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Conversation Notated Verbatim by Gerard
Malanga During the Filming of Empire

John Palmer/Henry Romney/Andy Warhol
Gerard Malanga/Marie Desert/Jonas Mekas


John Palmer: Why is nothing happening? I don't understand.

Henry Romney: What would you like to happen?

John Palmer: I don't know. Is the Foundation going to know that you did this?

Henry Romney: I have a feeling that all we're filming is the red light.

Andy Warhol: Oh, Henry! Jonas, it's your turn to say something - you're being written down.

John Palmer: Jonas is changing the films just like me.

Henry Romney: Andy, now is the time to pan.

John Palmer: Definitely not!

Henry Romney: The film is a whole new bag when the lights go off.

John Palmer: You have to go to where the action is.

Andy Warhol: Henry, what is the meaning of action?

Henry Romney: Action is the absence of inaction.

Andy Warhol: Let's say things intelligent.

Gerard Malanga: Listen, we don't want to deceive the public, dear.

John Palmer: We're hitting a new milestone.

Andy Warhol: Henry, say Nietzsche.

Henry Romney: Another aphorism?

John Palmer: B movies are better than A movies.

Andy Warhol: Jack Smith in every garage.

Marie Menken: Someday we're all going to live underground and this movie will be a smash.

John Palmer: The lack of action in the last three 1200-foot rolls is alarming.

Henry Romney: You have to mark these rolls very carefully so as not to get them mixed up.

John Palmer: Why, are we getting sloppy?

Marie Menken: I read somewhere that art is created in fun.

Jonas Mekas: Did you know the Empire State Building sways?

John Palmer: This is the strangest shooting session I've ever been in.

Gerard Malanga: We should set up windowpanes for the audience to look through.

Andy Warhol: The Empire State Building is a star!

John Palmer: Has anything happened at all?

Marie Menken: No.

John Palmer: Good.

Henry Romney: The script calls for a "pan" right at this point. I don't see why my artistic advice is being constantly rejected. [To Andy:] The bad children are smoking pot again.

Andy Warhol: It's like Flash Gordon riding into space.

John Palmer: I don't think anything has happened in the last hundred feet.

Gerard Malanga: Jonas, how long is this interview supposed to be?

Jonas Mekas: As much as you have.

Andy Warhol: An 8 hour hard-on!

Gerard Malanga: We have to maintain our cool at all times.

John Palmer: We have to have this film licensed. I wonder if Ivy will look at this movie?

Gerard Malanga: I thought you said "I wonder if Ivy [Nicholson] will look this good.

John Palmer: That's your hang-up.

Andy Warhol: You're supposed to be writing things down.

John Palmer: Nothing has happened in the last half hour. The audience viewing Empire will be convinced after seeing the film that they viewed it from the 44th floor of the Time-Life Building and that's a whole bag in itself.

Jonas Mekas: I don't think the last reel was a waste.

Henry Romney: [to John Palmer:] I think it's too playful. (GMW85-88)

Andy Warhol