Lacking a formal narrative, Warhol's art house classic follows various residents of the Chelsea Hotel in 1966 New York City, presented in a split screen with a single audio track in conjunction with one side of screen.
Originally a twenty five hour film made up of shorter film segments. It consists of 83 reels each lasting approximately 33 minutes. A short story odyssey of film designed to be shown with two projectors playing simultaneously.
Donna and Jane are two American hippies, searching for sex and romance in Paris but, mainly, rich husbands. Eventually, Donna finds a perfume industrialist, Michael, who wishes to marry her... See full summary »
The first half of this movie is a real pain to watch because Warhol thought it would be cute/interesting to film it out of focus. One of his self-styled bold innovations, of course. The only good thing about this sequence is the "best of the Everly Brothers" record playing in the background. I gave up trying to see through the out-of-focus fog after about 7 minutes and just sat back and relaxed, listening to the Everlys. Apparently the action during this half consists of Edie doing her morning toilette. And this also included, towards the end, of shooting up. I wouldn't have noticed, except for the helpful snicker of the lady sitting next to me in the theatre.
The second half is in focus and totally marvelous because it shows Edie at her brightest. The background music, to begin with, is the Shirelles, and its beautiful to see Edie's response to the songs, especially when she sings along with "wasn't that a sweet thing".
Apparently the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale" was written about her, but it just goes to show how jealous some people are. If there was anyone who was less of a femme fatale, it was Edie Sedgwick. Anyone who's ever seen her in the few movie appearances she made can easily see that if she flitted from one beau to another, it wasn't from calculation, but from a crippling inability to connect and commit.
Anyway, this film, like "Inner and Outer Space", shows Edie's face as it runs through a gamut of different emotions, and the occasional looks of terror and hopelessness are even more pronounced and heartbreaking. Its as if she throwing everything she's got into trying to shine a light from her soul into the snotty sounding Brit she's talking to off camera, all to no avail: he remains completely hard and closed to her. Since her mercurial mood changes show her to be extremely vulnerable and teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown, these moments of horror are all the more heartbreaking. Nonetheless, I wish that this, and the other films she appears in were available on DVD so I could watch them over and over. I've very much fallen in love the poor little waif.
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