I, An Actress
Though there are numerous instances in this series where the non-actor is cast in an effort to amplify the realism at play in a film, the American underground cinema of the 1960s and ’70s suggests a path in the opposite direction, in which irony helps to obliterate any pretense toward realism. In I, An Actress, George Kuchar, who with his brother Mike, began making inspired 8mm riffs on Hollywood genre tropes as a teenager in the Bronx, is seen in one of his most memorable solo outings, directing a student screen test before grabbing the reins and performing the scene himself, taking the viewer to divine heights of overacting. In Vinyl, Warhol, as elsewhere in his filmography, showcases a kind of acting degree zero, a Ronald Tavel–adapted version of A Clockwork Orange. Edie Sedgwick, seemingly superfluous to the mock-violent action on display in the fixed, crowded frame, had something of a star turn in her debut role by virtue of her screen presence alone, with all its captivating indifference.