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Showing posts with label LSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LSD. Show all posts

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Becoming Cary Grant (2017) has its premiere - in England* - in Bristol

Becoming Cary Grant (2017) : A premiere at Cinema Rediscovered at The Watershed

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

29 July (Post-script added, 11 August)

An account of the sell-out screening of Becoming Cary Grant (2017) plus Q&A at Cinema Rediscovered at Bristol's The Watershed

Post-script, to try to formulate some thoughts about Archie more succinctly / clearly :

End-notes :

* Billed as the film's 'English premiere', this is because it showed at Edinburgh Film Festival last month.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spanner in the works ?

A rating and review of Factory Girl (2006)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

16 November (film watched on DVD) revised 17 November (to reflect film's slim connection with the facts - please see below)

66 = S : 6 / A : 14 / C : 9 / M : 15 / P : 12 / F : 10

A rating and review of Factory Girl (2006)

S = script

A = acting

C = cinematography

M = music

P = pacing

F = feel

9 = mid-point of scale (all scores out of 17 / 17 x 6 = 102)

This film gives the impression that it does not know what it is meant to be. It uses a framing device that jars, and, at one point, undercuts the impact of what had just been shown on screen – a regretted point of rupture with the person only called Musician, but who sounded very much like he was a person well known to Joan Baez*.

Unless it was feeling awkward or embarrassed, when Andy Warhol has introduced an Edie Sedgwick look-alike into The Factory, to go back to the Musician and admit that he had been right about Warhol, the film does not tell you, but it did not require complete degradation for Sedgwick to overcome any pride that she may have and ask for money. At best, one is left feeling, as the film does not use its own device to give any motivation, that there may have been some self-destructive streak in operation, for which there is probably sufficient evidence.

This is where stories get confused, as do values, for, if Sedgwick is a spendthrift, not receiving any recompense from Warhol for appearing in his films, for example, becomes an issue where it would not if she had been a socialite more careful with her means**. It is not to say, of course, that Sedgwick was not as portrayed (I have never seen any footage of the real Sedgwick, so I cannot judge on any level), and was only getting half her rent paid her father, Fuzzy the man who had sought to abuse her in childhood, but she did choose to throw her lot in with Warhol the genius as his superstar, and never did properly attempt to tie him down to what money, if any, The Factory made from what she did.

No doubt the positions were unequal, since (on this showing) she admired him more as an artist, and he her more as a commodity, but nothing disguised the fact that she instead relied on a trust fund’s infinite resourcefulness, when she knew that The Factory gave her nothing. She could, tied only by loyalty to the not terribly loyal Warhol (as witnessed by what he says when she storms into where he and his cohorts are eating), have broken away before, when all that she has ever been given is fifty dollars.

The stories seem confused because the finger is pointed at Warhol, and he was not alive to say what he intended, whereas, cutting him out altogether, it is really the story of a woman from a wealthy family who, through meeting people in New York, starts using speed and worse (though the Wikipedia item cited suggests that she had used LSD before she ever met his circle). If Warhol could have paid Sedgwick, then he was mean not to, but it would perhaps have only slowed the inevitable : I know too little to be able to judge whether he relied on his recondite charm to make money from others and not reward them.

Despite the life that he led, maybe because of it, it is possible that factually Warhol did go to confession (did he keep it hidden from all but his diary, or is that charitable and it is invention ?), as we twice see : contrasted with Guy Pearce’s beautifully brought off vapidity and self-centred mannerisms, the moments in the confessional seem to betray some feeling, some regret, but maybe this fictive Warhol likes best that, other than saying a prayer and lighting a candle, there is no obligation on him to do anything to mend matters with Sedgwick. In fact, on this second occasion, he conveniently forgets what he did and said to incite the further formation of the rift, so, on this level, the confession is humbug.

We come back to what sort of film this is meant to be. If it portrays Segwick’s life, it does so by larding Warhol with immense quantities of blame***, and then one either stands back from what the film asserts, or takes it at face value, neither of which is really a satisfactory stance. The disclaimer quoted below does not help anyone adopting the former, not, at any rate, without a good deal of research.


* The closing credits cryptically tell us ‘Whilst this motion picture is based upon historical events, certain characters’ names have been changed, some main characters have been composited or invented and a number of incidents fictionalized’, which effectively means that the film-makers could represent things as they liked regarding Sedgwick and Warhol, since both are dead, but not regarding the living.

** Sedgwick's Wikipedia entry reports 'Edie embarked on a constant round of partying and spent her trust fund at an astonishing rate; according to friend Tom Goodwin she went through eighty thousand dollars in just six months and bought huge amounts of clothing, jewelry and cosmetics.'

*** The Wikipedia page makes it quite clear who 'Musician' must be (as thought) and that, whatever involvement he had with Sedgwick, it was after she was no longer part of Warhol's circle, had already moved to the Chelsea Hotel before she met him, and that the screen-test shown for the Musician with Warhol must be invention. Nothing suggests that Warhol and Sedgwick drifted apart for the reasons shown, or that money was an issue between them.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)