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Lacking a formal narrative, Warhol's art house classic follows various residents of the Chelsea Hotel in 1966 New York City, presented in a split screen with a single audio track in conjunction with one side of screen.
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 like Phil Silvers. Joe and Holly try to make a go of things in their Lower East Side basement, from which Holly goes forth from time to time to cruise the Fillmore East and to scavenge garbage cans, while Joe's journeys are in search of real junk... Trash is true-blue movie-making, funny and vivid.--Vincent Canby, The New York Times. Written and directed by Paul Morrissey, "presented" by Andy Warhol.Written by
Paul Morrissey, who was against drugs, wanted the movie to deglamorize drug taking. The original title planned for the film was "Drug Trash," but it was decided it was too obvious. See more »
It don't do anything, Geri.
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Unlike his predecessor the new UK censor had little time for Warhol's movies and, again unlike , Trash would receive a checkered history in the UK. The film was rejected for a UK cinema certificate in 1971 and only passed the following year in a much shorter form (the distributor having removed around 8 mins of dialogue) and with heavy BBFC cuts which removed heroin scenes, a sequence where Holly attempts to fellate Joe, and an infamous masturbation scene involving Holly and a beer bottle. The initial 1991 UK video release by Virgin Video featured the same heavily cut cinema version, which was then cut by a further 1 minute 12 secs by the BBFC to remove shots of instructive heroin use. The 1996 First Independent Films video release featured the original longer print which restored the dialogue edits and the fellatio/masturbation scenes, though 2 mins 20 secs of BBFC cuts were again made to the heroin scenes. The film was finally passed completely uncut in the UK in June 2005. See more »
Morrissey has said that he wanted to show how drug addicts are really nothing more than trash, which I guess would make this film little more than a 60s "Reefer Madness." Fortunately, he is enough of a filmmaker to let himself (and us) be surprised by the insanely goofy, and sometimes just insane, performances of the people in front of his camera.
Dallesandro is very photogenic, and seems to really be trying to shape and stay in a character. Andrea Feldman is simply crazy, with her flat expression, drawling monotone, and probably pathological rhyming speech, but she does manage to rip out some of the film's funniest lines. Jane Forth doesn't have a lot of control (she seems to be struggling not to laugh while dragging the naked, O.D.ing Joe around her apartment), but her story about Danny DiVito and the tank is not to be missed. Holly Woodlawn is every bit as good as you have heard. As screwed up and drug-addled as she may have been (and, fortunately, no longer seems to be), Woodlawn is a natural actor with a broad range and a raging intelligence.
Finally, the film, though out of focus at points and probably shot with terrible equipment, is surprising beautiful. Morrissey's later, and weaker, "Spike of Bensonhurst" shows that this is no accident. He really does have an eye, and he shows in "Trash" that he has a willingness to let the performances speak for themselves, even if he has no ability to shape those performances.
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