Brigid Berlin's story takes us on a journey through the life of a blueblood socialite turned Andy Warhol bad-girl. Friends and admirers such as John Waters and Patricia Hearst, as well as Berlin herself, tell the story of... more » a high society girl who rebelled« less
F. Gentile | Lake Worth, Florida, United States | 04/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like just about everyone associated with Andy Warhol, Brigid Berlin is absolutely bonkers! Having always been fascinated by Andy and his entourage, I was well aware of Brigid Berlin, his star of many of his underground films, the most famous of which was probably "Chelsea Girls." This film is an engaging look at one of the Factory's survivors, of whom there aren't many. That Miss Berlin came from a family of such prestigious roots, her father was William Randolph Hearsts top assistant, and mother Honey a societal doyenne, only make this film all the more fascinating. From the early circa 1940 Berlin home movies, where the rebellion of the then very young Brigid was very evident....to her later taped conversations with her extremely irritated and increasingly embarressed mother, the viewer feels like a voyeur, only with Miss Berlins approval. That her family was horrified at their not -so- little girl turning into one of Andy Warhols "Superstars", with all the drugs, sex, and decadence that accompanied that dubious distinction, is not very surprising. What is surprising is Miss Berlin's unapologetic attitude, then and now. Her feistiness and continued irritation at the very memory of her parents attempts to turn her into a debutant, all to no avail, is very amusing. There are also great vintage clips from the Warhol years, where the very clever and witty Brigid has no problem defying even the great God Warhol, who considered Brigid a life-long confidant. Brigid was herself very creative, and, though not exactly an artist technically, conjured up art through her writings, recordings, photos, and her trademark scrapbooks. She was typical of those Warhol liked to surround himself with, outrageous people consistently fresh with ideas with which to inspire himself. Always obsessive-compulsive, mainly with her lifelong food binging, the present day Brigid allows us into her meticulously kept and fastidiously organized Manhattan apartment, which is somewhat contradictory in keeping with her wild reputation. She roams the streets of New York like a well groomed bag lady, constantly battles her notorious weight problem, and recounts memories from the past with humor, occasional sadness, and, little nostalgia. She has been aggressively rejecting her lineage since birth, and will probably go out kicking and screaming. If you're looking for a bio of Warhol, this film is much more than that. It's a close-up look at one of his most famous associates and friends. The girl who went from being an early member of his entourage, to instant stardom in the Warhol "superstar" pantheon, where the emphasis was on the effortlessness of it all, to being finally, in the 1970's and 1980's, his receptionist at the new "Factory." A very entertaining look at a lady who defines the word "eccentric.""
Wonderful and Fun!
E. Roberts | North Hollywood, CA USA | 11/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You may know a little or a lot about Warhol and The Factory. Personally, as much as I admire much of Warhol's art, I found his films and his entourage to be a little disconcerting. Sleeze. Narcotics. Hopelessness and boredom. Trashy. Brigid Berlin, as it turns out, was set apart from classic Warhol-like apathy. She was a more purposeful part of the group, and a legitimate artist on her own. This film gives us nice insight into a privileged but troubled childhood, a supreme eating disorder which (I bet) a lot more of us can recognize than not, and an ongoing struggle to walk, to maintain balance on a narrow rail from which either side threatens chaos or despair. Ms. Berlin still has a few things to say. Most interesting of all, this is not a tragedy. This is a story of what happens when the young ultra-hip grow up. (The scene that turns out to be a parody of Warhol's Chelsea Girls is really top-notch comedy.) A wonderful, flawless, brilliant documentary!"
One of the best documentaries I have ever seen
traceybeehive | Laguna Beach, Calif. | 01/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the portrait of this amazing woman. She was very intelligent and very crazed and more than anything, hugely fascinating. One thing I loved so much was that it touched on so many faces of this New York rebel......from her childhood to her parents social status to BB's own expression as an artist and a hugely compulsive cleaner. It covers her genuine friendship with Warhol and sheds a very compassionate light on the emotions of an overeater.
Wonderful documentary that will leave you with a smile on your face. When everyone tries so hard to be one, she is a true eccentric."
S. Dunn | 11/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I fell in love with this film when I first viewed it.
It is without question one of the best documentary films that I have ever seen. The insight into the early workings of the Warhol factory and the fasinating cast of characters therin will captivate even the most casual of Warhol fans.
Brigid Berlin, a close confident of Andy Warhol, and the brilliant telling of her life story, provides a perspective that until now anyone with an interest in art could only have hoped for. Remember the directorial team of Vincent Fremont and Shelly Dunn Fremont, this is the first of what promises to be only the start of an illustrious filmmaking career."
The "Overweight Troublemaker" Tells All
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 10/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brigid Berlin was the child every parent fears having. Born in 1939 to media mogul Richard Berlin and his socialite wife Honey, Brigid seemed to be on the fast track to a world of wealth and social registers--but she had a weight problem, and when mother Honey focused upon this Brigid rebelled. It was a rebellion that would ultimately lead her reject her parents, their way of life, and their values as absurdly superficial.
In 1964 Brigid met rising artist Andy Warhol, who had a knack for picking up extreme personalities and using them to fuel both his ambitions and inspiration. For once, however, he gave almost as much as he took: Brigid not only developed an arts reputation in her own right, she also managed to remain friends with Warhol until his 1987 death--something that very few people, and particularly those of Warhol's 1960s circle, ever managed.
PIE IN THE SKY might best be described as a collage of Brigid Berlin then and now. Released in 2000, the film finds her living in New York, where she has considerable cache in the avant guarde arts world--and obessing about her weight, her smoking habit, her past, her present, her future--and indeed virtually everything. In fact, the word "obessing" might be the keynote in her life, which she documents as it unfolds with a degree of relentlessness that is quite astonishing.
Yesterday--be it literally yesterday or fifty years ago--is just as intense in Berlin's mind as today, and a good portion of the film is given over to her reflections on her parents, the way of life that she rejected, and the pleasure she took in horrifying the social world throughout her life. She talks about art. She demonstrates her technique, which might be generously described as body painting. Now slim, she breaks her eternal diet to binge on Key Lime pies. She is incredibly compulsive, it is difficult to know whether she is as mad as she is insane, and it is impossible to know how much of the madness or sanity is calculated.
What she most certainly is is interesting, and directors Shelly and Vincent Freemont keep the focus unerringly upon their subject throughout. A fascinating look into the life of a woman who was, and in many ways remains, on the cutting edge of both art and life.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer For the Negative Voter, who so enjoys hitting each of my reviews with an "unhelpful vote" almost as soon as I post them--and who makes the assumption that it will discourage me from writing more reviews. Not hardly!"