December 7, 2015

Goodbye to Holly Woodlawn, the star of Andy Warhol's "Trash," "Heat," and "Women in Revolt"...

... the Holly in Lou Reed's "Holly came from Miami, FLA/Hitchhiked her way across the USA/Plucked her eyebrows on the way/Shaved her legs and then he was a she...."
The early New York years were rough. “At the age of 16, when most kids were cramming for trigonometry exams, I was turning tricks, living off the streets and wondering when my next meal was coming,” Ms. Woodlawn recalled in her 1991 memoir, “A Low Life in High Heels: The Holly Woodlawn Story,” written with Jeff Copeland....

“They wanted me for one or two scenes [in 'Trash'] at first,” she said in her 1970 interview in The Village Voice. “Paul Morrissey said, ‘Do this, do that, fabulous,’ and so they kept adding to my part. I worked six days at $25 a day. Except for the last scene, everything was done in one take. The clothes, the dialogue, like, everything was mine because the character I play is me. I’ve been in those situations.”...

“I felt like Elizabeth Taylor,” Ms. Woodlawn told The Guardian in 2007, recalling her heyday. “Little did I realize that not only would there be no money, but that your star would flicker for two seconds and that was it. But it was worth it, the drugs, the parties; it was fabulous.”
Here's a taste of that last scene in "Trash" (NSFW):



Here's that Lou Reed song.

Here's the theatrical trailer for the movie "Women in Revolt" (NSFW):



"I don't suppose you've heard about Women's Liberation?"/"Women's Liberation has shown me just who I am and just what I can be." (You can find that whole movie on YouTube, but it's challenging just to get through the trailer, even though it will probably make you laugh a few times.)

I saw all those movies — "Trash," "Heat," and "Women in Revolt" — back when they came out in the 1970s. They were considered important at the time in a way that's hard to understand now.

30 comments:

traditionalguy said...

As I saw it, Women's Liberation was always about a woman having the money to support herself. With that all things and careers became possible for her.

The sturm und drang was just added for entertainment.

Mike Sylwester said...

They were considered important at the time in a way that's hard to understand now.

How come TCM or PBS never show old Andy Warhol movies?

Holly Woodland is the Vera-Ellen of 1960s independent films.

MisterBuddwing said...

I saw a clip from "Trash" in which a woman, waiting for some kind of baby-assassination squad to show up, loses patience and tosses her infant out her upper-story apartment window on her own. The baby, screaming all the way down, hits the pavement.

Somehow, I didn't want to watch the rest.

EDH said...

By golly have a Holly jolly Christmas, this year!

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

"considered important at the time in a way that's hard to understand now" - that rings so true. I wonder what's changed - the art, the times, us - probably all of the above.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Trash" -- does kinda capture the sense of the movie and the times.

Regarding Trash and other pointless movies of the times, AA writes:

They were considered important at the time in a way that's hard to understand now.

Umm, No. They were unimportant then. They were considered important only by a small, but loud cluster of young, educated, middle-class, mostly white, poseur intellectuals, who were uniformly LEFT-WING and anti-American at the time.

However, a few sensible people at the time, including my Uncles who were drafted, didn't burn their draft cards, and actually served in the infantry in the jungles of Vietnam, thought they were "trash" at the time.

They preferred Patton, Dirty Harry and the French Connection.

mezzrow said...

It was hard to understand then, for some of us.

Curious George said...

So you know this piece of garbage, but not White Christmas.

Robert Cook said...

I have never seen any "Warhol" branded movie other than "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein," (released in 3D back in the early 70s). Paul Morrisey was the director. I had also never heard Joe Dallesandro's voice before seeing this clip. (It kind of ruins the image.)

That was perhaps the most real two minutes or so I have ever seen in a movie. It makes one see how mannered and distanced most professional acting is, even that which is acclaimed as "raw" or "lacerating," or "brave." That scene was rich with real anguish, real life.

I can't say how the whole movie is--I doubt it sustained the qualities of that brief scene--but I'm glad to have seen this clip.

JAORE said...

I always expected that Andy W and similar artists would hold a press conference one day to announce:

"We were kidding. It's complete crap. We just wanted to see how stupid you really were. But we are tired of seeing how easily led you are. No, we will NOT be returning the money."

Too late now, of course.

John Tuffnell said...

"They were considered important at the time in a way that's hard to understand now."

AA does not usually use the passive voice.

Good recognition that these works were not important then, but merely considered so, and those who did the considering at the time were almost certainly wrong to attach importance to any of it.

Cog said...

Actually, their impact is not hard to understand. These movies were once important to a young generation of boomers who had been raised during the pinnacle of Protestant American cultural power.

That generation would fall into the destructive grasp of cultural Marxism that these movies represent. Now they are passing on to future generations the utter ruins of Western Civilization, which was all but destroyed on their watch.

Fernandinande said...

Here's a taste of that last scene in "Trash"

A trailer court home movie.

Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl
He adopted the name Holly from the heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany's, and in 1969 added the surname from a sign he saw on an episode of I Love Lucy. After changing his name he began to tell people he was the heir to Woodlawn Cemetery.

Lesson: Never name a kid "Harold".

Mike Sylwester said...

I saw a clip from "Trash" in which a woman, waiting for some kind of baby-assassination squad to show up, loses patience and tosses her infant out her upper-story apartment window on her own. The baby, screaming all the way down, hits the pavement.

In 1970, when the movie was made, that scene was considered to be edgy.

It's a good thing to watch those old movies, to get some perspective on cinema's development.

If TCM ever showed the movie, then Robert Osborne or Ben Mankiewicz might make a special remark about that particular scene.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"That generation would fall into the destructive grasp of cultural Marxism that these movies represent. Now they are passing on to future generations the utter ruins of Western Civilization, which was all but destroyed on their watch."

The great financial powers who are destroying Western (and global) civilization will hardly accept being called "cultural Marxists."

All Andy Warhol and his peers did was tell the truth (as they saw it) about the society they lived in.

mtrobertslaw said...

There was something strange about many of the young intellectuals of that era who found themselves attracted to decadence under the guise of art. And even stranger, they could not tell the difference between the two.

The Godfather said...

As I recall, "Deep Throat" was pretty funny. Can't say that about the movies sampled in this post.

Carter Wood said...

Worth listening to once in your life: The 1978 live version of "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed off of "Take No Prisoners," in which he describes each of the characters in the lyrics and their place in the Warhol demimonde. The entire two-album set is bombastic and not very good. Although "Coney Island Baby" has its moments.

Robert Christgau:
Lou Reed Live: Take No Prisoners [Arista, 1978]
Partly because your humble servant is attacked by name (along with John Rockwell) on what is essentially a comedy record, a few colleagues have rushed in with Don Rickles analogies, but that's not fair. Lenny Bruce is the obvious influence. Me, I don't play my greatest comedy albums, not even the real Lenny Bruce ones, as much as I do Rock n Roll Animal. I've heard Lou do two very different concerts during his Arista period that I'd love to check out again--Palladium November '76 and Bottom Line May '77. I'm sorry this isn't either. And I thank Lou for pronouncing my name right. C+

Fernandinande said...

Carter Wood said...
Worth listening to once in your life: The 1978 live version of "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed...


That's only one-third of his good songs.

averagejoe said...

"They were considered important at the time in a way that's hard to understand now."
I think those are important movies in their way, for several reasons. Warhol was and is still considered an important artist, and the movies are his artwork just as the Campbell's soup cans are. The topics, characters, and dialogue of those movies is ground-breaking, and the eccentric cinema-verite hand-held camera and sound probably influenced and inspired filmmakers from John Waters to John Cassavettes.

Robert Cook said...

"As I recall, 'Deep Throat' was pretty funny. Can't say that about the movies sampled in this post."

It was boring. I was 17 and scored a fake ID from a friend's brother, and a buddy and I went downtown to Beaver Street (no lie) to see it at the one theater in town showing it. (This was in 1972, during its original heyday.)

There were a couple of quips in it that, given the context, were mildly funny, but even though I was an innocent virgin, the movie quickly palled on me. It was only an hour long, but it seemed longer, to the point of tedium.

When my buddy and I went in it was late afternoon, and the theater was empty save for two or three solitary figures. When we got up to leave, it had passed quitting time (5:00) and when we turned around, we saw the rows of seats behind us had FILLED with businessmen stopping off to see it after leaving their offices and before heading home!

(This same friend and I used the fake IDs again to see A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, which was rated "X" in its original release. A MUCH better movie, though not as good as the book. When it was re-released later with an "R" rating, they said bits had been cut to give it the less restrictive rating. Not so. I saw it again--several times--and it was the same movie that had originally been rated "X".)

The Godfather said...

@Robert Cook: Deep Throat was longer than you think.

FullMoon said...

ernandinande said...

Carter Wood said...
Worth listening to once in your life: The 1978 live version of "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed...

That's only one-third of his good songs.

That's what sister Ray said.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vanderleun said...

I remember Holly from those days at the Factory and Max's Kansas City. Of all Andy's crossdressers he had the worst skin and was always freaking out about his complexion. Wore a ton of pancake. Generally had a vague bad smell about him.

BN said...

Both Lou Reed and Andy Warhol are interesting and important only insofar as they are prime examples of the beginning of the decline and increasing decadence of late American culture. Mark my words and look it up 100 years from now. If you can.

BN said...

What I liked about them was they embraced their decadence. Kinda like a slut who not only owns it, but revels in it. It's almost touching. Right Laslo?

BN said...

You think I'm pessimistic now, you should have seen me in the 70s.

Robert Cook said...

The Godfather said: "Deep Throat was longer than you think."

I'm not sure how you mean that. Are you making an arch reference to the subject of the movie, or the lyrics of the "Deep Throat" theme song, ("...Deep throat, deeper than deep, your throat....")?

If you're referring to the actual running time of the movie, it was 61 minutes...a long 61 minutes.