Premium

1971

Dir. Ed Ruscha , 16mm Color Sound 00:24:00

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Description

A man played by the artist Larry Bell buys a shopping cart full of tomatoes, lettuce, and other salad foods and five one-gallon cans of dressing. Driving to a skid row flophouse, he rents a $2 room from the desk clerk, played by the designer Rudi Gernreich. In the rat-infested room, he pulls back the covers of the bed and on it very carefully prepares a huge salad, a sculptural composition of greens that flower out symmetrically from its center and then replaces the bed cover...

Premium has echoes of the pranks of the Surrealists and links with some of Ruscha's other works; it may be thought of as a film of a word and so parallel to his paintings of words; as a pun on the brand name of a common household food, it recalls one of his most early paintings, Spam.

[Source: David James "The Most Typical Avant-Garde", 2005]