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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Interview with Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol forgot to come to Chicago again Thursday. "It's a funny thing," the pop artist and underground filmmaker said. "It's like I keep forgetting to come to Chicago."

Warhol was supposed to spend Thursday through Saturday here promoting the opening of his movie, "Chelsea Girls," at the Town Underground Theater.

Warhol is the artist who created the Pop Art movement out of paintings of Campbell Soup cans and Brillo boxes.

In the last two years he has moved to underground movies, including "Sleep," an eight-hour study of a person sleeping; "Empire." a day-long study of the sun's shadow moving across the Empire State Building; and "Mario Banana," in which an actor named Mario Montez eats a banana.

"Chelsea Girls" is a four-hour film using a split screen to show simultaneous action in various rooms of the Chelsea Hotel in New York City.

His agent promised that Warhol would bring along Ingrid Superstar and Nico, two of the leading players in the movie. They were supposed to arrive late Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

"We kept getting these calls saying Andy was coming, Andy was on his way, Andy was rounding everybody up," said John West, a spokesman for the Town Underground.

"I spent all night at O'Hare, meeting every plane - but, no Andy."

Warhol's agent, Lester Pierske, told The Sun-Times Thursday he guessed Andy just didn't get around to catching a plane.

A call to Warhol reached him at The Factory, which is the name of the New York Studio where he paints and films.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "Chicago, I guess I just forgot. I have all of these things to do, see. I'm making this full-length feature called 'Since.' which is going to be 25 hours long. So you can see there's a lot of work involved in it, and I really wanted to get it finished this weekend."

Warhol was reminded that he also failed to show up in Chicago last September for the opening of his"Exploding Plastic Inevitable."

"Yeah, I guess I did at that," he said. "We had just come back from California and everything was..."

His voice drifted off.

What about Nico, the blond actress who has been romantically linked with him?

"Oh, Nico would love to come to Chicago," Warhol said.

"Do you think I should send her? She's out in Monterey at the folk-rock festival. I was just talking to her."

And what about Ingrid Superstar?

"She's right here," Warhol replied. "Say hello, Ingrid."

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