DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
BLOW JOB (director: Andy Warhol; Runtime: 35; MPAA Rating: NR; cast: DeVerne Bookwalter (receiver of fellatio), Willard Maas (giver of fellatio); producer: Andy Warhol; Raro Video; 1963)

 
"Not even the lascivious title got me off."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Andy Warhol ("Eat"/"Kiss"/"Empire") uses a 16-millimeter Bolex camera to shoot this 35-minute short film featuring the visually static close-up of a young man's facial expressions as he receives a blow job from the unseen giver. It's timed to simulate the actual fellatio act and meant to shock with its expressions of raw reality, as the actor on the receiving end is placed in the ludicrous position of doing nothing but experiencing the sex act and after orgasm lighting up a cigarette. In other words, he's reduced to being a tool for the filmmaker. I guess this is Warhol's artful way of redefining reality, by having both a laugh at the thriving porn movie industry and Hollywood's compromised version of sex. Though the film is a bore and elicited no excitement that one might expect from seeing such sex acts in a porn flick, it instead removes the sex from the sex act and the actor is viewed without an identity who is neither homosexual nor heterosexual (though in the film credits we learn the blow job giver was a man). It's a personal and very human film that mirrors the way the male viewer might look if he can see himself in such a position getting pleasured. The Warhol film literally goes along with Marhall McLuhan's concept that the medium is the message and does nothing further to intellectualize what is seen visually.

Not even the lascivious title got me off. It reminded me of those clinically educational films one sees in school or Warhol's print of a Campbell's soup can.

REVIEWED ON 1/28/2008        GRADE: C

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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