Sponsored Collection

Atlantic Books for the Holidays



A Queer Film Classic

by Jon Davies
series edited by Thomas Waugh & Matthew Hays

0 ratings
0 of 5
comments: 0
reviews: 0
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.

history & criticism, gay studies
list price: $15.95
category: Performing Arts
published: 2009
publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Trash, one of three inaugural titles in Arsenal's film book series Queer Film Classics, delves into the legendary 1970 film that was arguably the greatest collaboration between director Paul Morrissey and producer Andy Warhol.

The film Trash is a down-and-out domestic melodrama about a decidedly eccentric couple: Joe, an impotent junkie (played by Warhol film regular Joe Dallesandro), and Holly (played by trans Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn), Joe's feisty and sexually frustrated girlfriend. Joe is the hunky yet passive center around whom proud Holly orbits; while Morrissey intended to show that "there's no difference between a person using drugs and a piece of refuse," Woodlawn's incredible turn reverses his logic: she makes trash as precious as human beings.

Author Jon Davies argues that Trash, so comical yet so heartrending, is an allegory for the experiences of Dallesandro, Woodlawn, their co-stars, and countless other human "leftovers," whose self-fashioning for Warhol and Morrissey's gaze transformed them---if only fleetingly---from nobodies into somebodies.

The Queer Film Classics series consists of critical yet populist monographs on classic films of interest to LGBT audiences written by esteemed film scholars and critics. The series is edited by authors Thomas Waugh (Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed) and Matthew Hays (The View from Here).

close this panel
Editorial Reviews

[Davies] delves into the title theme on material and personal levels, considering their symbolic interplay. He also offers observations on the film's motif of redemption as seen through the lens of complex relationships.
-Library Journal

— Library Journal

What it means to be trash---and indeed, what it means to be a man---are questioned in this thoughtful monograph, part of Arsenal Pulp's new Queer Film Classics series.... With crisp and expressive prose, he reflects upon the offbeat film and the times and culture that inspired it. In this book, he makes the same argument that he asserts is the film's premise: that the people and things society deems worthless often dazzle with unexpected beauty.
-Quill and Quire

— Quill and Quire

Davies delves behind the scenes, looking at the creative friction between Warhol and Morrissey---and Morrissey and the mise en scene in which he found himself working---and the full story of the film, from its weekend shooting schedule in Morriseey's basement to the critical reviews it garnered, with plenty of pages devoted to a scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis.
-EDGE Publications (Boston, Chicago, etc.)

— EDGE Publications

Any reader wishing to learn more about Warhol, Morrissey, Dallesandro, avant-garde film, and, especially, the poignantly brief Superstardom of Holly Woodlawn will find much to appreciate in Davies' scrupulous treatment, informed by great love for the material. Cineaste

— Cineaste
close this panel

Buy this book at:

About the Authors

Jon Davies

Jon Davies is a writer and curator based in Toronto. His writing has appeared in C Magazine, Canadian Art, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Animation Journal, Cinema Scope, Xtra! and many other publications. He has also contributed book chapters on filmmaker Todd Haynes and artists Candice Breitz, Luis Jacob, Ryan Trecartin, and Daniel Barrow. He has curated numerous screenings for the artists' film and video exhibitor Pleasure Dome, and for various venues in Toronto from Gallery TPW and Vtape to the Images Festival and Inside Out, as well as internationally. He most recently curated the traveling retrospective 'People Like Us: The Gossip of Colin Campbell' for the Oakville Galleries, Ontario. He is currently Assistant Curator of Public Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

Author profile page >

Thomas Waugh

Thomas Waugh is the award-winning author or co-author of numerous books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed, Montreal Main: A Queer Film Classic (with Jason Garrison), Comin' At Ya! (with David L. Chapman), and Gay Art: A Historic Collection (with Felix Lance Falkon). His other books include Hard to Imagine, The Fruit Machine, The Romance of Transgression in Canada, and The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson. He is co-editor (with Matthew Hays) of Queer Film Classics, a series of monographs for Arsenal Pulp Press on classic LGBTQ films; titles in the series include Paris Is Burning, Strangers on a Train, Law of Desire, and Female Trouble. He is Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal,where founded the Concordia program in sexuality studies, the Concordia HIV/AIDS Project, and Queer Media Database Canada Quebec (mediaqueer.ca).

Author profile page >

Matthew Hays

Matthew Hays is a Montreal-based critic, author, and university and college instructor. His articles have appeared in a broad range of publications. His first book, The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers (Arsenal Pulp Press), was cited by Quill & Quire as one of the best books of 2007 and won a 2008 Lambda Literary Award. He is co-editor (with Thomas Waugh) of Queer Film Classics, a series of monographs for Arsenal Pulp Press on LGBTQ films; titles in the series include Paris Is Burning, Strangers on a Train, Law of Desire, and Female Trouble. He is the film instructor at Marianopolis College, and also teaches courses in journalism, communication studies, and film studies at Concordia University, where he received the Concordia Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence in 2007 and the President's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013.

Author profile page >

Other titles by Jon Davies

more >

Other titles by Thomas Waugh

more >

Other titles by Matthew Hays

more >

This book has been listed 2 times

User Activity

more >
Contacting facebook
Please wait...