4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!
Today, the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 82nd birthday to the one and only Paul Morrissey!
Though he may not be as well known as some of his contemporaries, Paul Morrissey is one of the godfathers of independent film. He first came to notice as a collaborator of Andy Warhol’s. Morrisey’s first films were shot at the Factory and starred the members of Warhol’s entourage. At a time when the indie film scene barely even existed, Morrissey was making boldly transgressive films and distributing them largely on his own. In fact, it could probably be argued that, if not for Paul Morrissey, the American independent film scene would never have grown into the impressive artistic and financial force that it is today.
There’s always been some debate over how much influence Warhol had over Morrissey’s films. Morrissey has always said that Warhol had next to nothing to do with the films, beyond occasionally taking a producer’s or a co-director’s credit. Others have disagreed. What can be said for sure is that, even after Warhol retreated from directly involving himself in the cinematic arts, Morrissey continued to make fiercely independent films.
Paul Morrissey made films about outsiders. While other directors were telling stories about the middle and upper classes, Morrissey was making movies about junkies, prostitutes, and people simply trying to make it from one day to another. His films also frequently satirized classic Hollywood genres. In fact, his two best-known films, Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula, not only satirized the old Universal horror films but also the Marxist-themed films being made in Europe. A devout Catholic and a political conservative, Morrissey took a particular delight in tweaking the left-wing assumptions of the counterculture. Who can forget Joe Dallesandro’s gloriously shallow revolutionary in Blood for Dracula?
4 Shots From 4 Paul Morrissey Films