Wednesday, September 20, 2006
And Now For Something Completely Warhol
Tonight PBS American Masters airs Part One of a Two Part Documentary on an American Master and an American Original, Andy Warhol. Part two airs tomorrow night. Both nights start at 9PM Eastern Time / 8PM Central.
Another fine documentary is 1990's The Life And Times Of Andy Warhol.
Part Two of the Andy Warhol documentary that aired on PBS stations last night sucked stale and putrid wind.
It's not that it wasn't well made or lacked production values. It simply spent far, far, far too much time focusing on Warhol's work in the 1960's while leaving little time to cover his work and life during the 1970's and 80's.
Part One, which aired Wednesday night, began its focus on Warhol in the 1960's in the program's second hour. This continued for most of what was Part Two, cramming in the 1970's and 1980's - including Warhol's death - in its final 20 or 25 minutes. A true shame because Andy produced a lot of work and influenced other artists in the 70's and 80's, none of which was covered in Part Two.
Also taking up far too many precious minutes was the time dedicated to Warhol's filmmaking, which while interesting, was unnecessary especially at the cost of failing to allot equitable time for the 1970's and 80's.
Two other notes: The voice of the (female) main narrator of the documentary is atrocious. She sounded more like she was reading the ingredients for a recipe or like a school nurse enunciating the stages used in post-bathroom hand-washing etiquette rather than someone narrating a film.
The male voice of the person reading from Warhol's writing - who tries to sound and imitate Warhol - is equally atrocious. Just because you're reading from the writings of the main character or subject of the film doesn't mean you have to try to sound like that person. And if this was a conscious choice on the part of filmmaker Ric Burns - damn, man - a poor choice.
Chuck Workman's "The Life And Times Of Andy Warhol" is a better and tighter documentary that covers all periods of Warhol's life in a much more balanced (read: equal time allotted to eras) fashion.
I never knew the extent of the repeated rejections he went through - any artist/writer/performer has to get used to their work being rejected - but I had no idea how much rejection his work was met with, even after his celebrity status. Not to mention the personal rejection he also experienced.
His is one of the Ultimate American success rags-to-riches story.
Thanks for visiting.
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