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Factory Girl - Like stepping back in time
Factory Girl (DVD)
Member Name: PaigeTurner
Factory Girl (DVD)
Advantages: Visually spectacular and powerfully moving
Disadvantages: Gratuitous nudity
Factory Girl is a feast for all the senses. It is an incredibly moving and powerful story of relationships between lovers and friends and all those relationships which are blurred in between but it will also have your toes tapping along to the 60s music and your eyes revelling in the 60s fashions.
Factory Girl is the real-life tale of It Girl Edie Sedgwick who was a major celebrity in her day just for being her glamorous self but she also dabbled in acting. She became the muse of artist Andy Warhol but her traumatic past of abuse from her father and her drug taking eventually gets the better of her. She died while only in her 30s.
Actress Sienna Miller plays the part of Edie Sedgwick and she manages to carry the film extremely well. She is by no means the greatest talent Hollywood has to offer but on watching the DVD extras which include a look at the life of the real Edie Sedgwick including clips of her talking to the camera you can see that physically Sienna Miller and Edie Sedgwick share a striking resemblance and Sienna Miller has captured the voice and mannerisms of Edie Sedgwick to a tee.
Sienna Miller does not completely relax into the part and become Edie. The acting doesn't just flow out of her as it does with actors at the top of their craft. As a viewer you are always slightly on edge and can see Sienna Miller thinking about her next move - I guess I mean her acting style is a little too contrived, but what does come across is her real desire to do justice to this role and the affinity she shares with Edie Sedgwick. Sienna Miller's acting is often overshadowed by her fashion sense and which man she is dating and it was the same for Edie Sedgwick.
Her relationship with Andy Warhol - which I must stress was platonic but at the same time highly dependant - was what really rose her to stardom.
But what struck me about Factory Girl is just how close Edie Sedgwick kept coming to being saved from herself. She fell for Bob Dylan at one point and he had very strong feelings for her. If she had left Andy Warhol and his dysfunctional friends behind and made a life with Bob Dylan, played by Hayden Christensen incidentally, who again bears a striking resemblance to Bob Dylan which you only realise when watching this film, she could have had a happy ever after ending, or at least you would hope that for her.
Every time she became clean of drugs she would be reeled back in by the Factory, which was what the warehouse where Andy Warhol and his cronies hung out was called - hence why the film is called Factory Girl.
I enjoyed the way the film was shot. It managed to capture an authentic, shaky lens kind of 60s vibe which really transports the viewer back to that decade.
The costumes are incredible and the film is worth watching for that. I completely coveted Edie's wardrobe and her ear-rings and it has become a huge inspiration on what I wear. It has awakened my inner sixties child.
The soundtrack of the film is also highly effective in bringing the period alive but also in bridging the gap between scenes and time moving on. For example, Edie Sedgwick starts out as a far more dowdy art student. Her transformation to the glamour person we know her as is portrayed in the film to music which sees snap shots of her hair being cut outside and being cast out on the wind, her changing her clothes and literally cartwheeling through the transition, to leave her at the crescendo of the song sitting on the sofa, fully glammed up, the centre of attention.
The drug taking scenes are all set to music, with blurry lenses and strobe effect lighting. While the darker scenes when Edie is completely down on her luck are set in dingy rooms with dark lighting and sombre backdrops.
Guy Pearce, of neighbours fame, completely morphs into Andy Warhol which is not what I expected from him. I thought how would a soap actor play the part of such a significant and well profiled artist, but Guy Pearce managed to make the viewer like and despise and pity and loath Andy Warhol all at once. He is at the same time the centre pin of the Factory but also the most vulnerable. He is still very much a little boy and all this is portrayed by Guy Pearce.
This film is not one to watch with the children. As I have mentioned there are drug taking scenes, there is gratuitous nudity, which is there to suggest the free and alternative nature of those at the factory, and some very explicit sex scenes. If I say there was a rumour after the film was made that the sex scene between Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen was real you will get the picture.
But I have to say all in all I thoroughly enjoyed this film on first viewing and have watched it several times since. It is always tricky trying to do a biopic of anyone's life but in this film the actors really do morph into their characters.
No one else could have played Edie Sedgwick quite like Sienna Miller did and you will be greatly moved at how Edie was treated and how it all ended for her. If nothing else it is worth viewing for the clothes and the music.
Summary: A film which will having you moved to tears and wanting to hit the shops