Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Absolut Warhola


A few German filmmakers go to Andy Warhol’s ancestral home in Ruthenia, which is a part of Slovenia close to Ukraine. Warhol is the local boy who made good. Everybody knows of him, or is part of his family, though they only learned of him in 1987; decadent western art, I guess. The government has built a museum to Warhol in his home town. It looks like a bunker with two huge tomato soup cans out front, and it leaks. Buckets all over the place. This is the perfect illustration of Andy’s notorious “15 minutes of fame.” All the people in the film are getting their quarter of an hour, and seem to be enjoying it. We see his aunts, uncles, and cousins. They have different ideas on his art, but all agree that he wasn’t a “you-know-what.” One cousin is sure that no “you-know-what” ever came out of the town. It’s all very amusing, if a little patronizing at times, especially when it comes to the clueless staff at the empty museum, which doesn’t admit gypsies. “We would,” says the director, “if they’d clean themselves up. They smell.”