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Autor: admin

~ 25/02/07

Film Review: Factory Girl
by Debra Miller

For Andy, on the 20th anniversary of his death
Artist Karey Maurice(L) with Dr.Debra Miller(R) 2004 Philladelphia,PA

After seeing the scathing reviews of the new film on Edie Sedgwick, I expected I’d be writing yet another impassioned defense of Andy Warhol and my close friends from the Factory and the Warhola family, as has become my crusade over the past two decades, since Andy’s shocking and untimely death on February 22, 1987. Typical of the vitriol elicited by the movie was Gene Shalits vicious pronouncement on NBCs Today Show: If vermin is plural, then Andy Warhol was a verm. Though twenty years deceased, those who never knew Andy or the denizens of the Factory still wont let him rest in peace, still exploit his demonized public image, and still make no attempt to understand the real person or his art. But, unlike its consistently negative and accusatory reviews, I found the minimally fictionalized film biography to be extremely accurate, well researched, and even-handed in its presentation of the lead characters and the facts of Edie’s short and troubled life. It was also brilliantly acted by Sienna Miller as Edie and Guy Pearce as Andy, and visually stunning in its recreation of the Factory, the fashions, and the spirit of the Sixties.

Sienna Miller as Edie and Guy Pearce as Andy in Factory Girl

The writer, Captain Mauzner, and director, George Hickenlooper, exhaustively pored over the restored Warhol films and the Factory photos of Billy Name and Nat Finkelstein (who served as on-set photographer to the present film), to ensure credibility in every detail of their reconstruction of the period and the people. The camera crew even employed some of the same techniques that Andy used in his films, including grainy close-ups and hand-held movie cameras, to recall the aesthetic and experimental aspects of his revolutionary cinematic style (whose impact was seen in Edie’s post-Warhol vehicle, Ciao Manhattan!, on which Factory Girl also draws heavily). But far from being merely a visual tour-de-force, the real-life story of Factory Girl is based on readings of, and interviews with, the most reliable sources on the subject: Gerard Malanga, Andy’s closest assistant and most serious collaborator at the Factory in the 1960s; and George Plimpton, whose Edie: An American Biography of 1989 (co-authored with Jean Stein), is still the most comprehensive book on Sedgwick. Along with Malanga, Finkelstein, and Plimpton, Warhol associates Brigid Berlin and Sam Green, and Edie’s brother HYPERLINK “” \o “Jonathan Sedgwick” Jonathan Sedgwick, all granted interviews, with lifetime licensing rights, to the producers, and Edie’s friend Danny Fields and cousin John Sedgwick (author of the forthcoming family biography, In My Blood: Six Generations of Madness and Desire in an American Family), served as advisors to the film. Consequently, Factory Girl offers keen insight into Edie’s self-destructiveness by those who knew her best; it is hardly the shallow and self-important reading that it has been accused of being in Andrew Repasky McElhinny’s review for Philadelphia Weekly.

While the status quo of the past 40 years has been to blame Andy for Edie’s tragic decline and demise (though she was associated with the Factory for only one of her 28 years, and did not die until approximately five years after that association ended), Factory Girl amply examines the real roots of Sedgwick’s psychological pathologies a genetic predisposition to depression and mental illness; a family history of suicide, emotional and sexual abuse, and the elitist delusion, predicated on a seemingly endless supply of wealth and connections (when she still had them), that she could buy anything she wanted, including love and respect. Rightfully, the true villains of the movie are Edie’s parents, who doomed her long before she met Warhol; her Cambridge friends Chuck Wein and ,Syd Pepperman (well-played by Jimmy Fallon and Shawn Hatosy), the Svengalis who instigated many of Edie’s temperamental antics and much of the antagonism with her colleagues at the Factory; and ,the musician, (an obvious characterization of Bob Dylan, who threatened to sue the filmmakers if they used his name), who finally caused Edie’s painful split with Warhol, and then abandoned her without a word to marry his now ex-wife Sarah. The truth about Dylan’s arrogant, homophobic, and hostile behavior during his visit to the Factory in July of 1965 is even more damning than depicted in the film (as I previously documented in my 1994 monograph, Billy Name: Stills from the Warhol Films). Upon completing his screen test, and after relentlessly deprecating Warhol and his work, the so-called “prophet of his generation” took as ‘payment’ for his appearance in the 3-minute reel one of Andy’s silk-screened paintings of Elvis Presley, which he later traded to his manager Albert Grossman for a used sofa. It is worth noting that, at present, the painting is worth considerably more than second-hand furniture (calling Dylan’s skills of prophecy into question), and that, to date, no lawsuit has been filed by Dylan against the filmmakers–and one is not likely, now that Edie’s brother Jonathan Sedgwick has confirmed that the musician did in fact have a devastating affair with his sister, and that she had an abortion as a result of that disastrous, short-lived union.

In addition to such significant omissions, there were also some miscastings in the film. Most notably, Jack Huston, who played Malanga, lacked the intensity, magnetism, good looks, and heavy Bronx accent of the original; Meredith Ostrom, playing Nico, massacred her German accent and did not project the aloof, ethereal beauty of the model and singer; and Tara Summers, as Brigid Berlin, was physically wrong for the role of the sloppy, overweight Brigid Polk, as Berlin was known in the Sixties. However, Sienna Miller, in an emotionally compelling and Oscar-worthy performance, perfectly captured the husky voice, distinctive speech pattern, captivating smile, and haunting look of desperation in Edie’s eyes, creating scenes in which it was virtually impossible to distinguish between the two. And Guy Pearce portrayed a frail, sensitive, insightful Warhol, who, because of his own insecurities and fragility, was at a loss for how to deal with self-destructive personalities like Edie (as he posits in the closing scene of the film: “How do you stop somebody . . .?”). Andy’s emotional distancing can be seen here as a mechanism to cope with the pain and betrayal he felt at Sedgwick’s readily manipulated defection from the Factory to the Dylan camp, calling to mind his famous quote (which was unfortunately missing from the film): “I never fall apart because I never fell together.”

In an equally telling sequence of lucid reflections drawn from actual interviews, Edie says of her time at the Factory, “Those were really the happiest days of my life.” They are words that we should take at face value; because, in the film, as in reality, she is unable to place the blame on anyone but herself for her own bad choices, and would soon return to the self-medicating substance abuse that caused her premature death in 1971. Factory Girl is a powerful story that seems to hold endless fascination for the public, and one that plays out all too often among such physically beautiful but emotionally needy celebrities as Edie, as we are seeing once again in the ongoing saga of Anna Nicole Smith. It is a film that is well-crafted, didactic, and still timely, and one that I highly recommend.

Autor: admin

~ 10/02/07

I don’t have to go into to too much detail about the fact that Andy Warhol has been more on the minds of people today than anyone cares to admit, well at least publicly. You can’t escape the influence he alone has had on our society as far as art and entertainment is concerned.Everyone is saying that they want their fifteen minutes of fame no matter what it cost.
People are compromising themselves everyday for a chance to be recognized admired and well paid for their efforts, if there lucky.For example, there are so many ways to promote one’s self or whatever your selling to the general public that your odds are a lot greater, than say, going to Atlantic City and winning the jackpot than to do some dumb sh_T to become famous or infamous, which ever one works for you.Can anyone say, “Jerry,Jerry,Jerry, Springer that is.
Entertainment has become such a profitable luxury item because there is so much wrong going on around us, that we feel we all deserve a break and want some kind of quick (Pop) relief from it all. So we pay money for it, or we use ourselves to create it but, we will have our fifteen minutes of feeling special and that’s where I think Warhol’s art comes in and has a resonance with society today.Things are moving so fast that fifteen minutes are all you think you have to yourself to find some happiness and it really might be true concidering that there are only 168 hours in a week and most people sleep six to eight hours per every twenty four hour cycle, so that doesn’t give you a whole lot of time if you do the math.
I’m glad that this new movie about the”Factory Scene” has come out this month because this February marks the twentieth year that Andy Warhol left the building but, He just went around the corner to Serendipity for some Ice Cream, He’ll be right back! RedSaid

Autor: admin

~ 04/02/07

cover artwork titled”Sax Man”©1992 Karey Maurice

Extra! Extra! Read all about it.I finally got the opportunity to officially tell this amazing story that I have been holding dear to my heart.I know I have mentioned it in an earlier blog entry about basically, how I came to be the artist that I am with the help of the late Keith Haring giving me advice but, inside this magazine I tell the story of how I met him in the first place.This month is a very special month not only because it is Black History month, but it is the month that two famous artist past away, one was Keith Haring and the other was Andy Warhol both of which I have a personal connection with and I want to express my respect for them.So if your out in jersey pick up a copy of “Out in Jersey” and read the article on page 47. you’ll be reading a little bit of history coming from a black man,ain’t that a switch.RedSaid
Inside the magazine article it states that the painting on the cover along with other works can be seen at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts,Millville, Nj from April 20th thru May 13th and that is incorrect. The real date for the exhibition is; March 15-April 13, 2007; opening reception 3rd Friday, 16 March, 5-9 pm.I heard that Millville has a great little art scene with plenty of galleries and restaurants for everyone to enjoy so if you would like to see the painting up close or you would like to meet the creator of this masterpiece please come by the Arts Center on March 16th and I will be there. One more thing that I might add is the fact that although I’m published in a predominantly homosexual publication, I myself am not Gay and I don’t think being in a magazine of this kind is a mortal sin I’m just glad for the chance to expose my work to a larger audience in hopes to take my place in history.