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Filmed over the Labor Day holidays of 1965, My Hustler belongs to a period of transition for the Andy Warhol Cinematic Universe. Collaborators such as Chuck Wein (credited here with “written direction”) and Paul Morrissey (behind the increasingly mobile, sync-sound 16mm camera) were moving the Factory production away from single-take, silent films and into more complex arrangements featuring actors, dialogue, and feints at narrative situations.
My Hustler consists of two extended conversations, first as a Fire Island host (the outrageously camp Ed Hood) contemplates the recumbent figure of the beach Adonis (Paul America) he has hired for the weekend, and then as the newcomer learns a few tricks of the trade from an older colleague (Joe Campbell). A hit in its midnight engagement at the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, My Hustler became one of the first Warhol films to escape the downtown orbit and open at a commercial theater in midtown, where it was reliably panned as “sordid, vicious and contemptuous” by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times.
Courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Digital media management by MPC New York. Film scanning by Technicolor-PostWorks New York. Created on 16mm film, this work is presented in a new digital format in celebration of an ongoing collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, to preserve the myriad films by Warhol in MoMA’s collection.
Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film.