If you’re a denizen of the East Village and find yourself walking home late at night on occasion, chances are you’ve spotted a slow-moving apparition in the cemetery on Second Street, feeding stray cats and looking very ghostly. That apparition is, in fact, not a ghost, but Taylor Mead, the poet, actor, performance artist, and one of the last of Andy Warhol’s great Superstars. He’s quirky, friendly, funny, fey, lovable, and every bit an icon of underground cinema, appearing in no fewer than six Warhol films, including the irreverent Tarzan and Jane Regained…Sort Of and the downright cheeky Taylor Mead’s Ass.
Nearly a nonagenarian, Mead doesn’t get out as much as he used to, but you can catch him tomorrow night at Anthology Film Archives, where he’ll introduce the New York premiere of a recent restoration of Passion in a Seaside Slum. Directed by Robert Wade Chatterton, the 1961 farce follows “the faggot,” played by Mead, as he traipses after an overtly macho guy who just wants to go fishing in the canals of L.A. and laughs at the sexual advances. Those 32 minutes of buffoonery will be followed by two other low-budget shorts from the era, Lemon Hearts and To L.A.…With Lust, both directed by Vernon Zimmerman.
To watch these gems in their original form on the big screen is a rare treat. It’s only a matter of time before James Franco reprises the inimitable Taylor Mead.
Taylor Mead: On Film, In Person
Thursday, April 5, 7:30 pm
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue @ Second Street