I recall watching Warhol directed My Hustler (1965) on late night television in my teens. I was intruiged by the huge amount of nothingness that filled the screen and confused by the rigid camera and fly-on-the-wall technique. The actors seemed uncomfortable, yet a little too real, dragging out a bathroom scene featuring a relatively fuzz free actor taking way longer to shave than it would take for a monkey to bic off all of it's body hair. Yet, I couldn't turn it off, I was consumed by the discomfort, I was nervous for the poor "actors", anxiously awaiting a skilled director to step into the scene and slap some craft into them. But this was the finished product, Warhol's peculiar vision. The director's satisfaction became my frustration, yet I watched to the bitter end and wondered why on earth I had bothered. I'd spent a whole 79 minutes waiting for something to happen, nothing did but my eyes belonged to Warhol. I'd just consumed a mundane slice of hustler life. He'd turned me from an innocent teenager into a seedy voyeur. Is that what he wanted?
Without Warhol's contribution to cinema, there would be no John Waters, so I suppose we can thank him for that. I recently visited a Warhol exhibition and was far more excited by the old cinema posters advertising his films and former exhibitions than I was about his famous prints. Above are the three beauties I considered stealing...
Chelsea Girls (1966)
Lonesome Cowboys (1968)