**** (Four Stars)

Title: **** (Four Stars)
Director, Producer, Editing, Photography: Andy Warhol
Running Time: 512 minutes (Long version)/120 minutes (Short Version)
Premiere: 1967-07-08 New York City movie theater
Release Date: From 8.30 pm on 1967-12-15 to 9.30 pm on 1967-12-16
Venue: The New Cinema Playhouse, 125 West 41st Street, New York City [US]
Cast: The Bananas: Rock & Roll group: Manuel Peña, Rolando Peña, Juan Downey
Christian Aaron Boulogne
Tally Brown
John Cale
Nick Cernovich
Jacque Lynn Colton
David Croland
Ronnie Cutrone
Joe Dallesandro: College Wrestler
Angelina "Pepper" Davis: Girl on Love Seat
Waldo Diaz Balart
Juan Downey: The Bananas Rock & Roll group
Eric Emerson
Andrea Feldman
Patrick Fleming
Freddy Herko
Baby Jane Holzer
Ed Hood
International Velvet [Susan Bottomly]:
Ray Johnson
Rodney Kitzmiller
La Monte Young
Johanna Lawrencon
Gerard Malanga
Alan Midgette
Mary Woronov
Paul Morrisey
Tiger Morse
Billy Name [Billy Linich]
Ivy Nicholson: Girl on Chair
Ondine: Scrooge
Rona Page [Rona Schwarz]
Manuel Peña: The Bananas Rock & Roll group
Rolando Peña: The Bananas Rock & Roll group
Susan Pile
Brigid Polk: Wife to Ondine
Yvonne Rainer
Rene Ricard
Edie Minturn Sedgwick
Ingrid Superstar
Katrina Toland
Marcia Trinder
Roger Trudeau
Ultra Violet [Isabelle Collin Dufresne]
Viva: Girl in Bed
Note: Andy Warhol's **** or Four Stars, composed of footage shot between August 1966 and September 1967, originally titled Fuck,is a twenty-five hours long composite work with 30 sections. A review of the opening by Grace Glueck (Warhol Unveils 25 Hour **** Film; New York Times, 08 July 1967) contains an interesting observation for the Velvet Underground hopeful: "... As one projector reels off a far out party scene, another projects the oversized face of a man eating. On those two images may be superimposed a third scene involving an amorous couple. The soundtrack has superimpositions too, so that electronic squawks are mingled with murmured dialogue ...", screened in its entirety only once, at the New Cinema Playhouse, New York, from 8:30 pm on 15 December 1967 to 9:30 pm on 16 December 1967. Edie Minturn Sedgwick appears in reel 38, Edith Sedgwick and reel 41 Edith and Ondine shot toward the end of 1966. In January 1967, Andy Warhol shot some footage of Susan Bottomly for **** (Four Stars) — a 30 minute colour and sound segment referred to simply as International Velvet which also included Alan Midgette and Dickin. The Loves of Ondine was shot in in the summer of 1967. it was not released or edited until 1968. It opened at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre in Greenwich Village on 01 August 1968. Ondine, the sharp-tongued, tough-talking gay amphetamine-popping star of The Chelsea Girls, is shown here in a series of scenes in which he spars with Viva amongst other women. The film marks Joe Dallesandro's Warhol debut. Joe's famous wrestling scene was shot in John Wilcock's Greenwich Village apartment. Nico acts in five sections of ****:

I, a Man
The uncut reels of I, a Man were included in ****.

Imitation of Christ
Of all the films Nico shot with Andy Warhol, the one she likes the best is Imitation of Christ. Andy Warhol shot sixteen 32 minute reels for Imitation of Christ. The long version was shown once in November 1967 and then withdrawn from circulation. A month later it appeared as a segment in ****.

Segment number 25. Screened only once.

High Asbury
A thirty minutes documentary evoking Flower Power, with Ultra Violet, Ondine, Nico. Overexposed, very short shots and strobe cuts show a room in San Francisco. It is all very flowery, with rock music and people smoking, sitting on the floor. There is little movement except that I haven't seen so many cuts in a Warhol movie. A baby in blue light becomes very central. Cut to his crib in another room, swinging against the daytime light. Someone begins to play a clarinet or flute and a drummer joins in. (Velvet Underground record in the background.)

30 minutes, filmed September 1967. Images of Sausalito: water, docks, boats, street, with Nico's voice over but broken to pieces by the strobe cuts with a distant band on the soundtrack. Nico speaks slow, disconnected lines. "A man is walking on the sea." "The sea is walking." "The sea is after me." Occasional cuts to Nico's face in close-up and in sync. It is getting darker, the color is dark, deep blue with some red in the sky. "Night is light." "The night grows into the sky." "The light grows back into the earth." By now it is quite dark. Boats are silhouetted against the sky, some figures pass across across the frame, a band begins to play. Lights appear in windows far away and the band stops. Nico's voice comes in for a moment.
In his book, Stargazer, Stephen Koch includes the following partial listing of segments included in the original version of ****, which he managed to assemble from the markings on film cans and from conversations with Paul Morrissey, Gerard Malanga and Andy Warhol:
Length Reel Title
30 mins Group One
30 mins Sunset Beach on Long Island
30 mins High Ashbury (segment 76)
20 mins Tiger Morse (filmed 1966-11-00) (with Ultra Violet, Ondine, Nico)
30 mins International Velvet (filmed 1967-01-00)
2 hours Alan and Dickin (filmed 1967-00-00) (with Alan Midgette and Dicken)
8 hours Imitation of Christ
30 mins Courtroom (filmed 1966-12-00)
30 mins Gerard Has His Hair Removed with Nair (filmed 1967-07-00)
30 mins Katrina Dead (segment 23)
30 mins Sausalito
30 mins Alan and Apple (filmed late 1967-01-00) (With Alan Midgette)
30 mins Ondine and Ingrid (segment 68)
30 mins Ivy and Susan
30 mins Sunset in California
30 mins Ondine in Yellow Hair
30 mins Philadelphia Story
30 mins Katrina (segment 25)
30 mins Barbara and Ivy
30 mins Ondine and Edie
30 mins Susan and David (segment 82)
30 mins Orion (segment 42)
30 mins Emanuel (segment 35)
30 mins Rolando (segment 37)
30 mins Easthampton Beach (segment 43)
30 mins Swimming Pool
30 mins Nico-Katrina (also listed as segment 43)
30 mins Tally and Ondine
30 mins Ondine in Bathroom
33 mins A Christmas Carol (with Ondine)
25 hour movie Nico and Lou Reed
**** © Billy Name

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Serge Mironneau