Hustlers & Exhibitionists

Hustlers & Exhibitionists

91 Minute Running Time
Programs: Andy Warhol 1960s Gay Cinema, U.S. Features

In Haircut #1 (1963), Andy Warhol pays tribute to members of the early 1960s experimental dance collective Judson Dance Theater, including lighting designers Billy Linich (later known as Billy Name) and John Dodd, dancer Freddie Herko, and choreographer James Waring. Herko’s striptease and everyday movement, drawing on the dance styles featured at Judson, steals the viewer’s attention away from the haircut that inspired the film’s title. And if you thought Sharon Stone was the first to indelicately uncross her legs in the infamous Basic Instinct scene, just wait for Herko’s final moment of the film.

Warhol’s ultimate pin-up boy may have been Joe Dallesandro, but the striking Paul America (born Paul Johnson) was no consolation prize. Warhol’s description of America as “unbelievably good looking” does little to convey his onscreen charms in My Hustler. America stars as the titular butch plaything, brought to Fire Island for the weekend by an older john whose neighbors try to lure the trick away. The role was to be America’s only starring turn for Warhol, but it cemented his status as a gay icon. As critic Bruce Hainley recalled in an interview, “no film I had ever seen spent so much time not only looking at male flesh but having everyone in the film talk about that staring.”

IMAGE: My Hustler,1965 ©2010 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.

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San Francisco Cinematheque

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