Outstanding portrait of Warhol, 1960s, and art
Quickhappy | Big city, big country | 10/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best portrait of an artist I've ever seen. I was completely entralled by the film. Because Warhol was both tremendously inventive and horribly cruel, I alternately felt a sense of awe and disgust. Warhol's genius and callousness are both fleshed out. Despite the turbulent content of the film, I was simply exhilerated throughout.
Having watched this excellent film, I feel a greatly enriched appreciation for Warhol's art---a sense of what it said, how it worked, and how it became a cliche. (I was particularly ill-informed about Warhol's films, which were discussed in great detail.)
The Factory--where Warhol worked (but seldom played) and where transvestites, drifters, and creative spirits intermingled--is featured in healthy portions. This locale comes across as one of those rare places in history where the geist of a era is spatially concentrated. Here, in this one extraordinary place of production, Warhol and others fomented art and a vision of a post-Fordist world. This film is essential viewing (like the Weather Underground or Berkeley in the Sixties) for those who want to ingest and comprehend the paradigm shift of the "1960s."
Warhol's cruel indifference to the self-destruction of those around him is critically revealed. While some in the Factory drank and drugged themselves to death, Warhol passively watches, always remaining cool, detached, and voyeuristic.
The attempted homicide on Warhol, his commercialism, and his later years are all mentioned. I would fault the film for not showing Warhol speak on film more often, for not really considering his cooptation by capitalism, and for skipping over his influence in art and in popular society.
I must admit though, that the film is brilliantly executed, and well worth your time and nickel."
A great look at Warhol's life and work
Dream's Raven | USA | 01/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been learning about Andy Warhol since seeing an exhibit of his work at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and found this documentary to be very informative and interesting. It looked at Warhol's art (including painting, film, and music), his social life, and his influence. The people interviewed gave good insights and the material was assembled in a way that kept my attention very well. I would recommend this DVD highly for anyone wanting to learn something about the artist."
2 cents | B.F.N. United Snakes | 07/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Highly recommended. For awhile I had been thinking this is one of Ken Burn's best. But it's by brother Ric. So one of Ric Burn's best. One of the best documentaries by anybody period. This is the definitive Andy Warhol documentary. I've seen others and they hardly compare. You needn't be a huge fan of pop-art (I'm not) to find this story fascinating. Intelligent explorations of what goes into the creation of creative people does make for such a rewarding experience. Family life, economic background, personal difficulties and experiences, cultural surroundings, those chance meetings and various contingencies, personal influences --these are all dealt with in sufficient detail during the four hours allotted to them. A comprehensive in-depth portrait of Andy Warhol is a portrait of (for better or worse...) us and American society of the last half century. This is what we learn. Warhol is perhaps more relevant than ever and that's also why this is an important documentary. Loads of incredible (sometimes rare) footage intelligently utilized, excellent narration, and music that had an effect of ushering me into a contemplative mood and drawing me further into the images come together to demonstrate that documentary films can be considered a work of art in their own rite. Well I'm gushing now, but I was impressed. However, the case is made that Warhol is the most important artist during the second half of the 20th Century. Now I simply don't buy that, but if not Warhol then who?"
Great film for a collector
O. Marie | Seattle | 09/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You will definitely get your money's worth on this DVD if you purchase it here on Amazon. It goes for 4 hours. In the duration of watching, I broke down and cried a couple of times... This is a great film to add to a collection if you love Andy or are interested in artists.
I think PBS did a great job of covering some issues which motivated Andy, specifically his initial rejections from colleagues and potential lovers were hurtful to comprehend. This collection doesn't go too much into Andy's relationship with his mother, unfortunately. The second part focuses on Andy's transformation from the advertising world onto the pop "scene" as a leader of his Silver Factory... Finally tying things up with the event of his being shot by a delusional groupie, who felt he had too much control over her life. That also is very emotional to sit through. Well it seems Valerie Solanas gave Andy a good cooling-off? I did not perceive him to be calloused, or someone who used people; but apparently he had that reputation. One thing for certain: he became a nicer person.
I am not giving this documentary 5 stars because of the horrid narration. The narrator was obviously pressed to cover too much information in too short of time. As a result, her voice sounds hyper-vigilant, taking away from the spirit of this film. The director would have done better to use a someone with a softer tone, and more music back-up from the era."