Film Love presents
Empire's Final Reel
Andy Warhol and the Cinema of Darkness


Tuesday, October 15, 2019
7:30 pm
at Beautiful Briny Sea
408 Woodward Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312


Just after 2:00 am in the early hours of July 26, 1964, in a building in midtown Manhattan, Andy Warhol and friends began shooting the tenth and final reel of the film Empire. The previous nine reels had been single-take thirty-three minute unmoving shots of the Empire State Building filmed in sequence that evening. By the time the last reel was begun, the building’s lights had been turned out. The last reel of the film takes place largely in darkness.

On October 15, 2019, Film Love presents a special event dedicated to the remarkable final reel of Empire. This event follows Film Love’s full screening of the entirety of Empire, which takes place on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at The Works Upper Westside, in conjunction with the Hambidge Center.

While the film’s scandalously long portrait of the Empire State Building at night has been often discussed and parodied, the final reel is little noticed and hardly commented upon. Yet far from being a mere prank, Empire’s final reel is part of a long tradition of the cinema of darkness, absence, stasis, and silence. At this event – which will be part performance, part multiple-projector presentation, curator Andy Ditzler will show the final reel of Empire and other film materials, and will present research on the paradoxical subject of moving images without movement and without imagery. Why did Warhol choose to photograph darkness? Unlike the other nine reels, the tenth reel’s original negative is lost – why? As darkness descends on the Empire State Building, to what extent does Empire become a comment on empire? And what do moving images without movement or imagery reveal to us about cinema, and the stories we tell?

The full screening of Empire (October 12) and the event Empire’s Final Reel (October 15) complete a series of Film Love events on the subject of Empire, begun in 2014.

Beautiful Briny Sea
408 Woodward Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Note: Attend on October 12 to see the full Empire, including Warhol’s imagery of the Empire State Building. Only the final (dark) reel of Empire will be seen on October 15.

Empire's Final Reel is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to great but rarely seen films, especially important works unavailable on consumer video. Programs are curated and introduced by Andy Ditzler, and feature lively discussion. Through public screenings and events, Film Love preserves the communal viewing experience, provides space for the discussion of film as art, and explores diverse forms of moving image projection and viewing.

Film Love home page

Frequent Small Meals home