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Space (1965)

B/W 16mm/sound/24fps/70mins, filmed July 1965 (BN52), scenario: Ronald Tavel, Cast: Edie Sedgwick/Eric Anderson (SG147) Ed Hennesssey, Dorothy Dean, Norman Levine (AWM50)

Ed Hennessey (left background), Eric Andersen (with guitar), Dorothy Dean & Norman Levine (shirtless) in scene from Space shot at the Factory

By the time Space was made, Edie Sedgwick was already becoming troublesome to work with. When Ronald Tavel showed her a script he had written for Shower, in which two characters (Edie and Roger Trudeau) spent the whole film having a shower, Edie reacted angrily, saying that she would not be a spokesman for "Tavel's perversities." (Shower was never actually made into a film - although it was later produced off Broadway (PS502))

When Tavel showed Edie Sedgwick the script for Space, she tore it up, saying that she wasn't going to memorize anything. After reading a few lines of the script, she reacted by saying, "What is all this about? How Stupid!" Tavel walked out at that point and in a later interview said, "That may have been the last time I saw her." (EDIE282)

Ronald Tavel attributed much of Edie Sedgwick's difficult behavior to the influence of her Cambridge friend and pseudo-manager, Chuck Wein.

Ronald Tavel:

"Actually, I had the feeling that Edie didn't really mind Shower as much as she said... that she'd been pushed to complain by Chuck Wein, who wanted me out of the Factory to get my job as writer-director of the films." (Ibid)

According to Tavel, Andy Warhol approached him in early July or late June with the idea for Space, saying "Do a thing on space. I have this idea, sort of, people just isolated. I want to use a moving camera. Or, if not moving, at least, different shots of, like eight people or something. And write out the lines because she's [Edie Sedgwick] not going to memorize anything. And make it something that they have to read. We've really not done that before where they literally read." (PS502)

Tavel ended up writing a script in eight different parts for eight different people. However, during the shoot, the film became a melange of casual talking, food fights and folk singing. It featured Eric Anderson with his guitar, singing his lines, and leading Edie Sedgwick and her friends in unscripted sing-alongs of popular songs including "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." (AD29)

Space is one of the many exceptions to Warhol's static camera technique. In the film the "isolated" actors remain stationary, reading from cue cards, while Warhol "continuously moves the camera." (SG150)

Gary Comenas

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