Monday, February 26, 2007

Edie Sedgwick: Getting Inside the 'Factory Girl'

Michael and I caught a late show of "Factory Girl" on Saturday in Union Square. The reviews were tepid so we went into it with low expectations. As a longtime Edie fan, I agree with New York magazine that it did have an "Edie for Dummies" quality to it, but I think the producers did a nice job of capturing the spirit of the Factory (or lack thereof) and of Edie's wild child charms. That said, "Factory Girl" was one of those rare films that was actually too short. While the director did a great job of keeping things moving along -- at an almost music-video-like pace -- it seemed to be done more out of necessity, like he was lacking any substantial insight into the characters, than for style.

Sienna Miller's performance was commendable -- she sure had the look down to a tee! -- but no matter how many skin blotches you put on Guy Pearce, he's still way too good-looking (and comfortable in his own skin!) to be Andy Warhol. Hayden Christensen, who I didn't even recognize, is adorable as Edie's composite love interest, although it's easy to see why Bob Dylan would take offense that they're really portraying him (Christensen practically wore that harmonica around his neck in bed). It's unfortunate because details of Edie's involvement with Dylan are sketchy at best, but her relationship with Bob Neuwirth is well-documented (if not less titillating).

The idea of an Edie Segwick film has been floating around Hollywood for decades, with Warren Beatty evening buying the rights at one point for a version to star Molly Ringwald (as if!). It's probably taken as long as it has to get this project off the ground because everyone involved probably knew deep down that an up-to-date documentary -- not a feature film -- was the real way to go here (think "Nico Icon"). Not surprisingly, the closing credits of "Factory Girl" featuring interviews with one of Edie's brothers, George Plimpton, and various Factory luminaries was by far the most compelling part of the film.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When Howard Sounes was researching to do a biography of Dylan he found that Edie initially had a brief affair with Dylan and that she inspired "Just Like a Woman." Just listen to the lyrics of the song and its clear that he is describing a woman who has the same childlike way, fragility, mental illness and tendency towards extravagant wardrobe as Edie. It is also clear, when he says please dont let on that you knew me, that he is ashamed of having slept with her and will deny it to others.