Legendary Factory director Paul Morrissey’s transgressive tale of down-and-out sex and drugs in underground New York remains a highlight of his collaborations with Andy Warhol.
Warhol’s go-to Factory filmmaker Paul Morrissey (Mixed Blood, MIFF 1986; Forty Deuce, MIFF 1983) created one of the great American avant-garde works with 1970’s Trash, a skuzzy, lurid and often archly hilarious exploitation movie set in the long-forgotten dark and sleazy streets of New York’s Lower East Side.
Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro (Flesh) plays Joe, a heroin addict who shares a downtown basement with his sexually frustrated, on-and-off girlfriend Holly, inhabited by transgender actor Holly Woodlawn in a performance so singular it prompted Golden Age of Hollywood director George Cukor to campaign for her to get an Oscar nomination. Filled with vivid passages of sex and drug use filtered through Morrissey’s experimental eye, Trash is a classic of the New York underground not to be missed on the big screen.
“To call Holly Woodlawn’s performance one of the very greatest in all of cinema would be an understatement.” – Slant
Trash is one of filmmaker Peter Strickland's selections for his MIFF retrospective: “I still love Trash for its mischief, playful ambiguity regarding gender/sexuality and warmth for its characters.”
For more detailed thoughts from Strickland on the films that have inspired him, read his blog.