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Andy Warhol Surf Flick to Debut 44 Years After Filming Started

Andy-Warhol,-San-Diego-Surf,-19681996,-copyright-2012-The-Andy-Warhol-Museum"San Diego Surf." Photo: Copyright, 2012, The Andy Warhol Museum

In 1968, Andy Warhol and friends moved out to La Jolla, California, from New York to film a surf movie about an unhappy married couple. The footage apparently included a lot of sexual tension between a lot of actors playing surfers—exactly one of whom could actually ride the waves. For a long time, the footage met the same end as the sexual tension in the apparent plot: little action was ever taken because of its existence. Then, in the mid-'90s, the Andy Warhol Foundation commissioned Paul Morrissey, who filmed the movie with the pop icon, to edit together a final product based on a rough cut and Warhol's notes. It's done now, and will show on October 16 as part of the Museum of Modern Art's "To Save and Project" series. If you're wondering if you'd be interested in a 90-minute-long Andy Warhol surf flick that revolves around an unhappy marriage and the prospect of infidelity, here's a brief review of the film put together by Christopher Bollen at Interview magazine:

Superstars Taylor Mead and Viva playing a married golfing couple on the verge of divorce who are hoping to either reconcile and climb their way up the social hierarchy of another pastime, or separately have a fling with one of the shirtless local surfers (one of whom, when asked to ponder the universe, replies, “I hope there are waves on Mars”). San Diego Surf also features Joe Dallesandro as a black-sheep surfer from New York, Ingrid Superstar as a maybe-pregnant, surfer-hungry family friend, as well as the towheaded Tom Hompertz, the only Factory member who could actually ride the waves. Perhaps the film is summed up best by Viva’s opening lines: “Here I am, a nice, normal, middle-class housewife with a penchant for surfers.”

If you want to learn more about the movie, Bollen goes on to write up an oral history of the film.

—Joe Spring

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