My obsession with the swinging sixties continues to grow after repeatedly watching the truly tremendous film factory girl. An American film, tracking the life of 60’s underground socialite, Andy Warhol’s Superstar and the beautiful disaster, Edie Sedgwick. Released in 2006, the film fuses art, fashion and tragedy together. From the opening to the last scene you become captivated with Warhol’s muse, not only by her intriguing character but her stylish and eccentric lifestyle.
The scene where Edie, (played by Sienna Miller) enters “The factory” opens your eyes to a flamboyant world, filled with eccentrics and creatives. As the camera pans across the studio, the mis en scene is flooded with Warhol’s pop art and ingenious ideas giving you a sense of the sixties aesthetic and experimental movement.
Throughout the film sixties fashion is celebrated as fur coats, painted make up and a million pairs of earrings are revealed. Edie unintentionally invented fashion trends, parading around in leotards and tights; highlighting the reasons Edie was one of the most significant faces of the sixties. She grows old and unused before our eyes, capturing the true tragedy. As an audience, not only do we visually see it, we experience it. Making it a painfully, mesmerising performance.
The importance of style is reflected when Sedgwick is sat in a restaurant, smoking and confidently walks over to a stranger wearing a shirt she adores, Edie kindly asks to swaps outfit and after asks Warhol, if she looks okay. Not only does this convey the desire to look appealing during the 60’s, it also pays homage to Audrey Hepburn’s famous quote “How do I look” in the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Another scene which captivates the audience is when Edie runs through New York City traffic, she is not mentally stable and as the tears run down her face you are forced to see her vulnerability and pain. The tracking camera technique combined with slow motion creates a troubled atmosphere. Her attire has transformed from a beautiful innocent eccentric, to a cheap mess sporting hacked hair and smudged make up. The rare beauty becomes the ugly truth.
The essence of the sixties still lives with us today, Edie Sedgwick’s legacy lives on and the fascinating story and film is sealed with a stylish kiss.
Words Johanna Bras’