Factory Girl (2006 film)

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Factory Girl
Factory girl.jpg
Directed by George Hickenlooper
Produced by Aaron Richard Golub
Holly Wiersma
Screenplay by Captain Mauzner
Story by Captain Mauzner
Aaron Richard Golub
Starring Sienna Miller
Guy Pearce
Hayden Christensen
Jimmy Fallon
Mena Suvari
Shawn Hatosy
Edited by Dana E. Glauberman
Distributed by The Weinstein Company/MGM (USA)
Paramount Pictures (UK)
Release dates
  • December 29, 2006 (2006-12-29)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million
Box office $2,581,387 (worldwide)

Factory Girl is a 2006 American biographical film based on the life of 1960s underground film star, socialite, and Warhol Superstar Edie Sedgwick. The film premiered in Los Angeles on December 29, 2006.

Plot[edit]

Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) is a young heiress studying art in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She moves to New York City, where she is introduced to Pop Art painter and film-maker Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce). Intrigued by the beautiful socialite, he asks her to perform in one of his underground movies. Soon she is spending time with him at The Factory, his studio and also the hangout of a group of eccentrics, some of them drug addicts. Her status as Warhol Superstar and success as a fashion model gain her popularity and international attention.

Her Cambridge friend Syd introduces her to poet and singer Billy Quinn (Hayden Christensen), a character based on Bob Dylan. Andy becomes jealous, so Edie tries but fails to keep her love affair with Billy a secret. To reconcile them, she arranges a meeting. Although he agrees to be filmed by Andy, when Billy visits the studio he shows his contempt. As he is leaving, she tries once more to make peace, but Billy calls Andy a "bloodsucker" who will "kill" her. Seeing that she will stay, he kisses her forehead.

As addiction takes its toll, Edie's relationship with Andy deteriorates. One night while in a drug-induced stupor, she falls asleep while smoking a cigarette and nearly dies in the ensuing fire. Vogue refuses to hire her; editor Diana Vreeland (Ileana Douglas) explaining that Edie is considered "vulgar". Interrupting a luncheon of Andy and his friends, she demands to be paid and accuses him of ruining her.

When Syd sees her again, she has become a prostitute. In a taxi, he shows Edie, who is very depressed, a photo of herself when they were art students. He says that he fell in love with her then, and tells her that she can still be an artist. She says that she cannot bear her loneliness but interrupts him, asking the driver, "Can we go?" When the driver says that they are stuck in a traffic jam, she leaves the cab and runs frantically down the street. The scene changes to a hospital, years in the future. She tells an interviewer that she is overcoming her addiction and is glad to be home in Santa Barbara. The closing caption explain the last few years, her struggle to control drug abuse and her marriage to another patient, which ended in less than four months when she died of an overdose.

Cast[edit]

Controversy[edit]

Lou Reed, singer/songwriter of the Velvet Underground and one of the Factory people who knew Sedgwick, hated the film. He told the New York Daily News, "I read that script. It's one of the most disgusting, foul things I've seen – by any illiterate retard – in a long time. There's no limit to how low some people will go to write something to make money... They're all a bunch of whores."[1][2]

Bob Dylan threatened to sue, saying through his lawyers that the script insinuated his responsibility in Sedgwick's drug abuse and death.[3] Jonathan Sedgwick claimed that an affair his sister Edie had with Dylan resulted in a pregnancy that ended with an abortion.[4][5] To date no lawsuit has been filed.

The film was set back by numerous delays, including a lawsuit by Sony Pictures, as well as the schedules of Miller and Pearce, so additional shooting was delayed until mid November 2006.[6] Consequently, producer Harvey Weinstein had to postpone the release date. Director George Hickenlooper helmed the additional shoots and mixed the final cut of the film in New York City, where he worked in close collaboration with Weinstein.[7] Weinstein released the picture on December 29, 2006, in Los Angeles. The film was released nationwide on February 2, 2007.

Edie: Factory Girl by Dalton and Finkelstein[edit]

Edie: Factory Girl author David Dalton is a former assistant of Warhol. He wrote 15 books before this, including A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol. (Nat Finkelstein is credited as a photojournalist of Edie.)

Whereas the similarity in titles might suggest that the film is based on the book, there are considerable differences. The film is about Sedgwick’s relationships with two people, Andy and Billy, a character who resembles Bob Dylan. The book is about Sedgwick as part of the circle associated with Warhol known as the Warholites. Dylan is not described as her lover in the book, although he is said to be a significant figure in her story.[8] The film-makers did not develop characters based on her friends among the Warholites.

The book describes the Warholites as originally welcoming her into the fold, sympathetic about her problems and charmed by her beauty and personality.[9] Those interviewed for the book generally remember her as likable when she first made friends at the Factory, amiable and fun at parties, if something of a scene stealer.[10][11]

The film’s Sedgwick seems carefree when she is about to leave for New York, whereas the book says that she was troubled at the time, impulsive and reckless, having seen a psychiatrist on a three visits per week basis while living in Massachusetts.[12][13]

Although the book rejects the idea that Warhol was to blame for her use of methamphetamine, it is candid about an ugly side: his “morbid fascinations” and his tendency to observe the miseries of people he knew without showing emotion.[14] Author and former Warhol screenwriter Robert Heide relates the widely circulated story of Warhol reacting to the suicide of an acquaintance by saying, "Why didn’t he tell us? We could’ve filmed it."[14] According to Heide, as the two of them stood on the sidewalk where the acquaintance had recently died, Warhol said to him, "I wonder when Edie will commit suicide. I hope she lets us know so we can film it.”[14]

Like the film, the book tells of her being persuaded to leave Warhol by a singer/songwriter, but the book does not support the film’s love story. Rather, it says that she had a relationship with Dylan’s friend Bob Neuwirth.[15][16][17][18] Her story of a pregnancy aborted when she was injured in Dylan’s 1966 motorcycle accident was, the book says, one of the fantasies she conceived while mentally ill and delusional.[19]

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

Katie Holmes was set to star as Sedgwick, but it was reported Tom Cruise convinced Holmes not to do it because it would be bad for her image. Regarding the rumors, Holmes said, "I declined the role in Factory Girl based on my own decisions about the movie."[20] The role then went back to Miller. However, Holmes had also stated that even if she did take the part, she would have had to drop out because she was pregnant when the movie was set to begin filming.

Because the post production schedule was so delayed, Hickenlooper continued to sound edit the film after its initial release in Los Angeles on December 29, 2006.[7]

According to Hickenlooper, the budget, once expected to be $8 million, was less than $7 million.[21]

Filming locations[edit]

New York City, Toronto, Stamford, Connecticut, and Shreveport, Louisiana served as the filming locations.

Popular culture[edit]

The film is referenced by Australian comedian Ed Kavalee on his radio show Get This in an ill-fated segment "Sienna Miller movie or prison tattoo?"[22] The segment was birthed after Kavalee put forward the argument that Sienna Miller was famous for nothing and that nobody would know her movies. Factory Girl was the only movie or prison tattoo correctly labeled during the segment.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews, but Sienna Miller's performance as Edie Sedgwick was met with critical acclaim. Johnny Vaughan from Sun Online concluded that "It's Sienna Miller's star that shines brightest in this heartbreaking cautionary tale." Empire magazine described Factory Girl as "A brave bid to recreate a modern American tragedy, with a revelatory turn by its lead actress." Richard Roeper said "I think Sienna Miller does a really nice job of capturing Edie Sedgwick, who really was the fore-runner to Paris Hilton and a lot of other people who are just famous for being famous." Mick LaSalle from San Francisco Chronicle said "Miller gets old and used up before our eyes, and we not only see it, we see what it means to experience it. This is a movie about power, and its spectacle is that of a woman losing all of it." Stella Papamichael wrote for the BBC: "In all it's an unconvincing portrait, and as the Dylan clone says, "Empty, like one of those cans of soup...". The film also considered a Box office bomb.[23] Trevor Johnston for Time Out wrote "One wonders whether the documentary format would have better served the material than this ill-focused drama. Since real-life family and observers chime in over the end credits, perhaps the filmmakers were thinking the same thing."[24] In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film two out of five stars and said; "Edie Sedgwick's story is sad, but never appears important or interesting."[25] The film currently holds 19% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fischer, Martha. Factory Girl: Oscar Material for Sienna Miller? Cinematical. August 19, 2006.
  2. ^ Dylan Threatens Action Over Sedgwick Biopic The Guardian. December 15, 2006.
  3. ^ Yuan, Jada (2007-02-05). "The Freewheelin’ Hayden". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Richard. My Sister Edie Loved Dylan New York Post. January 2, 2007.
  5. ^ Cole, Olivia. Warhol Muse ‘Lost Baby by Dylan’ The Sunday Times January 7, 2007.
  6. ^ Juarez, Vanessa. Working 'Girl': The Studio Behind 'Factory Girl' Pushes Oscar Entertainment Weekly. January 8, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Rapkin, Mickey. Factory Man. The New York Times. December 24, 2006.
  8. ^ Dalton, David and Nat Finkelstein, (2006). Edie Factory Girl, VH1 Press, ISBN 1-57687-346-3, 104-109
  9. ^ Dalton,10
  10. ^ Dalton, 60
  11. ^ Dalton, 1
  12. ^ Dalton, 5-9
  13. ^ Dalton,15
  14. ^ a b c Dalton, 114
  15. ^ Dalton, 104
  16. ^ Dalton,111
  17. ^ Dalton, 117
  18. ^ Dalton, 118
  19. ^ Dalton, 137
  20. ^ Brett, Anwar. Movies, An Interview with Katie Holmes BBC. June 15, 2005.
  21. ^ Stewart, Ryan. Junket Report: Factory Girl Cinematical January 31, 2007.
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ Papamichael, Stella. "Factory Girl (2007)". BBC Movies, 13 March 2007. BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  24. ^ Johnston, Trevor (14–20 March 2007). "Factory Girl review". Time Out London (1908). Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  25. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (16 March 2007). "Factory Girl". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Factory Girl". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 

External links[edit]