Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory - 2007

"A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory" - 2007
Dir. by Esther Robinson - 1 hr. 15 min.

Official Trailer

by Clayton Hollifield

Lately, I've been getting more and more into the Velvet Underground (and Nico, as well), and based on that, Netflix recommended this documentary (and a couple other movies) to me.  It's about Danny Williams, a film editor and lighting technician that worked in Andy Warhol's Factory (several interviewees suggest that Williams was also one of Warhol's lovers, as well).  Visiting his family, he disappeared into the ocean at age 27 with no clues as to what happened.

The filmmaker, Esther Robinson, is a relative of Williams', and ends up painting a somewhat confusing portrait of him.  A few people flat out didn't remember him, some diminish his importance, more than a few thought that Warhol had not done right by Williams.  The film ends on a rather philosophical note by John Cale, who upon being asked what he thought had happened, deflects the question by saying that what is really being asked is how each individual would have disappeared themselves.

In the end, no conclusions are really drawn.  Williams disappeared at a young age, before he was really able to gain any traction with his own film-making.  There are many examples of his experimental films shown, and they're interesting (yet not really groundbreaking).  I enjoyed the film, at the same time it didn't seem to accomplish that much.  It's a hazy photograph of the departed, and I suppose that the attempt to render Williams' work into something to be remembered is an accomplishment of sorts.

3 / 5 - NF Streaming

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