Films from the Underground
Andy Warhol + Lou Reed
The Chelsea Girls
The Chelsea Girls, 1966, 204’
16mm film, black and white, color, sound
Transferred from 16 mm to DVD
Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
©2014 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a Museum of Carnegie Institute
All rights reserved.
One of the first "underground" films of the 1960's to achieve a degree of mainstream acceptance (it was an actual hit in New York City, was well-received in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and was banned in Chicago and Boston), Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls offered a long, unblinking look into the lives of Warhol's retinue of "superstars" as they showed off for the camera in their various rooms in the notorious Chelsea Hotel, long a favored New York hangout for writers, artists and bohemians. Brigid Berlin (“The Duchess”), Nico, Mario Montez, Ondine (“The Pope”), Ingrid Superstar, International Velvet, Rene Richard, Eric Emerson, Gerard Malanga, filmmaker Marie Menken, Ari Boulogne (Nico’s son) a gorgeous young Mary Woronov—who danced with the Velvet Underground as part of “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable”—and others are seen in the film’s three and a quarter-hour running time The film was presented as a split screen, running simultaneously on two projectors with alternating soundtracks. It was a mixture of B&W and color footage.