I Shot Andy Warhol
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He was the world-renowned King of Pop Artand his life was about to take a dramatic turn in exchange for someone else's fifteen minutes of fame! Starring Lili Taylor (Ransom) and Jared Harris (Father's Day), and winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Recognition Award*,this "vibrant, touching and thoroughly entertaining film" (The New York Times) explores the provocative story behind the shooting of '60s superstar Andy Warhol. Valerie Solanas (Taylor), a lesbian writer, loner and prostitute, has come to the Big Apple with one goal in mind: to spread the gospel of her radical feminism. Desperate for an audience, she latches on to the fringes of Warhol's (Harris) glamorous sex-and-drug-laced Factory scene. But as her zeal swerves dangerously out of control, her private madness leads to a bizarre obsession with the artist himselfand a final, explosive act of violence that not only gets her notice...but makes her manifesto infamous. *1996
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Top customer reviews
I thought this film was very, very interesting. And I was impressed that the directing was so well done. This must have been a difficult story to tell... a multi-layered character to portray. A woman so complex and, quite literally, a near-genius I.Q. Lili Taylor made her acting look so natural & convincing. I hope she won an Oscar for this difficult & controversial role. Its such a highly interesting character study as well as a reflection of how life was for women in the '60s & how much we've overcome.
Highly recommend this movie to intelligent audiences with calm attitudes who aren't easily threatened & to those who like to learn from adversary.
The scenes at the Factory are entertaining enough. For someone who is familiar with Warhol's life and the 1960's Silver Factory, the characters are easily identifiable. The actors all look and act more or less like the people they play, and it is fun to hear Warhol's "uh, oh gee," as usual. But the realism becomes problematic when the characters utter their own most famous quotations, as if these lines, repeated by every biographer and documentarian, were all these people ever said. It ends up feeling like a comedy sketch.
When Solanas meets another radical, a man, in a copy shop, the film is more engaging; perhaps because the writers were less constrained by the truth. In her brief (apparently sexual) relationship with this fellow extremist, and later, in the violent, bra-burning feminist demonstrations she watches on TV, there almost appears to be some kind of sociological explanation for her behavior, or at least a context for it. And wouldn't it have been interesting to discover just how original (or unoriginal) her ideas were at the time? None of this is explored. The many scenes that attempt, halfheartedly, to whip up some sympathy for her by showing her sleeping on roofs, begging for change, and selling herself never do the trick. It's difficult to sympathize with a lunatic. And in the end, one ends up no more enlightened about why Solanas shot Warhol than before.
It's not quite accurate to call the film a character study---i.e., one that does not concern itself with pronouncements about the rightness or wrongness of a character's particular views or actions. I say this because contemporary feminists view Solanas as something of a misunderstood visionary, and because of the comment at the end of the film calling her manifesto a "classic" (invoking the dubious, uncritical notion of the misunderstood genius). The filmmakers may have wanted to eradicate the sign of such bourgeois notions, but on some level their intention was to rehabilitate Solanas' reputation. It's a bit gross.