ANDY WARHOL NEWS
(Updated April 25, 2006)
The Internet Movie Database is reporting that the Edie Sedgwick biopic, Factory Girl, is due out in September 2006. (http://poll.imdb.com/title/tt0432402/releaseinfo). The film's plot is set out on the main IMDB page: "A beautiful, wealthy young party girl drops out of Harvard in 1965 and heads to New York to become Holly Golightly. When she meets a hungry young, artist named Andy Warhol, he promises to make her the star she always wanted to be. And like a super nova she explodes on the New York scene only to find herself slowly lose grip on reality..." (http://poll.imdb.com/title/tt0432402).
Although one tends to expect a certain amount of factual inaccuracy in Hollywood biopics, the description of Warhol as a "hungry, young artist" doesn't bode well. Warhol was 36 years old when he was first introduced to Edie Sedgwick by Lester Persky in January 1965. He certainly wasn't a "hungry" artist by 1965. During the 1950s he was a very successful commercial artist - in 1958 he was listed in a book 1001 Names and Where to Drop Them under the category of "Big Business." By the time Warhol met Edie, he had already exhibited his Soup Cans and Elvises at the Ferus (L.A.), his Marilyns and Brillo Boxes at the Stable (N.Y.) and his Flowers at Leo Castelli (NY) - not to mention having had his first European show ("Warhol") at the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris (see art).Creative license (aka factual inaccuracy) can be forgiven if a movie succeeds creatively. Hickenlooper's previous film, a documentary on L.A. nightclub promoter and D.J., Rodney Binghenheimer, did not shy away from capturing the sadness of Bingenheimer's life (the scene where he interviews Rodney's parents was particularly revealing), and hopefully Hickenlooper's artistic sensitivities will be put to good use in the Edie film.
And, hopefully, Factory Girl will take a more original approach toward Edie and Andy's relationship than the boringly unoriginal and oft-repeated theory that Warhol the "svengali" turned Edie the "innocent" into a drug-fueled mess - a view that has never made sense given that Edie was already taking drugs before she met Warhol and had already been in and out of mental hospitals at least twice before she moved to New York (see Edie).
One waits - and hopes. Only five months to go.
Documentaries on Jack Smith and Marie Menken will be shown as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York which runs from April 25 - May 7, 2006.
Details on Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis at: www.jacksmithandthedestructionofatlantis.com.Details on Notes on Marie Menken are on the film festival's website at: www.tribecafilmfestival.org/tixSYS/2006/filmguide/event_np_full.php?EventNumber=3689.
The Biography Channel in the U.S. will be broadcasting an episode of Dead Famous featuring host Gail Porter trying to make contact with Andy Warhol's ghost - at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, April 25, 2006. A U.K. broadcast is also planned although not yet scheduled on Living TV.
Joe Dallesandro as The Gardener
from the front cover of the DVD release
Subversive Cinema has released a DVD version of The Gardener (aka Seeds of Evil), a non-Warhol film starring Joe Dallesandro. The Gardener was shot in 1972 in Puerto Rico after Heat but before Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein. Joe plays a demented gardener with an unnatural power over plants and his female co-stars. One of the female characters, Helena - a snooty socialite played by Rita Gam (ex-wife of Sidney Lumet) - sums up Joe's appeal when she says to her co-star, played by Katherine Houghton, "He really is something, isn't he? Not what you usually find in the tropics." (Houghton played the part of Katherine Hepburn's daughter in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.)The one redeeming quality of this film is that Joe's hair is longer in this movie than in any other film he appears in, extending down to his waist. According to Joe, it was Paul Morrissey who urged him to take the role of the gardener in the first place.
"Paul's idea of the movie I should do was a movie called The Gardener... I should do this movie because, one 'Joe, your first Hollywood movie should be a movie that preferably doesn't get released.' Two, 'you just want to do it so you can get a chance to work with a Hollywood group,' and then it'll get shelved after the experience. I couldn't understand that and I said, 'Paul, I'm not agreeing with you on this. I don't see why I can't do a good movie. I don't think I'd fail at it.' He says, trust me, trust me - and I did that. He gave me the go-ahead because he never thought it would be released, that it was such a piece of shit that nobody would see it." (JOE116)
Although the film itself may be worse than bad and Joe's performance as wooden as a tree (which his character apparently is), the Subversive Cinema release has another redeeming quality (besides Joe's hair) - a full commentary by Joe which is included as one of the DVD extras. Further details on the Amazon page, here.
The Forbes Galleries in New York are hosting an exhibition of Andy Warhol's corporate work from April 18 to July 1, 2006 - "Andy Warhol and the Corporate World." Details on their website at www.forbesgalleries.com/picturegallery.html. The show includes Warhol's ad series from the 1980s, his commissioned portraits of big business heavyweights from the 70s and 80s and a selection of his pre-Pop commercial work. (Info. on Warhol's pre-Pop period is here.)
An exhibition of Warhol's Electric Chair screen prints (1971) continues at the Princeton Art Museum until June 25, 2006. Details at www.princetonartmuseum.org/m_exhib.cfm.
A series of "outsider" films will be screened at the Rex Private Cinema in Soho (London) beginning April 16, 2006. Two of the nights will be hosted by Angie Bowie. No Warhol films are being shown but the series does include some modern underground classics such as Legend of Leigh Bowery, Les Annees Palace (introduced by the director), The Cockettes, Kinky Gerlinky (introduced by the director), Ramones End of the Century and Punk and the Pistols (introduced by the director). Play Station Portable (www.yourpsp.com) is sponsoring the festival which is being promoted by Patrick Lilley - the man behind Queer Nation (the longest running gay club night in the U.K.). Patrick will host several of the events, with parties and shows being planned for the various evenings. Details on the event flyer here.
May Wilson at approximate age 64
holding a photo of herself at approximate age 30
(Photos: Rusty Russell (64)/ William S. Wilson, Jr. (30))
May Wilson - the woman under whose bed Valerie Solanas stored the gun she used to shoot Andy Warhol - is one of the artists whose work is to be included in a group show - "Constellation" - at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York from April 20 - May 27, 2006. Wilson's assemblages were included in Martha Jackson's "New Media - New Forms: In Painting and Sculpture" in 1960 which featured the works of artists that were often referred to as "Neo-Dada" and later considered as precursors to Pop (see New Media New Forms). Wilson was also the subject of a 1969 documentary - Woo Who? May Wilson - which Molly Haskell reviewed for the Village Voice. In her review, Haskell refers to May as the "heroine of a true story of liberation" and describes the artist as "a robust and gallant lady, with an obvious appetite for life" who "is unperturbed by the comic figure she cuts," quoting May from the film: "only a rich personality can afford the luxury of looking ridiculous."
Other artists included in the show are Buster Cleveland, John Evans, Al Hansen and Ray Johnson. Hansen and Johnson are of particular interest to Andy Warhol addicts. Ray Johnson assisted Warhol on the filming of Jill Johnston (Dancing). Al Hansen, a Fluxus artist, was the father of Warhol star Bibbe Hansen and edited an underground magazine titled Kiss - "the paper you read with one hand" - which featured contributions by Andy Warhol, Ondine and Brigid Berlin. During the month of April, Al Hansen's work is also being shown at the Andrea Rosen Gallery (see archive).
A small full-color catalog accompanies "Constellation" with essays by Vince Aletti, Peter Frank, Sur Rodney (Sur), Robert M.Murdock and William S. Wilson. The website for Pavel Zoubok is at: www.pavelzoubok.com.
A DVD box set of Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein will be released in the UK on April 24, 2006. Both films star Joe Dallesandro. Extras include commentary by Paul Morrissey. HMV is currently offering a pre-order discount on their website at www.hmv.co.uk.