Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Andy Warhol's Factory People"

The three hour film, “Andy Warhol’s FACTORY PEOPLE”, tells the story of the 60’s Silver Factory that Andy founded in 1964 in an abandoned hat factory on East 47th Street in New York City. The Silver Factory lasted until 1968 when Andy gave up the lease and moved to the White Factory on Union Square. Shortly after moving in the Spring of ’68 Andy was shot by Valerie Solanas and this event bookends the period of time covered in “Factory People”.

The idea of the film is to tell the real story of the culture, who was there with Andy, who participated in the work with Andy, and what really happened during this period…all without passing judgement on Andy, his work, his friends, and the people who were there at the time. The film takes and in-depth look at the lives and times of the people who hung out with Andy and “worked” at the Silver Factory during the Sixties, making it all click as a new counter-culture arose and began to exert its influence throughout the arts.

What makes this Warhol documentary, directed by Catherine O'Sullivan Shorr, slightly different from other Warhol documentaries is its avowed bottom-up approach: Warhol as a function of his followers is the idea. ("Factory People" assumes you already know your Andy.) Of course, this is true to some degree of any film about this artist, given the fact that he's no longer around to speak for himself, and even when he was he preferred utterance to explication, and also given the use he made of those around him. But this time the interview subjects get to talk about themselves, and each other, a little more than usual.

There are lots of photos and film clips, both by and of Warhol -- who would have turned 80 this year -- but it's the interviews, most of them new, that that tell the tale. There are Warhol assistant Gerard Malanga, unofficial Factory foreman Billy Name, biographer Victor Bockris (who calls the Factory "the most intelligent art commune in the world"), "superstars" Ultra Violet, Mary Woronov and Holly Woodlawn, actors Allen Midgette and Taylor Mead, and Velvets Reed and Nico.

The documentary is currently being shown on Ovation TV at various times.

1 comment:

tom_horseplay said...

I saw it and it was GREAT!