Geri (Geraldine Smith) ejects her husband Joe (Joe Dalessandro) from bed, and insists he go out on the streets to make some money for her girlfriend's abortion. This leads to Joe's various encounters with clients on the streets of New York City: an Artist (Maurice Bradell) who wishes to draw Joe, a Gymnast (Louis Waldon), and another 'John' (John Christian). Joe spends time with other hustlers, one of whom is played by his real life brother, and teaches the tricks of the trade to the New Hustler (Barry Brown). Back home, Joe interacts with his real life one-year-old son. Joe gets back home, presumably at the end of his duty work, and is in bed with Geri and her girlfriend Patti (Patti D'Arbanville). The women strip Joe and begin to get intimate with each other; Joe gets bored and falls asleep. (Source: Wikipedia) Written by
UK censor John Trevelyan was wary of issuing the film a cinema certificate and suggested to the distributors that the film be shown on a club basis. When it was initially shown at the Open Space Theatre in London in February 1970 the cinema was raided by police who attempted to seize the film, leading Trevelyan himself to hastily rush to the cinema and vigorously defend the movie against possible prosecution, calling the police action 'unjustified and preposterous'. In the light of this incident Trevelyan was able to grant the film an uncut 'X' certificate. See more »
During a scene with the go-go dancer, Candy and Jackie alternately call her by the character's first name (Terry) and that of the actress playing her (Geri Miller). See more »
Flesh... the First of the Warhol/Morissey/Dallesandro Trilogy
I was a junior in high school when "Flesh" hit the big screens, but had the good fortune to see it at midnight movie houses in NYC just two years later.
Flesh is the first part of a so-called "trilogy" of films, featuring Joe Dallesandro, as an object of desire. It bears the "Warhol" name, but is more the work of Paul Morissey. Essentially the story concerns itself with the exploits surrounding one day in the life of a street-wise male hustler (played by Joe Dallesandro). Joe is young, beautiful, and a bit naive... but he manages to bring home the bacon to his wife, for reasons which should not be explained to appreciate the film fully.
Of special note to film buffs is that this film (along with the remaining two of the trilogy), had no script, per se. Warhol's superstars were given simply a premise... and the words and actions which the viewer sees are quite natural (even at times ridiculous or non-sensical). But all in all it works... "Rolling Stone" noted in its review that the film was better than "Midnight Cowboy", a film of the same year, more polished by Hollywood (An Academy award winner for Best Film) , with big name talent (I equally admire the film)... but FLESH, being improvised, was somehow more gut wrenching and realistic, without the need for complex sub-plots and any "cause de celebre" .. or for that matter any cause at all!
The film grossed more than $3 million dollars and was an absolute sensation, particularly in the German market (which, ironically, thought they were given a "censored version" of the film because of the post-editing....see note below).
Curiously, the film is very much "cut and paste" with "pops". "clicks", "flashes", and dialogue literally cut off mid-sentence. It is almost as if Warhol/Morissey are stating a simple truth that it is a "day in the life" of a superstar, snippets for your voyeuristic tendencies. Far better than earlier Warhol works of 8 hours of sleeping, and the statue of liberty as a 20+ hour movie.
FLESH, in my opinion, is the first of the Warhol films that actually is digestible (given a wide pallette) and Warhol's/the Factory's first legitimate response to the Hollywood phenomenon of "stardom".
As the first of a "trilogy", it portrays a young, desirable male icon, naive, sought after, responding to invitations to please his family. Subsequent films would show the "same character" with a differing set of values. (See "Trash" and "Heat")
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