Viva in Nude Restaurant

I love Viva. She’s a beautiful person and a wonderful actor. In this clip from Nude Restaurant you can see how captivating she is.

It’s so interesting to compare Nude Restaurant (1967) to Beauty No.2 (1965). In Nude Restaurant Viva is wearing only a menu and interacting with this guy. In Beauty No.2 I’m wearing only tiny underwear and interacting with this guy. Andy repeats himself, imagine that!

color film still of Viva in Andy Warhol's Nude Restaurant

Viva (Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann) in Nude Restaurant

But Nude Restaurant is in color, in focus, and you can even hear the sound. It even has a few cuts, like, editing. And Viva is so much more engaged with her co-star. She’s magnetic really. In Beauty No.2 I’m not really engaged with my co-star. I’m doing more of a juggling act. I’ve got Gino Piserchio in bed with me, Chuck Wein off-screen interrogating me, and then of course, the camera itself, and I’m trying to keep all 3 of those balls in the air at the same time.

Nude Restaurant is so much better a film. But being “better” also makes it more normal, closer to Hollywood, just edgier. Because Beauty No.2 is so much crappier a film, it is more unique. It is about as un-Hollyood as any film has ever been. Like the Screen Tests it is Andy entirely ignoring Hollywood (yes, at the same time that he worships it!) and writing his own cinema grammar from the ground up.

Nude Restaurant remix

I just found this Nude Restaurant remix. Not sure who made it or when. Probably a whole lot more recent than 1967. Basically somebody took a piece of Viva in Nude Restaurant and folded it in a simple symmetry pattern. There has been so much symmetry in geometric abstraction for pretty much all of human culture. But figurative symmetry is a lot, lot, lot more rare! We care so much about faces! And biomorphic things can, by the tiniest of twists, delight or disgust us. Even in Medusan symmetry, Viva remains amazing.

PS: it’s so hard to type “Nude” as in Restaurant when you keep thinking about “Naked” as in Lunch. Plus the whole feminist discourse on Naked vs Nude.

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2 Responses to “Viva in Nude Restaurant”

  1. Thanks for this, Edie. I’ve heard that you were also good in Ciao Manhattan.

    • hey shagen! thanks for visiting. Isn’t Viva amazing!? She can make anything engaging.

      Ciao! Manhattan – uggh. I was actually just talking to someone yesterday, amazingly, named “Chelsea”! (apparently her parents named her after the London borough, not the hotel. But she liked to pretend it was for the hotel) Anyway, Chelsea said she was obsessed with me when she was a kid and used to watch Ciao! Manhattan over and over. So maybe there’s somehow something more there than I can see in it now.

      Watching Ciao! Manhattan for me now in 2014 is only depressing. It’s a crappy movie about a crappy life. I’m stoned in every frame of the film. I can’t believe I even participated in it.

      I think my favorite piece ATM is my 1965 Screen Test. It’s as minimal a thing as can be, but it makes me feel good to watch it.

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