Edie Sedgwick: The life and death of the Sixties star

Factory Girl Edie Sedgwick Painting, Dane Shue

“‘Her fog, her amphetamine, and her pearls…’ With three nouns, in ‘Just Like a Woman’ (said to have been inspired by her), Bob Dylan deftly summed up his friend Edie Sedgwick, the wayward princess of Andy Warhol’s multimedia Factory. More than 30 years after her short, tumultuous life ended, Edie is still causing ructions. Last month, Dylan threatened to sue the makers of Factory Girl, a movie starring Sienna Miller as Edie, claiming that he is defamed by Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of a singer whose rejection drives her to suicide. This week, Edie’s brother claimed that despite Dylan’s insistence that he and Edie never had a relationship, she became pregnant with his child and had an abortion. The producers describe the harmonica-playing character (named ‘Quinn’ in the press notes, but never called by name in the movie and identified only as “musician” in the credits) as a composite – which Dylan’s lawyer argues is no bar to defamation. The movie, which was frantically re-cut prior to its Oscar-qualifying release at one theatre in Los Angeles (though the director George Hickenlooper says the changes had nothing to do with Dylan’s objections) will be edited again before its wider US release later this month. Early reviews have been mixed, with The Hollywood Reporter praising its ‘bright intensity’ and saying that Miller ‘brings to life Sedgwick’s legendary allure’; the Los Angeles Times calling it ‘simplistic’ and ‘superficial’; and Variety finding the movie ‘tame’ and Miller ‘whiny’. It’s no surprise, though, that the film should provoke reactions as varied as Edie herself did. To parents terrified of the influence of sex and drugs, she was an abomination; to the would-be cool, she was an ideal; to painters as eminent as Robert Rauschenberg, she was a living work of art. American aristocracy ruled that a lady’s name should appear in the papers only three times: when she was born, when she married, and when she died. Edie Sedgwick changed that. As well as publicising her appearances in underground movies, her numerous committals for mental illness and drug addiction were widely reported. She met her future husband – a fellow patient – in the psychiatric wing of the hospital where she was born. On the last evening of her life, in 1971, she appeared on television, and then went home to die of an overdose of barbiturates. She was 28. …”
YouTube: Edie Sedgwick- on going crazy, drugs and the afterlife.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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