Flesh (1968)

Flesh (1968) movie poster

director Paul Morrissey
viewed: 06/05/2017

I don’t know why I’d never managed to see Paul Morrissey’s Andy Warhol-produced movies. I have the vaguest recollection of seeing Trash back in the 1980’s and maybe another one. But I’ve no real recollection of them.

Flesh is all Joe Dallesandro, and ALL Joe Dallesandro, who spends most of the movie unclad and lounging in his gloriousness. Warhol would quip “In my movies, everyone’s in love with Joe Dallesandro.” and that is very much true here in Flesh. He’s a natural thing of beauty, shot in normal settings and natural light, not prettied up by the camera. He just is.

As a counterpoint to Midnight Cowboy, it’s an interesting, low-fi take on sexuality in New York in the late 1960’s, very non-judgmental, open, and yet still monetized and in a sense exploited, in a sense, not.

There is also the sense of the utterly banal about it all. Though Joe is very likable and generally kind, the most of the world he inhabits is kind of dull and tedious. Maybe it’s part of the anti-glamour aesthetic.

It was interesting to finally see the film from which the image on the Smiths’ self-titled album came from.

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