Monday, December 20, 2010

Countdown of Warhol's Most Significant 'Blue' Films

Warhol's role in the American Avant-Garde is one of profound significance, not only because of its influence on underground and experimental film, but on mainstream film as well and continues to be relevant to contemporary filmmakers. Here is a countdown of his most unapologetic and deliciously perverted films that have shaped not only how we view sexuality on film, but sexuality as a whole. Most who knew him describe his as the ultimate voyeur, which is always used as a cinematic term. The camera becomes the peephole for our voyeuristic pleasure, and no one took that concept to more profound depths than Warhol. Think of the most arousing sex scene in a film that you have experienced, then think of the most disgusting and awkward. Warhol ran the gamete between both. I would call him the most significant influence on voyeurism and the cinema. In cinema, there is sex before Warhol, and sex after Warhol. This list outlines those films I believe to be the most influential on that particular evolution. I'll add more on later. 

1. Kiss (1963)
This film is absolutely paralyzing. It puts the voyeur in a trance like state as he/she is forced to focus on different interpretations of what is usually considered a personal and emotional human moment which Warhol transforms into an almost mechanical act. 

2. Beauty 2 (1965)
This film is so interesting because it allows us to experience from a 3rd perspective what we usually know as a hazy experience; namely being drunk while engaging in sexual acts. Warhol replays the experience as universal, making the voyeur reminisce about their own experiences in situations like that. Of course if you don't drink then this is irrelevant. 
3. Blow Job (1963)
Perhaps Warhol's most interesting practical joke. You knew walking into a Warhol film, there was going to be content you wouldn't otherwise see in the mainstream, and with a title like that, the voyeuristic part of our psyche goes into full functional mode. And what is it we end up seeing? Nothing sexual at all really, and yet, it is the most sexual piece of film. Warhol allows us to experience the mental act rather than the physical act. 
4. Tarzan and Jane Regained...Sort Of (1964)
Warhol's take on a classic Hollywood exploit, perhaps in a effort to point out the hypocrisy of old Hollywood that always stood behind the banner of being clean, while having Johnny Weismuller oiled up like a Park Fair hog and prancing around in little less than a scarf around his privates. 
5. Blue Movie (1969)
The title says it all, but not really. It is a play. It is almost like children during fun time. It is a play on the term 'blue' which at that time meant 'pornographic', it is a play on gender roles, on sex acts, and what we perceive to be erotic. He transforms the grown up conceptuality of sex into an exercise in child's play.

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