Filmography of the sexes

Emily Charles

My editor asked if I’d ever seen one of Warhol’s films before when she assigned me to review “Trash” and I said, “No.”

To this, she responded with a raised eyebrow and the comment, “It’ll be interesting.” It definitely was.

When I first put it in, my eyes were greeted with Joe Dallesandro’s naked backside and a glimpse of the girl who was giving him head. My first thoughts were, “I really hope my fiancé doesn’t walk in right now.”

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated during those first few moments and a little worried the movie would be far too pornographic, but surprising it was not. Although, the majority of film involved a lot of skin and sexual content, it was hilarious, tragic and, at times, moving. There was only one scene where the graphic nature of the film got a little too graphic for me. That scene happened to be very extended and involved a beer bottle.

Though, the film is loaded with sex, well, perhaps more loaded with people who want to have sex than those who actually do. Joe’s placid penis refuses to stand up despite the plethora of women taking their clothes off, sliding their hands over his body and telling him frankly that they want him.

“Trash” is quite crass and takes an unapologetic look at drug addiction in all of its non-political correctness. Joe remains incompetent throughout, but still a nice guy for the most part. His incompetence is perhaps one of the reasons for his easy-going whatever attitude.

The film comes off almost as a farce. It is even more unmerciful in its comedy than content, perhaps the only thing more unrelenting in “Trash” than the humor is the stark, blatant weirdness of the whole production, which is essential to the comedy.

The characters are so bizarre that you find yourself laughing. The rich young girl who only wants some LSD yells at Joe as he attempts to rape her – she needed to make sure he didn’t rip her $800 fur coat. Another woman, who takes a liking to Joe as he tells her he is attempting to rob her house, is all too interested in him and his drugs. Her lack of social boundaries and transitions into different topics offers the classic “What?” response intermingled in laughter.

However, the best scene, the one that makes the movie all worthwhile, is the final scene where Joe and his lover Holly attempt to get welfare. Like any true woman, (I believe the actor was a transvestite, actually), she argues feverishly with the welfare agent that she will not give up her shoes while he tries to bribe her with the promise of being approved. After all, Holly points out, she found those shoes in the garbage, she couldn’t just buy them.

All in all, I left my apartment after watching the movie feeling a little bemused. I didn’t know what to say, quite frankly I was in a little bit of shock. I didn’t dislike the movie, it’s certainly not bad; but it’s probably not something I’ll ever watch again. Well, maybe I’ll watch the shoe scene again.

It is a good movie, a shocking movie, an experimental movie and a movie that doesn’t spare any details. It is not for the proper. It is very Andy Warhol.