vinyl is the sole entry by artist Andy Warhol to appear on the 1001 list – although if going by critical acclaim I am surprised that they opted for this hot mess rather than Chelsea Girls. Maybe the extreme length of Chelsea Girls turned them off? Either way, today I watched Vinyl.
The whole thing feels like you are watching a live cam of a New York improv troupe rehearsing a set based on A Clockwork Orange. That would go a long way to explain the extras in the background who aren’t aware they’re being filmed and how you have an hour of Edie Sedgewick sitting in the best lit position and contributing some arm movements and a mistakenly spilled drink.
Other than some close-ups at the end, the camera remains stationary – the film made of two long takes where they shot until the film ran out. A clue that you are approaching the end of the reel is that suddenly the fourth-wall is broken as someone reads out a credits list for what you are seeing.
All of what is put on screen is so wooden and done in the name of ‘experimental film’ – which makes this easily one of my least favourite films that I have been made to watch for the list. Like, I understand the feeling to get something here that is Andy Warhol which isn’t 3.5 hours long or is a single shot of a man where the implication is that he is receiving a blow job. But also, wow this felt like an incredibly pointless hour and a bit.