The night before appearing in Warhol’s film, Indiana had seen the film Tom Jones. Inspired by the movie’s “orgiastic eating scene,” he had starved himself before the filming, bringing along a large amount of fruits and vegetables to eat. Instead, Andy asked him to slowly eat just one mushroom. Andy shot nine 3 minute rolls of film which he assembled out of sequence so that there is no direct relation between the time spent eating the mushroom and how much of it is left. The film is about watching somebody eating. How much is actually eaten at any one point of time is irrelevant. The focus is on the image and not the narrative.
Eat was first shown on July 16, 1964 by Jonas Mekas at the Washington Square Gallery at 530 West Broadway, along with an unannounced first showing of Blow Job. In September 1964, a 4-minute excerpt from Eat was shown on 8mm rear-screen loop projectors, along with 4 minute excepts of three other films, Sleep, Haircut and Kiss, at the New York Film Festival, with a soundtrack by La Monte Young. A 100 foot 16mm excerpt from Eat was included with similar length excerpts from Sleep, Haircut and Empire and distributed as a sampler by the Film-Markers’ Cooperative. —warholstars.org
American pop artist Andy Warhol became a pop icon himself, symbolizing the wild decadence of the “beautiful people” of the 1970s. Born Andrew Warhola in Pennsylvania, he studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology before designing advertisements for women’s shoes. After gaining notoriety for his pop-art renditions of things such as Campbell’s Soup cans and silk screens of Marilyn Monroe, Warhol began making experimental films during the early ‘60s. Most of his early works were little more than passive chronicles of the ordinary. For example, in the film Sleep, he simple recorded a man sleeping for several hours. Such endeavors were heralded as groundbreaking by other experimental filmmakers, but the public and most critics generally regarded them as wastes of film, and their time. Still, Warhol continued making these plotless films until he eventually began adding crude soundtracks and sketchy scripts. Many of these films are filled with his “players”: the beautiful people, “freaks… read more
i soundtracked the second half with edward artemiev`s music. it was more bearable, it even became interesting. it was like the character was suddenly brought to life (before he seemed a fold in the tapestry), with a story and an inner world richer than the Hermitage. what was apathy became expecting suspense, what was undiluted laziness became angst and thoughtfulness, though the initial message was surely distorted.