Banjo’s Warhol-ish Screen Test

In the spirit of the Warhol screen tests, I decided to film my dog for +/- 5-minutes in a single, static take. Then make the film look faux old.

I tried first with my little dog, but she kept panicking and leaping out of the chair. Then Banjo came over and gave me a distinct look of What? You want a dog in the chair? He leaped up immediately and settled in. Then he got bored. He got SO BORED. He couldn’t believe I wanted him to stay in the chair, sitting up. He was also distracted by some activity across the street from our house. There at the end, I asked him to bark, thinking he’d be happy to get a directive of some kind, and he was. After all he suffered, I gave him the shit ton of treats he earned.

It’s kind of tough to watch him get so frustrated with the duration of the sit. He doesn’t have a filter like the assortment of people who sat for this treatment at the hands of Warhol. The people may feign indifference or try to engage the camera in some way, but dogs don’t bother with masks.

The MoMA show Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures is up through March 21; MoMA is encouraging people to submit their own screen tests. Alas, I discovered this fact after I shot Banjo’s (not to spec) and so I have not submitted this to their little project. I shot one of myself but now have to figure out how to edit it. It’s very weird; I don’t know how I feel about it. ETA OK, S shot one of me in which something exciting happens about 30 seconds in. I have submitted it to the MoMA project.

I also shot a screen test of my cat , and at seven minutes, it is excruciating, much like many of the Warhol ones. It’s perfectly silent, and for most of the film Killian stares into the camera in a way I started to find creepy/perverse. Towards the end I can tell his forehead is wrinkled with confusion as to why I/the camera am watching him so intently. Then, profoundly bored himself, he starts to fall asleep.

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