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of the perverse, but the glory, the pageantry of Transylvania and tht:

magic of Fairyland. He has lit up a part of life, although it is a


part which most men scorn.
No higher single praise can be given an artist than this, that he
has expressed a fresh vision of life. We cannot wish more for Jack
Smith than this: that he continues to expand that vision, and make
it visible to us in flickering light and shadow, and in flame.
1963

SIXTH INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD


To point out original American contributions to the cinema, FC
is awarding its sixth Independent Film Award to

Andy Warhol for his films


Sleep, Haircut, Eat, Kiss, and Empire

Andy Warhol is taking cinema back to its origins, to the days of


Lumiere, for a rejuvenation and a cleansing. In his work, he has
abandoned all the "cinematic" form and subject adornments that
cinema had gathered around itself until now. He has focused his
lens on the plainest images possible in the plainest manner possible.
With his artist's intuition as his only guide, he records, almost ob-
sessively, man's daily activities, the things he sees around him.
A strange thing occurs. The world becomes transposed, intensi-
fied, electrified. We see it sharper than before. Not in dramatic,
rearranged contexts and meanings, not in the service of something
else (even Cinema Verite did not escape this subjection of the ob-
jective reality to ideas) but as pure as it is in itself: eating as eating,
sleeping as sleeping, haircut as haircut.
We watch a Warhol movie with no hurry. The first thing he does
is that he stops us from running. His camera rarely moves. It stays
fixed on the subject like there was nothing more meaningful and
nothing more important than that subject. It stays there longer than
we are used to. Long enough for us to begin to free ourselves from
all that we thought about haircutting or eating or the Empire State
Building; or, for that matter, about cinema. We begin to realize that
we have never, really, seen haircutting or eating. We have cut our
hair, we have eaten, but we have never really seen those actions.
The whole reality around us becomes differently interesting, and
we feel like we have to begin filming everything anew. A new way
of looking at things and the screen is given through the personal

The Independent Film Award 427


vision of Andy Warhol; a new angle, a new insight-a shift neces-
sitated, no doubt, by the inner changes that are taking place in man.
As a result of Andy Warhol's work, we are going to see soon these
simple phenomena, like Eating, or Trees, or Sunrise filmed by a
number of different artists, each time differently, each time a new
Tree, a new Eating, a new Sunrise. Some of them will be bad, some
good, some meuiocre, like any other movie-and somebody will
make a masterpiece. In any case, it will be a new adventure; the
world seen through a consciousness that is not running after big
dramatic events but is focused on more subtle changes and nuances.
Andy Warhol's cinema is a meditation on the objective world; in a
sense, it is a cinema of happiness.
1964

SEVENTH INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD


To point out original American contributions to the cinema, Film
Culture is awarding its seventh Independent Film Award to
Harry Smith
Harry Smith's creative work reaches across two important fields
of film:
His abstract works, both in color and black and white are among
the most complex and rich, among the most beautiful, yet to come
out of cinema. The modulations of color and form are so certain
and subtle, delicate and bold, that these films rank among the very
few where attempt is absolutely realized in attainment.
As an animator, Harry Smith is remarkable in perfection of tech-
nique, and in intensity of vision, unique. To the decorative wasteland
of contemporary animation, he has brought fantastic opulent growth
and orgiastic opiate undergrowth, the purest ritual, the most direct
uncompromising magic-whether viewed as enchantment, beguile-
ment, invocation; or as a Boschian document of possibilities of Earth,
Heaven, and Hell in our world and time.
For a generation, Harry Smith has been creating unquestionable
masterworks. Now his films have come to light, and we are delighted
to give them and their maker this recognition so long and well
deserved.
1965

EIGHTH INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD


To point out original American contributions to the cinema, Film
Culture is awarding its eighth Independent Film Award to

428 The Independent Film Award

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