Frequent Small Meals presents

Lonesome Cowboys in Atlanta

New York artist heads to Arizona for satirical homoerotic Western; FBI takes note; film busted in Atlanta, August 1969

A Film Love event
curated by Andy Ditzler

March 25, 2010 March 26, 2010 March 27, 2010 April 3, 2010
at Eyedrum at Eyedrum at Emory University at Mixx



from the FBI file on Andy Warhol
and Lonesome Cowboys

still from Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys
'2009 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.

"Out here, you can't find anybody you love more than yourself, so you feel lonesome." -- Eric Emerson in Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys

On Tuesday, August 5, 1969, Andy Warhol's latest film -- Lonesome Cowboys, a homoerotic satire on the Hollywood Western -- was playing at the Ansley Mall Mini Cinema in Atlanta. Just before the film's ending, Atlanta police stopped the screening, confiscated the print, and arrested the theater manager. In addition, they photographed most if not all of the seventy moviegoers as they exited the cinema, looking for "known homosexuals."

Occurring just weeks after the New York City Stonewall riots launched the modern gay rights movement, the Lonesome Cowboys bust became a tipping point for local activism and helped lead to the formation of the Georgia chapter of the Gay Liberation Front.

As a memorial to these events, and in our ongoing series on Warhol's important but rarely seen 1960s films, Film Love presents a multi-part series on Lonesome Cowboys and its Atlanta connection. Included are a screening of Lonesome Cowboys in its entirety; a site-specific installation incorporating the film near the location of the old Ansley Mall Cinema; and accompanying screenings of two related Warhol films.

As with all early Warhol films, none of the films selected for this series exist on video in the United States.


HORSE (1965)
script by Ronald Tavel
Warhol's first Western -- made inside the New York Factory studio on East 47th Street with a rented horse delivered on a freight elevator -- is one of his most extreme films. On the surface, Ronald Tavel's script functions as a wicked send-up of the latent homoeroticism, camp, and horse love in Westerns. But during filming, the script's undercurrents and Warhol's talent for on-set chaos transform Horse into a study in violence, group dynamics, strip poker, love.
Thursday, March 25, 2010, 8:00 pm at Eyedrum / $5 donation
16mm, b&w, sound, 100 minutes

Described by Warhol as both a "sexploitation" comedy and "an antiwar film," Nude Restaurant was made just prior to Lonesome Cowboys and features sparkling performances by two of the charismatic stars of that film. Amongst the G-string-wearing denizens of a New York restaurant, Viva holds forth with a monologue on her early sex experiences. Meanwhile, a young army deserter and antiwar activist is confronted with the Beat/hippie/Zen conversational antics of the irrepressible Taylor Mead. Nude Restaurant humorously portrays the sexual and cultural revolutions underway at a chaotic moment in America's history -- and lays the groundwork for Lonesome Cowboys' deflowering of the Hollywood Western. Nude Restaurant previously screened in Atlanta in August 1968, at the Festival Cinema.
Friday, March 26, 2010, 8:00 pm at Eyedrum / $5 donation
16mm, color, sound, 100 minutes

"[Lonesome Cowboys] finishes the Western forever." -- George Cukor
A band of cowboy brothers live, love, and break up on the range. Both comic and cosmic, poignant and depraved, Lonesome Cowboys upends the Hollywood Western in an orgy of homoerotics, lysergic existentialism, and discomfiting sexual dynamics. One of the last films actively directed by Warhol himself (in collaboration with Paul Morrissey), it was shot on location on an Arizona ranch in full view of gawking tourists -- a strategy which got its director reported to the FBI. Its standout performances are Eric Emerson's cowboy ballet; superstar hunk Joe Dallesandro's first substantial appearance in a Warhol film; and Taylor Mead's beyond-campy male nurse. Most impressive of all is Viva's brave, landmark performance, including an outrageous -- and very Catholic -- improvised monologue during her attempt to seduce one of the cowboys.
Saturday, March 27, 2010, 8:00 pm
White Hall Room 206, Emory University / free
16mm, color, sound, 109 minutes
directions and parking

Saturday, April 3, 2010, 8:30 pm at Mixx Atlanta:
SITE-SPECIFIC INSTALLATION featuring Lonesome Cowboys
As part of Memory Flash, a public art project by the John Q art collective, Lonesome Cowboys will be presented in installation form, projected at Mixx, near the site of the film's original (and busted) 1969 Atlanta run. During this installation, the film's image will be projected onto the mall area as it now exists; the image and sound will be partially lost, referencing the film's original censorship and the now-lost Ansley Mall cinema, and adding a layer of poignancy to the long-ago images of sexual and social revolution produced by Warhol's Factory.
Please note that the April 3 event is a site-specific outdoor installation and not a theatrical screening; portions of the film may be invisible and inaudible. Lonesome Cowboys will be screened in its entirety at the March 27 event at Emory.
This installation is the last of four events taking place April 3 as part of Memory Flash. More information:
Read more about the history behind Memory Flash:


290 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Suite 8
Atlanta, GA 30312

White Hall
208 Dowman Drive, Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322

MIxx Atlanta
1492 Piedmont Road #B (in Ansley Square, adjacent to Ansley Mall)
Atlanta, GA 30309

This program is made possible by Flux Projects and is sponsored in part by grants from the Emory College Center for Creativity and the Arts and the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation. Additional support comes from Mixx Atlanta.


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