Camp (1965)


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9 August 2001 | nunculus
Warhol's GONG SHOW
In an attempt to define Susan Sontag's nebulous conceit, "camp," Andy Warhol amasses a bunch of performers--some of whom are Factory insiders, some not--to do some, as they used to say in the early sixties, "camping." The highlight is Jack Smith literally coming out of a closet: Smith's combination of smirks, deep but impenetrable but super-visible thoughts, and retardate behavior made him one of the most jaw-dropping performers ever recorded on nitrate. There is literally no one like him; Andy Kaufman's stunts seem like cheap SNL gags in contrast. Even those jaded jades at the Factory are utterly overwhelmed by his aura of sacredness. The other stuff is fun, too, especially a fat guy who does a routine about "Paranoid Schizophrenics for William F. Buckley, Jr." The one drag: Mario Montez's trannie dance is interrupted by puke-inducing, Austin Powers-style zooms in and out.

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