Haircut #1 (1963)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Run Time - 24 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This silent, grainy black-and-white film, shot at 24 frames per second and projected at 16 f.p.s., is one of the first of Warhol's early open-form, portraiture movies. In contrast to the scripted movies like Hedy the Shoplifter, or semi-directed films by Chuck Wein (My Hustler, Nude Restaurant, Beauty No. 2, Poor Little Rich Girl), and the almost fully directed and scripted Paul Morrissey pieces (Lonesome Cowboys), Warhol would just mention a simple idea to the actors in Haircut who then spontaneously created their movements and attitudes. Four men are in a rather seedy garret interior lit by a single bare light bulb mounted in a fixture sitting on a dresser with hair products (?) on it. One man (Billy Name) cuts another's (Billy Linich) hair, one stands seductively, and one in a kind of Australian hat takes slow drags off a pipe. They speak casually, behave as if they are stars, mocking, homoerotic, and distant, with an edge that is not lighthearted "camp." At times they fall into abstract posing configurations, while the camera obsesses on the indistinct borders of things.