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A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory

2.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Oct 28, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

This is director Esther Robinson's riveting personal inquiry into the mysterious 1966 disappearance of Danny Williams, a promising young filmmaker, Warhol's lover, and Robinson's uncle. The film features intimate interviews with surviving Factory members and astonishing footage from Williams' recently discovered films. Winner of the prestigious"Teddy Award" at the Berlin Film Festival and " Best NY Documentary" at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Malanga, John Cale, Albert Maysles, Paul Morrissey, Brigid Berlin
  • Directors: Esther Robinson
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Arts Alliance America
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013XZ6JS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,684 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in things Warhol and his famous factory, you will be delighted with " A WALK INTO THE SEA " Brings to light an almost Forgotten key player in the early days of the Andy Warhol factory scene. I found myself brought right into the strange world of Warhol and his helpers ,sycophants , hangers on, what have you. I had always wondered what had happened to many of the factory staff and this fascinating documentary piece gave me the answers I was looking for.The makers rely on film stock shot during the time of the Factories glory days and other Warhol archival source material. Which with the added musical score becomes mesmerizing and haunting at times.The film becomes so much more then just a quest by a women to find out what may have happened to her uncle in the end,It brings the strange and eclectic world that was Warhol all back to life if only for a brief period of time.One of the elements I really enjoyed about this particular documentary was that it relied heavily on first hand accounts by those who were there during those Halcyon days of the Factory existence.I suggest after watching this film to go on line and check out the " WARHOL TIME LINE " to see just were all of these individuals ended up .Don't miss this one if you enjoy the odd and off beat and have an interest in the NYC art scene of the era.
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Format: DVD
A Walk Into the Sea is an account of the disappearance of filmmaker Danny Williams, who worked with Andy Warhol at his "Factory" in the 1960s. After graduating from Harvard in 1961, Williams moved to New York, where he became Warhol's lover. Williams later disappeared while visiting his family in Massachusetts and his niece set out to make a film about him. This film has real potential, but none of it is realized.

There are several interesting themes that A Walk Into the Sea could have explored. One would have been Danny Williams' life story. Another would have been the competition among the Factory's artists for Warhol's favor. (The film portrays Warhol as a Grade-A jerk who jilted Williams). A third theme might have been the impact of Williams' disappearance on his loved ones.

Instead, A Walk Into the Sea just spins its wheels; the film tells all of the stories above, but it does not tell any of them in depth. The film, therefore, lacks focus and fails to answer any of the questions surrounding Williams. The viewer sees some mildly-interesting black-and-white films that Williams made, but the films will be of little interest to anyone other than (perhaps) film students; the films are silent and contain black-and-white images of the people at the Factory.

For an interesting account of Warhol's impact on the lives of others, I suggest George Plimpton's book Edie. A Walk Into the Sea never gets out of low gear.
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Format: DVD
I found this film very engrossing. It was produced by the subject of the film's sister, and through her effort the world can appreciate the striking talent of her brother, Danny Williams. Danny was the "lighting and technical guy" for many of Andy Warhols' shoots, and in the course of this film the viewer is treated to some stunning film work that was rediscovered as part of the Warhol archive @ the Museum of Modern Art here in NYC. Such was the impression of these film clips that I found myself going back and viewing them again a number of times. One clip was of the Edie Sedgwick at the height of her "stardom" watching "a happening" while maniacally chewing gum. Sounds silly but you just have to see yourself to truly understand the trancelike effect of Mr. Williams' camera work. Unfortunately, his was a life cut short, hastened by the casual cruelty of New York City or, more specifically, other people in Warhol's orbit.

What was very disturbing to me though is how Danny Williams' contribution to the Warhol oeuvre was so undervalued and actually demeaned by other participants. Paul Morrissey, in particular, who apparently was in competition w/ Mr. Williams for the director role, undercuts Danny Williams to the point of ridiculousness. It just comes off as pure cattiness.

That being said, the story can meander a bit, but for those, like myself, who continue to be fascinated by the creativity and decadence of New York City of the 60s and onward, this film offers some very satisfying backward glances.
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By Cosmoetica on June 21, 2012
Format: DVD
The film uncovers no murder plot, and reveals only that Warhol and his cohorts were unsympathetic bastards in real life, despite their public personae. Now, how many other films have reached this `startling' conclusion? And, as for the purported subject of the film, Danny Williams? Well, he's as much of a cipher at the end of the film as he was at the beginning. Yes, his mother Nadia talks about her son, some 40 years dead, with startling clarity, the sort that is rare for a parent to have for their child. Usually, one hears gushing sentiments, but Nadia speaks openly of her son's drug use and homosexuality and....well, that's about it. The truth is, for all her clarity on what he was, externally, after the fact, she really knew very little about her son. To her, as to us, he is a cipher. The only difference is that she obviously cares for the memory of her son. We, the audience, are not inclined to that emotion since the film never opens him up. Director Robinson had an opportunity to make a film of more substance about the Factory scene, yet- either out of the needed hard work to do so, or a lack of basic curiosity, chose to just lob a softball at us, where a Nolan Ryan-level fastball (high and inside) would have been the better pitch selection.

In short, the film is circular and solipsistic, even though its center is a dead man. It is as intriguing as strobe effects, after two or more minutes, and really should have been a thing kept for the archive of Warholia, not the masses. In real life, no one knows what happened to Danny Williams, as his body was never found (the film's title is based on one of the theories of his death).
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