DVD Review: Factory Girl

Genius/The Weinstein Company
Movie ••• Picture •••½ Sound •••½ Extras •••½

Director George Hickenlooper's biopic of Edie Sedgwick deconstructs the meteorically famous and ultimately tragic figure who moved amongst the would-be artists, actors, and acolytes at Andy Warhol's Factory. The movie has plenty of problems - not the least of which is the fabricated battle for Sedgwick's soul between an evil Warhol and an angelic Bob Dylan - but it does manage to capture the drug-infused creativity and psychedelic look of the unabashedly hip scene.

The colors in the 1.85:1 transfer are purposely made to look uneven - at times bold and alive (particularly in the party scenes), other times bleeding and occasionally running into full-tilt distortion. One extended sex scene, for example, is soft and sepia-toned at first, but it gets more smeary as the passion and danger rise. Surround-channel effects are involving, albeit limited. The best occur when Warhol and his people are trolling around the streets of Manhattan. The city and the sound design provide nice sonic punctuation for the intensity of the characters' lives.

Hickenlooper's commentary is a kick. The director issues some broadsides against the movie's critics while meticulously detailing the way in which he imagined and shot his film (which, it should be noted, includes lots of hand-held camerawork and varying film stocks). There are a handful of other decent extras, the best of which is a featurette on the real Sedgwick as remembered by friends and acquaintances.

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