CBS News Investigated ‘Underground Film’ Movement 50 Years Ago, Met Andy Warhol and Velvet Underground

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 at 10:22 am by
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Exactly fifty years ago, the CBS Evening News – chaired by Walter Cronkite – dispatched Dave Dugan to the East Village (that neighborhood name was still in infancy). The correspondent was tasked with investigating the crazy new phenomenon dubbed “underground film.”

The five-minute news piece is an intriguing time capsule – mainstream America peering into the counter-cultural underworld, so to speak. It shows Andy Warhol and his creative crew on the up-and-up. We also catch a glimpse of Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, the Velvet Underground, and Edie Sedgwick. Most are interviewed with varying degrees of success.

The best line, which pretty much sums up the story, is “Andy Warhol tries to say nothing, and succeeds.” Burn.

Some other sound bytes from the segment include:

“Not everyone digs underground movies, but those who do, can dig them here.”

“[Piero Heliczer is] shooting a film titled “Dirt” in 8MM color with the help of a musical group called the Velvet Underground.

“Andy Warhol not only uses film but also videotape; at this party he just lets his camera observe. The center of attention is his superstar Edie Sedgwick.”

[h/t A.V. Club]

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