Andy Warhol's world


















I was never really ecstatic about watching Andy Warhol's 1960's film experiments because a) They would mostly consist of experimental film-making that was made to test its audiences patience and b) many of these movies were not really made with any substantiated idea or protocol behind them. There are many out there that will disagree with me and say that Warhol was in fact the film genius that many made him out to be. I respect that opinion and I do believe he had some kind of imprint in film history by pushing boundaries for better or for worse.

His factory which developed many of these films had more or less the same crew working in and around the clock. One film I do particularly find interesting that came out of the "factory" is "Blow Job" which was filmed in January of 1964 and depicted the reaction of an un-credited actor named DeVern Bookwalter while he was getting fellatio. As our patience gets tested and we wander in and out of this perplexing film, a few questions start to pop into our heads:  1) Is Bookwalter getting a blow job from a male or a female? Warhol's crew had many bi-sexuas and homosexual people at the factory and 2) When does the moment of Orgasm actually happen?

Bookwalter is seen moaning, tilting his head back and staring desirably at the camera throughout the film's 30 minute running time. That's right, the film is close to 30 minutes long and focuses just on his face. No worries, you might find yourself dosing off at some points but -for some reason- you do come back and focus again. Is it because we are curious to see the orgasm happen? Warhol does show it, but again only through Bookwalter's facial gestures. We never, for one second, see the "giver" only the "receiver". It's a bold, frustrating film that is worth a look -and patience- just to gather your own reaction to what exactly Warhol was trying to achieve.

It's a bit more watchable than Warhol's infamously dull screen tests from the 1960s where he'd tell his participants to not blink and stare at the camera. Warhol was a fascinating man that went through many ideas to try and capture the many different ways art could be conceived. He was a groundbreaker, but not without dulling our senses in the process.
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