Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andy Warhol|
|Produced by||Andy Warhol|
|Written by||Andy Warhol|
|Starring|| Viva |
Andy Warhol Films
|Distributed by||Andy Warhol Films|
|June 12, 1969|
Blue Movie (stylized as blue movie; also known as Fuck) is a 1969 American film written, produced, and directed by Andy Warhol. Blue Movie, the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States, is a seminal film in the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), and helped inaugurate the "porno chic" phenomenon, in which porn was being publicly discussed by celebrities (like Johnny Carson and Bob Hope) and taken seriously by film critics (like Roger Ebert), in modern American culture, and later, in many other countries throughout the world. According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris , an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made. Viva and Louis Waldon, playing themselves, starred in Blue Movie.
The film includes dialogue about the Vietnam War, various mundane tasks and, as well, unsimulated sex, during a blissful afternoon in a New York City apartment(owned by art critic David Bourdon). The film was presented in the press as, "a film about the Vietnam War and what we can do about it." Warhol added, "the movie is about ... love, not destruction."
Warhol explained that the lack of a plot in Blue Movie was intentional:
Scripts bore me. It's much more exciting not to know what's going to happen. I don't think that plot is important. If you see a movie of two people talking, you can watch it over and over again without being bored. You get involved – you miss things – you come back to it ... But you can't see the same movie over again if it has a plot because you already know the ending ... Everyone is rich. Everyone is interesting. Years ago, people used to sit looking out of their windows at the street. Or on a park bench. They would stay for hours without being bored although nothing much was going on. This is my favorite theme in movie making – just watching something happening for two hours or so ... I still think it's nice to care about people. And Hollywood movies are uncaring. We're pop people. We took a tour of Universal Studios in Los Angeles and, inside and outside the place, it was very difficult to tell what was real. They're not-real people trying to say something. And we're real people not trying to say anything. I just like everybody and I believe in everything.
According to Viva: “The Warhol films were about sexual disappointment and frustration: the way Andy saw the world, the way the world is, and the way nine-tenths of the population sees it, yet pretends they don’t.”
Andy Warhol described making Blue Movie as follows: "I'd always wanted to do a movie that was pure fucking, nothing else, the way [my film] Eat had been just eating and [my film] Sleep had been just sleeping. So in October '68 I shot a movie of Viva having sex with Louis Waldon. I called it just Fuck."
The film was supposedly filmed in a single three-hour session and 30 minutes was initially cut for the 140 minute version.The climactic section was shot in a 35-minute take. According to Variety magazine, the lovemaking only featured for 10 minutes.
The film itself acquired a blue/green tint because Warhol used the wrong kind of film during production. He used film meant for filming night-scenes, and the sun coming through the apartment window turned the film blue.
According to Wheeler Winston Dixon, American filmmaker and scholar, who attended the first screening of the film at Warhol's Factory (33 Union Square West, Manhattan, New York City) in the Spring of 1969:
Why [Blue Movie was blue]? Well, Warhol used 16mm reversal film for his movies, and if you were shooting color film in the 1960s and 70s, two of the most popular choices for film stock were Eastman Reversal 7241, balanced for use outdoors; and Eastman Reversal 7242, balanced for tungsten (indoor) lighting. If you shot Eastman 7242 outside without using a Wratten 85B filter, the image would become completely blue; and that’s what was happening here. The only light used was the daylight coming through the window, thus making the final image very, very blue indeed ... When the film ended ... I heard Warhol asking someone plaintively “why is the whole second reel all blue?,” so I told him about 7242, 7241, and the need to use the proper filter to balance the color when you used indoor stock outdoors, or vice versa. “Ohhhhhhh” said Andy. Long pause. “Well, I guess we should call it Blue Movie.” ... [film director] [Michelangelo] Antonioni [also present at the showing] laughed, as well, appreciating the obvious double entendre; a “blue movie” that really was a blue movie ... Vincent Canby noted [in his The New York Times review]that the film was “literally a cool, greenish-blue in color.” Now you know why.— Wheeler Winston Dixon, cited in his article, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Blue Movie (2012).
The film had a benefit screening on June 12, 1969 at the Elgin Theater in New York City.Variety reported that the film was the "first theatrical feature to actually depict intercourse." While initially shown at The Factory, Blue Movie was not presented to a wider audience until it opened at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theater in New York City on July 21, 1969 with a running time of 105 minutes. The film also opened at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California.
On its opening day in New York, the film grossed a house record $3,050, with a total of $16,200 for the week.Warhol received 90% of the gross, so recovered the film's $3,000 cost quickly.
Viva, in Paris, finding that Blue Movie was getting a lot of attention, said, "Timothy Leary loved it. Gene Youngblood (an LA film critic) did too. He said I was better than Vanessa Redgrave and it was the first time a real movie star had made love on the screen. It was a real breakthrough."
On July 31, 1969, the staff of the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre were arrested, and the film confiscated.The theater manager was eventually fined $250. Afterwards, the manager said, "I don't think anyone was harmed by this movie ... I saw other pictures around town and this was a kiddie matinee compared to them." Warhol said, "What's pornography anyway? ... The muscle magazines are called pornography, but they're really not. They teach you how to have good bodies ... I think movies should appeal to prurient interests. I mean the way things are going now – people are alienated from one another. Blue Movie was real. But it wasn't done as pornography—it was done as an exercise, an experiment. But I really do think movies should arouse you, should get you excited about people, should be prurient. Prurience is part of the machine. It keeps you happy. It keeps you running."
Afterwards, in 1970, Warhol published Blue Movie in book form, with film dialogue and explicit stills, through Grove Press.
When Last Tango in Paris , an internationally controversial erotic drama film, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Marlon Brando, was released in 1972, Warhol considered Blue Movie to be the inspiration, according to Bob Colacello, the editor of Interview , a magazine dedicated to Pop Culture that was founded by Warhol in 1969.
Nonetheless, and also in 1970, Mona , the second adult erotic film, after Blue Movie, depicting explicit sex that received a wide theatrical release in the United States, was shown. Shortly thereafter, other adult films, such as Boys in the Sand , Deep Throat , Behind the Green Door and The Devil in Miss Jones were released, continuing the Golden Age of Porn begun with Blue Movie. In 1973, the phenomenon of porn being publicly discussed by celebrities (like Johnny Carson and Bob Hope)and taken seriously by film critics (like Roger Ebert), a development referred to, by Ralph Blumenthal of The New York Times, as "porno chic", began, for the first time, in modern American culture, and later, in many other countries throughout the world. In 1976, The Opening of Misty Beethoven , based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (and its derivative, My Fair Lady ), and directed by Radley Metzger, was released theatrically and is considered, by award-winning author Toni Bentley, the "crown jewel" of the Golden Age of Porn.
Blue Movie was publicly screened in New York City in 2005, for the first time in more than 30 years.Also in New York City, but more recently, in 2016, the film was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.
Radley Metzger > was an American pioneering filmmaker and film distributor, most noted for popular artistic, adult-oriented films, including Camille 2000 (1969), The Lickerish Quartet (1970), Score (1974), The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann (1974), The Image (1975), The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976) and Barbara Broadcast (1977). According to one film reviewer, Metzger's films, including those made during the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), are noted for their "lavish design, witty screenplays, and a penchant for the unusual camera angle". Another reviewer noted that his films were "highly artistic — and often cerebral ... and often featured gorgeous cinematography". Film and audio works by Metzger have been added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.
The Opening of Misty Beethoven is an American pornographic comedy film released in 1976. It was produced with a relatively high budget and filmed on elaborate locations in Paris, New York City and Rome with a musical score, and owes much to its director Radley Metzger. According to author Toni Bentley, The Opening of Misty Beethoven is considered the "crown jewel" of the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984).
The Image is a 1975 American adult drama that was re-released in an edited version in 1976. The film is also known by two other titles: The Punishment of Anne and The Mistress and the Slave and was directed by Radley Metzger. The film is based upon the classic 1956 sadomasochistic novel L'Image, written by Catherine Robbe-Grillet and published under the pseudonym of "Jean de Berg".
The Factory was Andy Warhol's New York City studio, which had three different locations between 1962 and 1984. The original Factory was on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was one hundred dollars per year. Warhol left in 1967 when the building was scheduled to be torn down to make way for an apartment building. He then relocated his studio to the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West near the corner of East 16th Street, where he was shot in 1968 by Valerie Solanas. The Factory was revamped and remained there until 1973. It moved to 860 Broadway at the north end of Union Square. Although this space was much larger, not much filmmaking took place there. In 1984 Warhol moved his remaining ventures, no longer including filming, to 22 East 33rd Street, a conventional office building. Many Warhol films, including those made at the Factory, were first shown at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre or 55th Street Playhouse.
Score is a 1974 American erotic romance film directed by Radley Metzger. One of the first films to explore bisexual relationships, it was part of the brief porn chic fad in the early 1970s that also included Behind the Green Door, The Devil in Miss Jones and Deep Throat. The film was based on an off-Broadway stage play that ran for 23 performances at the Martinique Theatre from October 28 through November 15, 1971 and featured Sylvester Stallone in a brief role. The theatrical version of Score was written by Jerry Douglas, who later became a mainstream screenwriter. It was set in a shabby Queens tenement, while the film was set in an elegant, mythical land and sported a relatively high budget for an independent film of that era.
Viva, born as Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann, is an American actress, writer and former Warhol superstar.
Lonesome Cowboys is a 1968 film by American filmmaker Andy Warhol, and was shown, for initial viewings, at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre at 152 Bleecker Street in New York City. Written by Paul Morrissey, the film is a satire of Hollywood westerns. The film won the Best Film Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
I, a Man is a 1967 American erotic drama film written, directed and filmed by Andy Warhol. It debuted at the Hudson Theatre in New York City on August 25, 1967. The film depicts the main character, played by Tom Baker, in a series of sexual encounters with eight women. Warhol created the movie as a response to the popular erotic Scandinavian film I, a Woman (1965) which had opened in the United States in October 1966.
The term "Golden Age of Porn", or "porno chic", refers to a 15-year period (1969–1984) in commercial American pornography, which spread internationally, in which sexually explicit films experienced positive attention from mainstream cinemas, movie critics, and the general public. It began with the release of the 1969 film Blue Movie directed by Andy Warhol and the 1970 film Mona produced by Bill Osco. These films were the first adult erotic films depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. Both influenced the making of films such as 1972's Deep Throat starring Linda Lovelace and directed by Gerard Damiano, Behind the Green Door starring Marilyn Chambers and directed by the Mitchell brothers, 1973's The Devil in Miss Jones also by Damiano, and 1976's The Opening of Misty Beethoven by Radley Metzger. According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris, an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made.
Louis Waldon was an American film actor, whose career spanned nearly 45 years. He was born in Modesto, California.
The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann is a 1974 American hardcore adult film starring Barbara Bourbon and directed by Radley Metzger that is considered one of the classics of the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984). It was a step forward in the development of the genre, as it had a plot and good acting. The movie can be seen as a meditation on voyeurism, due to the trope of Mann being spied on by a private detective hired by her husband, and the production of pornography itself, as the detective films her sexual encounters.
Pornographication or pornification is the absorption by mainstream culture of styles or content of the sex industry and the sexualisation of Western culture, sometimes referred to as raunch culture. Pornographication, particularly the use of sexualised images of women, is said to demonstrate "how patriarchal power operates in the field of gender representation". In Women in Popular Culture, Marion Meyers argues that the portrayal of women in modern society is primarily influenced by "the mainstreaming of pornography and its resultant hypersexualization of women and girls, and the commodification of those images for a global market".
Barbara Broadcast is an American adult erotic film released in 1977. The film was directed by Radley Metzger and filmed in several elaborate locations in New York City, including the Olympia ballroom and restaurant in the Royal Manhattan Hotel.
Maraschino Cherry is an American hardcore pornographic film and comedy released in 1978. The film was directed by Radley Metzger and filmed in several locations in New York City; it was his fifth and final hardcore film.
Naked Came the Stranger is an American adult erotic film released in 1975. The film was directed by Radley Metzger and filmed in several elaborate locations in New York City.
The Tale of Tiffany Lust, also known as Body Lust, is a 1979 American adult erotic film. The film was directed by Radley Metzger and filmed in several elaborate locations in New York City.
The Garrick Cinema—periodically referred to as the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre, Andy Warhol's Garrick Cinema, Garrick Theatre, Nickelodeon—was a 199-seat movie house located in Greenwich Village at 152 Bleecker Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City. Andy Warhol debuted many of his notable films in this building in the late 1960s. The Cafe Au Go Go was located in the basement of the theater building in the late 1960s, and was a prominent Greenwich Village night club, featuring many well known musical groups, folksingers and comedy acts.
The World of Henry Paris is a 1981 American compilation film documentary of the 1970s erotic films directed by Radley Metzger, working under the alias name of "Henry Paris".
Aphrodesia's Diary is a 1983 American adult erotic film directed by Radley Metzger and Gérard Kikoïne.
The Sins of Ilsa is a 1985 American adult erotic film, based on a novel by Iris Murdoch, that was filmed in New York City and, for exteriors, in Paris. The film is notable as the last film directed by Radley Metzger and, as of November 2019, has not yet been released publicly.