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Friday, 24 February 2012

A Walk Into the Sea

This actually relates quite nicely to The Party's Over with the life of excess and false friendships. This is such a beautifully shot, understated documentary with an obvious family sensitivity - it was directed by Danny Williams' niece, Williams being the subject of the study and one of Andy Warhol's clan at the Factory. He was technically minded and took part in the lighting and production of a number of The Velvet Underground's gigs. But not so well known was the fact that he was a filmmaker in his own right (often being scooped up under the Warhol umbrella, missing out on his rightful accolades - the usual story amongst the Factory residents.) 

Living amongst a crowd that simulaneously flourished within eachothers' company as well as one that sucked any loyalty and humility from normal social standards, leaving many, including Williams alone, used and defeated. It's a sad portrait of a young man full of potential that meets a creative environment that enables to open up and explore his previously unfulfilled talent, but also reveals his more vulnerable, susceptable nature under the influence and manipulation of Warhol, who by all accounts seems like a heartless autocrat. (Read Jean Stein's Edie: American Girl, it recounts a similar stone-cold personality to Warhol). Through his heavy use of amphetamines and the fall from Warhol's favour, Williams became depressed and increasingly isolated from his once bohemian family leading to his, one can only guess as the body was never found, suicide. And so paraphrasing one interviewee (I can't remember who) - just disappearing into the sea was a very poetic and apt means of departure from such a swarming, all-encompassing existence at the Factory. And by no means was he the only one to rise and fall under Warhol's direction...

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