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Video Wonder: Andy Warhol’s 5-Hour Film of a Man Sleeping

Alas, it’s not the full five hours, but here are 40 minutes of Andy Warhol’s 1964 film Sleep, which features his friend and lover John Giorno—you guessed it—sleeping. Sleep premiered at the Gramercy Arts Theatre in front of an audience of nine people, only two of whom walked out. Some highlights: at minute 2:18, a change in camera angle; at 11:13, a close-up of the neck; at 16:19, an unidentifiable body part; 28:58 clarifies body part as a derrière; 28:58-40:20: nude derrière.

Sleep was part of Warhol’s experimentation with anti-film, which also included an eight-hour black-and-white silent production called Empire, also from 1964, featuring slow-motion footage of the Empire State building. If this sounds appealing but you’d like a little more action and a lot more color, check out seven hours on a moving train, from Norway’s Slow TV.

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.