Piero Heliczer 1937-1993
The Making of an Underground Film (1965)
Piero Heliczer shooting his film 'Venus in Furs' (they mistakenly call it 'Dirt'). Released by Boo-Hooray as part of their exhibit on Heliczer and The Dead Language Press. Features the earliest known footage of The Velvet Underground. Shots of Angus MacLise on percussion, a bit of Heliczer on sax, interview segments with Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage (with a clip of a film he shot of Michael McClure) and Edie Segewick.

Here's some random bits about this and the lost film:


December 31, 1965, Walter Cronkite Show, CBS

The Making of an Underground Film about Piero Heliczer's film Venus In Furs, with the Velvet Underground performing Heroin, Heliczer joining in on saxophone.


Film Venus in Furs was shoot by Heliczer on 8mm camera. CBS TV crew was around with their video? camera, so Heliczer and CBS footage is different. http://mujweb.cz/www/heliczer/filmography/muf.htm

Film had to be silent, but as far as I know Piero used music taped by CBS. By the way Piero taped some very early VU music and used it during his film projections.



Piero Heliczer, 16 mm, color, 16 minutes, silent with sound on tape, 1965

Featuring : Julie Garfield, Barbara Rubin, Chas Stanley and Margaret Boyce Cam, Lou Reed, John Cale, Angus MacLise and others.

Original soundtrack by The Velvet Underground. Tape speed: 7.5 ips.

There is also a series of photos, shot on the film set by Adam Ritchie, which have been published in various books/magazines.

""Sound engineer: CBS-TV News. This companion film to Satisfaction is set as the opposite solstice and recapitulates part of Dirt. With Julie Garfield and Barbara Rubin (as Nuns), Chas Stanley (as Death) and Margaret Boyce Cam (as the Nurse), Lou Reed, John Cale, Angus MacLise and others. A chess game under the bridge becomes a Christmas party in Hell. A must for lepidopterists" - Piero Heliczer

""Previously shown one night per week to club or subscription audiences, 'The Bridge' attractions become Gotham's 'hip evenings at the bijou', as jet setters smuggled friends into screenings to watch each other. Whether or not regular full week showings will trim the glamor now that 'anybody' can viaw Venus In Furs Meets The Velvet Underground is conjonctural. Latter sample is part of the Bridge's first program dubbed 'Obsessions' skedded March 9 through 15 and is described as 'where a nun and nurse go to hell because of their sinful life in St. Vincent's Hospital." - Variety