Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"It happened to me, but it's like watching TV."

I watched Vertigo Saturday night. My first Hitchcock – just superb, it was really, really good. I actually screamed at the end! New point on my to-do list: Watch more of his films.

I have a print of one of the panels in Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe that I bought at the Whitney Art Museum in New York three summers ago. Today I saw it sitting on my dresser and wondered, Were Warhol and Hitchcock friends? They might have been contemporaries. Did they influence one another? Did they collaborate? What sort of conversations did they have? I’ll bet they would have had really good conversations . . .

Well, three Google searches later:

Lot 219: Alfred Hitchcock - Featured on

Warhol had the opportunity to interview Hitchcock for the September 1974 issue of Interview magazine, and talked to the director about some of the stars he had worked with as well the themes of Hitchcock's films, particularly the ways in which the director drew material from true crime stories. Warhol openly proclaimed that he was nervous upon meeting the legendary director, and posed with Hitchcock by kneeling at his feet. The meeting of these two icons of the 20th century is particularly significant, as each bridged high art and popular culture in unique ways, intriguing audiences with both the heights of glamour as well as the depths of the macabre.

ANDY WARHOL: Since you know all these cases, did you ever figure out why people really murder? It's always bothered me. Why.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK: Well I'll tell you. Years ago, it was economic, really. Especially in England. First of all, divorce was very hard to get, and it cost a lot of money.
WARHOL: But what kind of person really murders? I mean, why.
HITCHCOCK: In desperation. They do it in desperation.
WARHOL: Really?....
HITCHCOCK: Absolute desperation. They have nowhere to go, there were no motels in those days, and they'd have to go behind the bushes in the park. And in desperation they would murder.
WARHOL: But what about a mass murderer.
HITCHCOCK: Well, they are psychotics, you see. They're absolutely psychotic. They're very often impotent. As I showed in "Frenzy." The man was completely impotent until he murdered and that's how he got his kicks. But today of course, with the Age of the Revolver, as one might call it, I think there is more use of guns in the home than there is in the streets. You know? And men lose their heads?
WARHOL: Well I was shot by a gun, and it just seems like a movie. I can't see it as being anything real. The whole thing is still like a movie to me. It happened to me, but it's like watching TV. If you're watching TV, it's the same thing as having it done to yourself.
WARHOL: So I always think that people who do it
must feel the same way.
HITCHCOCK: Well a lot of it's done on the spur of the moment. You know.
WARHOL: Well if you do it once, then you can do it again, and if you keep doing it, I guess it's just something to do.
HITCHCOCK: Well it depends whether you've disposed of the first body. That is a slight problem. After you've committed your first murder.
WARHOL: Yes, so if you do that well, then you're on your way. See, I always thought that butchers could do it very easily.I always thought that butchers could be the best murderers.
(Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, September 1974)

Have you seen Sweeney Todd yet? I'll go see it when it shows for a dollar in the UC. Warhol was onto something.

P.S. Spring break is so good.

P.P.S. Your Birthday Mix is amazing! I love it, I just thought you should know.

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