Warholstars Condensed... sort of
SAN DIEGO SURF
Joe Dallesandro during the making of San Diego Surf
San Diego Surf was the last Warhol film that Ingrid Superstar and Taylor Mead appeared in. It was shot in May 1968 in La Jolla, California. The cast also included Viva, Eric Emerson, Louis Waldon and Joe Dallesandro. Paul Morrissey assisted Warhol during the shooting of the movie.
During the filming, another filmmaker, Bob Smith, was on hand to film Warhol making San Diego Surf for Smith's own short documentary Andy Makes A Movie. Smith (aka Robert Emmet Smith) had previously worked as an art director on Hollywood feature films, including The Mole People (1956), Lonely Are The Brave (1962) and Hombre (1967). Smith's film shows both Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey behind the camera during various scenes.
In Andy Makes A Movie, Aaron Sloan, the producer of the film, interviews Warhol and some of the stars of San Diego Surf. When Sloan asks Warhol who is influenced by, Warhol responds, "Uh, I guess I'm influenced by everybody but, uh, I like the way Godard works... just because I think he's bringing television out to the movies and, um, I think that's what we're trying to do sometimes too." (AM)
Warhol was an avid television watcher. He also mentions the influence of television during the following exchange in Smith's film:
From Andy Makes a Movie:
Aaron Sloan: Do you find that television has more of an influence on your own viewpoint and communications and motion pictures?
Andy Warhol: Uh... yes.
Aaron: What are your views on theories of editing, such as montage?
Andy: Uh... I really don't believe in montage but I guess we've used it.
Aaron: Why did you give up painting to go into cinema?
Andy: Uh, well the camera's easier to work.
Aaron: How do you mean easier?
Andy: You just have to turn on the button.
Aaron: Isn't there a little more - the eye? The selectivity?
Andy: Uh, no... because every picture's right.
Aaron: How do you describe the qualities for a superstar?
Andy: Anybody who talks a lot." (AM)
Sloan's reference to Warhol giving up painting to go into cinema probably refers to Warhol's announcement in Paris in May 1965 that he was retiring from painting in order to concentrate on filmmaking although, in reality, he continued to paint as well as make films.
When Sloan asks Warhol star, Louis Waldon, about his reasons for appearing in San Diego Surf, Waldon responds somewhat facetiously.
From Andy Makes a Movie:
Louis Waldon: "Well... you know yesterday we shot some of the first scenes and I stated the fact that I was, I'm, uh, extremely interested in finding a new way to live and I think that surfing could possibly be the answer... I've met two surfers so far and I feel that they're, you know, that they really have a healthy attitude... they're against dope and against the capitalistic style of living, they're more involved and into the ocean and just the waves, the waves mean everything and, uh... it caught my interest... and in the movie that's exactly what I'm seeking out. I'm seeking out a way to, uh, live and, uh, if its surfing, uh, that's the way I'll do it, I'll be a surfer. For the rest of my life.
Aaron Sloan: Have you ever done any surfing in real life?
Louis Waldon: No I haven't... um, I've body surfed."
San Diego Surf was never released commercially. Warhol felt that the film lacked an edge.
"Everybody was so happy being in La Jolla that the New York problems we usually made our movies about went away - the edge came right off everybody... We'd lounge around listening to our transistors on the beach, playing songs like Cowboys to Cowgirls, A Beautiful Morning, cuts from the Jimi Hendrix' Axis album. From time to time I'd try to provoke a few fights so I could film them, but everybody was too relaxed even to fight. I guess that's why the whole thing turned out to be more of a memento of a bunch of friends taking a vacation together than a movie. Even Viva's complaints were more mellow than usual." (POP269)
After they finished filming in La Jolla, Warhol and entourage returned to New York. Less than a month later, a Warhol star walked into Andy's new Union Square offices and pulled out a gun and shot him. It was...
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