I wrote an article for the Washington Square News back in 2006 for this travesty of a film directed by now kaput director George Hickenlooper and starring Sienna Miller in the role of Edie Sedgwick, Guy Peace as Andy Warhol (which was actually pretty impressive) and (gulp) Hayden Christensen as the ambiguous Bob Dylan composite character billed only as 'the folk singer' the reason for this being Bob Dylan was so shocked by the inaccuracy and blatant disrespect for the history that he threatened to sue if they decided to bring his name into it. He is among many who decided not to be associated with this film and publicly denounced it, among them David Bowie, Richie Berlin, superstars Viva and Ultra, as well as Warhol's second in command Gerard Malanga. So you're warned before you even turn it on just out of sheer curiosity that this is going to bite the big one. And it does. The biggest problem I have among the many, is the casting of British sex kitten Sienna Miller as the incomparable and tragic Edie Sedgwick. Her amazing story is ripe for dramatic interpretation, and it killed me that the first try was so cosmetic, superficial, and cliche. Miller barely scratches the surface of the mystery that is the 22 year old heartbreakingly beautiful heiress who was exhaled and subsequently destroyed by her association with Warhol and died terribly at 28, leaving an unforgettable imprint on not only underground film but pop-culture and perhaps most importantly, Warhol himself. Back in my writing days, I immediately tried to adapt it, just for fun, started writing some character sketches and scenes right after I first saw her in Beauty No. 2. It's a Warhol sound film in which she and superstar Gino Piserchio lie half naked on a bed, discussing art, philosophy, and sex while getting increasingly drunk. Edie's friend from Cambridge Chuck Wein assaults her off camera with increasingly personal and hostile questions. After which, I have seen almost all of the films she made with Warhol at the Warhol retrospective at BAM cinematek. And realized after screening Factory Girl that none of that material came close to being relayed in a bio-pic narrative, and were greatly misunderstood by both Sienna and Hickenlooper. So here is my hypothetical list of who I think both in aesthetic and spirit would have much better chops for adapting Edie correctly to a contemporary audience that is probably not aware of her at all. Every time a writer sits down to create a narrative, the first thing he should consider is telling the story to a person who hypothetically has never heard it or of the people and situations in it before. And epic fail on everyone's part. Hopefully someone like Julian Schnabel, Todd Haynes, or Van Sant decides to adapt it again with one of the following actresses.
Here is my article from WSN on Factory Girl back in 2007.
And here's a real treat. This is lost footage from Ciao Manhattan, Edie's last film in which she plays herself essentially. This film took 4 years to shoot and portrays Edie after breast implants and extensive shock therapy and heroin addiction, thereby is rather wobbly, and not all together lucid or coherent. She looks back on her 'heyday' in New York for which footage was shot while she was still with Warhol. It's rather cryptic that the directors (David Weisman and John Palmer) foresaw the inevitability of Edie and her tragic end enough to start shooting in advance. This clip comes with awesome directors' commentary considering the directors themselves were at times just as doped as Edie and her fellow superstars. Where else are you going to get commentary like 'this was during my samurai phase'? Please check it out.