The story of Joe [Dallesandro] and his lover-protector, Holly [Woodlawn], who is something to behold, a comic book Mother Courage who fancies herself as Marlene Dietrich but sounds more ... See full summary »
"Heat" is a parody of "Sunset Boulevard." Joey Davis, an unemployed ex-child actor, uses sex to get his landlady, Lydia, to reduce his rent, and then tries to exert his influence on Sally ... See full summary »
Ondine is a gay man attempting to re-adjust his sexuality via various encounters with different women. After trying his luck with three women, Ondine becomes a background character in a ... See full summary »
This film is a satire of the women's liberation movement, staring a trio of female impersonators. Candy is an aloof heiress caught in an unhappy relationship with her brother. Jackie is a ... See full summary »
Donna and Jane are two American hippies, searching for sex and romance in Paris but, mainly, rich husbands. Eventually, Donna finds a perfume industrialist, Michael, who wishes to marry her... See full summary »
The adventures of an upper-class suburban family abruptly confronted with the younger brother's discovery of his homosexuality, the elder sister's suicide attempt and sado-masochist ... See full summary »
Marina de Van
Modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel. After committing a murder, a young couple on the run find refuge in a remote cottage in the woods, where they become trapped by the perverse hermit who lives there.
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 »
I guess only a selected number of audience members really had any interest in watching how a male hustler in New York operates but I'd be willing to bet that even these brave souls were turned off by the irritating patchwork technique and deliberately muffled sound recording on display here; the fact that these inherent 'defects' were a direct result of the film's low-budget/underground/experimental nature is, I'd say, beside the point. Anyway, for those so inclined, the film features extensive male nudity and Joe Dallesandro, understandably, became an underground and gay icon!
The episodic structure showing the day-to-day routine of the hustler protagonist offers a couple of mildly interesting scenes: his meeting with (and eventually posing for) an eccentric elderly artist; the one where Dallesandro expresses his views on his unusual line of work and delineates his particular modus operandi to a couple of prospective 'colleagues' including perhaps the unlikeliest of hustlers a bespectacled nerd! Perhaps mercifully, the film ran for only 89 minutes against the IMDb's claim that its complete length is 105 (but the latter could well be a mistake)!
I had watched a few other of Warhol's 'movies' and this one is decidedly not as satisfying as the most tolerable example I've run into yet, BAD (1977), and only slightly better than the likes of MY HUSTLER (1965) which were mostly a strain to sit through. The fact that this was only the first part of a trilogy did not augur well but, as the saying goes, you gotta to do what you gotta do and the other two 'chapters' had to follow in quick succession...
Despite my generally negative reaction to it, FLESH is nevertheless still valuable as a 1960s time capsule and as a prototype of the Underground scene of that era, both cinematically and in real life. For the record, an image of Dallesandro from this film adorns the sleeve of The Smiths' self-titled 1984 debut album and transsexual Candy Darling (who appears here rather unremarkably) was immortalized in "Candy Says", the opening track of The Velvet Underground's eponymous 1969 album. Although the latter band is my all-time favorite, and one of the reasons for this is that, through their sheerly unique and ground-breaking music, they described a lifestyle so utterly different from my own, this is truly a case where I'd much rather experience something aurally instead of visually!
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