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A woman passenger reaches over and speaks to the driver in the convertible car

Film Programme: The Last Clean Shirt

Film Programme: The Last Clean Shirt

The Last Clean Shirt, Dir. Alfred Leslie & Frank O’Hara, USA, 1964, Beta SP, 39 mins

A parody of a (Manhattan) road movie and meditation on bifurcation, in paths traveled between the seen and the heard; a road trip played over and over from different perspectives. Made by the director of the essential (and essentially goofy) beat movie Pull My Daisy in collaboration with the great New York School poet Frank O’Hara.

In a letter to his friend and collaborator, the poet Frank O’Hara, Leslie writes:

“We will shoot for two SEPERATE LEVELS on the film. One is the VISUAL, the other the HEARD & the spectator will be in TWO places or more SIMULTANEOUSLY. NOT AS MEMORY BUT AT THE SAME MOMENT. PARALLELISM! MULTIPLE POINTS OF VIEW!”

It is a blueprint for The Last Clean Shirt in which a man and a woman take a car ride through the streets of downtown Manhattan. A clock on the dashboard foregrounds the fact that the film is a single shot. The woman speaks in Finnish jibberish, interpreted by the beautiful and brilliant story told via O’Hara’s subtitles that run throughout.

Below is an online link which you can use for reference. To see the film in its original glory, check with the distributor of the film for their terms and conditions.


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