Andy Warhol’s San Diego Surf Premieres 44 Years After Filming
by Owen James Burke
Riding on the tail of Bruce Brown’s Endless Summer and in hopes of making a rawer, edgier surf film, Andy Warhol rented a mansion in La Jolla, California, perhaps trying to shake away the doldrums of New York City.
Filming of San Diego Surf lasted only three weeks, and because Warhol didn’t see it fit for editing (let alone viewing), it never screened. Apparently, the San Diego sun enchanted the gloom and doom of factory life right out of Warhol and company, and motivation to continue with the dismal narrative of a troubled married couple facing divorce and the pregnancy of their unwed daughter was all but lost:
“Everybody was so happy being in La Jolla that the New York problems we usually made our movies about went away–the edge came right off everybody…I guess that’s why the whole thing turned out to be more of a memento of a bunch of friends taking a vacation together than a movie.”
44 years later, the 90-minute film will premiere October 16 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art; public screenings will take place from January 23-28, 2013.