I Shot Andy Warhol
Nobody may care that Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) shot AndyWarhol (Jared Harris) in 1968, but I bet the lawyers at Orion Pictures had a veritable lawyer orgy when director Mary Harron came to them with the idea and asked if there would be any problems getting the rights. Imagine the jubilation. Solanas was a radical lesbian who, in addition to shooting Warhol, wrote a well-known feminist tract called the S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto. She died penniless in 1989. "Residuals?" cried the lawyers. "For a self-proclaimed butch dyke who died without money and family? We ain't gonna pay any stinkin' residuals. Parrrrrty!"
Just who the hell was so stupid as to title the film with the movie's major event? Christ, that's like titling "Terms of Endearment" "Debra Winger Dies" or renaming "The Godfather" "Michael Becomes Boss." To solve this small problem, Harron begins the film with Solanas shooting Warhol, leaving us to sit through the rest of the movie waiting for her to do it again, wondering what insanity drives her toward the act.
The film isn't so much about Andy Warhol as it's about about the zeitgeist of the 1960s in New York's Lower East Side. If "I Shot Andy Warhol" is any indication, it was a combination of lunatics and parties with lunatics. Isn't it refreshing how cinema can reduce complicated times in our nation's history to the simplest of clichés?
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