"The Chelsea Girls", Warhol's most ambitious film to date, has been labeled "an odyssey of the new generation", "a voyage to the Hell of drop-outs and junkies". The theme, it would seem, is the searching trip; the chief symbol, that old haunt of artists, the Chelsea Hotel…. The agglomeration of scenes, in forty-five minute spurts projected two at a time on a split screen, hardly suggests any unified theme—of consecutive movement, ideas, or even locale…. You are faced not with obscurity but a more mysterious effect—mundane clarity. You expect the artistic film to speak a figurative language when its language is in fact simply literal.
The literal in "The Chelsea Girls" happens to be highly...
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