Andy Warhol’s ‘San Diego Surf’ finally coming to the West Coast

Andy Warhol’s 1968 movie “San Diego Surf,” an unfinished work that had been locked away for more than 40 years, has been making waves in recent months after the Andy Warhol Museum released the 90-minute film for the first time at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2011 and then last year at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The movie will make its much belated West Coast premiere on March 16 close to where it was shot. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will host one screening of the film that will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the museum’s La Jolla location. General admission is $8, which does not include museum admission.

A museum spokeswoman said there will be only one screening of the movie, but said the museum may reconsider if there is sufficient demand.


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Warhol shot the movie with Paul Morrissey on the beaches of La Jolla using two 16 millimeter cameras. The story follows a young couple (Warhol regulars Viva and Taylor Mead) who rent their beach house to a group of local surfers.

It was the first movie Warhol shot in California since “Tarzan and Jane Regained, Sort of…" in 1963.

Not long after shooting of “San Diego Surf” was finished, Warhol was shot in New York by Valerie Solanas, a deranged follower. The movie remained unfinished until after Warhol’s death, when Morrissey was asked by the Warhol Foundation to complete the editing process in 1995.

Film critic J. Hoberman wrote in a recent article in the New York Times that “San Diego Surf” could “be more creditably attributed to Mr. Morrissey.” But despite the latter’s edit, the Warhol Museum credits the movie “solely to Warhol.”

The March screening will be preceded by a viewing of archival footage of Warhol and Morrissey making the film. This never-before-seen footage was filmed by Lee Pratt.


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