• Publication date: May 19, 2010

Factory Girl Factory Girl

Artist Andy Warhol is perhaps best known, at least for those with little ...

Artist Andy Warhol is perhaps best known, at least for those with little interest in art, for his famous Campbell’s Soup silkscreen paintings, jumping out at observers in bright, fluorescent colors. Yet he was also a filmmaker and manager of the groundbreaking band The Velvet Underground, whose formation would later launch the solo career of musician Lou Reed. At the same time he was known for his eccentric companions, who lurked at his famous studio dubbed The Factory. One of those individuals was the beautiful socialite Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller), who Warhol would champion as an up and coming international superstar, actress and model. The reality of that claim is not so clear, however one may say she was a precursor to modern celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, whose fame is based on – well – simply existing. Warhol did not only push the boundaries of art, but like many artists in his era, the boundaries of society as well. Sedgwick was a part of Warhol’s experimental clique, who happily embraced various types of drugs and sexual scenarios. 2006’s “Factory Girl” does not attempt to glamorize that necessarily, but in some respects it does blame Warhol (played by Guy Pearce) and his clan for her downward spiral, which would eventually lead to her being institutionalized with mental health problems and ultimately her death. While this biopic may be void of a plot, or even a message, it is an emotional look at a troubled individual struggling for something she cannot even pinpoint herself. After all, what is fame only by itself, especially if one realizes they have done nothing to deserve it? The relationship Sedgwick forged with Warhol may have been deep for her, though merely another artistic association for him. Despite widespread knowledge that the artist was gay, she for some reason, believed their relationship went beyond that. Musician Billy Quinn (Hayden Christensen), a fictional character highly analogous to folk singer Bob Dylan, attempts to steer Sedgwick away from Warhol in the movie, reiterating that he was gay, and The Factory’s drug-filled environment would eventually lead to her destruction. Sedgwick’s life and the true events surrounding it remain a mystery till this day. Warhol’s associates, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed dismissed the film as pure rubbish and a shameful attempt to profit from misery. Dylan, at one point, threatened to sue the film’s creators, though recanted for unknown reasons. “Factory Girl’s” soundtrack features a number of recognizable sixties songs, including popular artists like The McCoys, Martha & the Vandellas and The Guess Who. The picture is rated R for pervasive drug use, sexual content, nudity and strong language.