Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
July 2, 1964, Vol. IX, No. 37
Feiffer on TV
Jules Feiffer will appear on the Steve Allen television show at 11.15 p.m. on Friday, July 3, on channel 11. More of Feiffer’s cartoons will be dramatized by Lee Philips, Joyce Van Patten, and Robert Elston. Shelley Berman and Theodore Bikel will also appear on the show.
by Jonas Mekas
I received a letter from Mike Getz, manager of the Cinema Theatre in Los Angeles, reporting on the screening of Andy Warhol’s movie “Sleep”:
“Amazing turnout. 500 people. ‘Sleep’ started at 6:45. First shot, which lasts about 45 minutes, is close-up of man’s abdomen. You can see him breathing. People started to walk out at 7, some complaining. People getting more and more restless. Shot finally changes to close-up of man’s head. Someone runs up to screen and shouts in sleep man’s ear, ‘WAKE UP!!’ Audience getting bitter, strained. Movie is silent, runs at silent speed. A few more people ask for money back. Sign on box office says no refunds.
“7:45. One man pulls me out into outer lobby, says he doesn’t want to make a scene but asks for money back. I say no. He says, ‘Be a gentleman.’ I say, ‘Look, you knew you were going to see something strange, unusual, daring, that lasted six hours.’ I turn to walk back to lobby. Lobby full, one red-faced guy very agitated, says I have 30 seconds to give him his money back or he’ll run into theatre and start a ‘lynch riot.’ ‘We’ll all come out here and lynch you, buddy!!’ Nobody stopped him when 30 seconds were up; he ran back toward screen. In fact, the guy who had said he didn’t want to make a scene now said, ‘Come on, I’ll go with you!!’
“I finally yelled at him to wait a minute. Mario Casetta told crowd to give us a chance to discuss it. Mario and I moved into outer lobby. Thoughts of recent football riot in South America. People angry as hell, a mob on the verge of violence. Red-faced guy stomps toward me: ‘Well, what are you going to do?’
“I’ll give out passes for another show.’ Over 200 passes given out.
“Decide to make an announcement. ‘Ladies and gentlemen. I believe that ‘Sleep’ was properly advertised. I said in my ads that it was an unusual six-hour movie. You came here knowing that you were going to see something unusual about ‘Sleep’ and I think you are. I don’t know what else I could have said. However –: (shout from audience: ‘Don’t cop out!! Don’t cop you!!) — ‘however…”
“‘Sleep’ continued on. Projectionist kept falling asleep. People are not able to take the consequences of their own curiosity. Woman calls at 11. ‘Are you still there?’ ‘Sure, why?’ ‘I was there earlier. Hear people in back of me saying this theatre’s not going to have a screen very much longer so I left.’ Fifty were left at the end. Some people really digging the movie.”
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 21, 2009