January 18, 2020

Observing Sleep

At a relatively young age, say 20 something, I watched several minutes of Andy Warhol’s five-hour film “Sleep,” showing only a nude man sleeping through the night. There were no explosions, no trysts, just frame after frame of a nude man sleeping. Although critics determined to catch the avant garde wave insisted on making a fuss over this contribution to Warhol’s self-made mythology, I found myself bored and walked out of the theater. And later, when friends asked what I thought about “Sleep,” I just couldn’t bring myself to engage in a serious discussion of the film’s purported outrageousness, its capacity to irritate or the…