james and i intended to catch the last day of the frida kahlo exhibit at the walker art center today. luckily, we had both already saw it earlier in its run, so the 2.5 hour lines were not a big deal.
instead we caught an amazing documentary film “a walk into the sea; danny williams and the warhol factory“ by filmmaker esther robinson.
the film is about robinson’s uncle, danny williams – andy warhol’s boyfriend, collaborator and filmmaker during the heyday of the warhol factory era.
williams disappeared at at age 27. the film exlpores his disappearance through interviews many of the people that inhabited the factory world (including a rare insightful, interview with brigid berlin) along with his family.
what i find fascinating and really powerful is the way robinson allows each of the interview subjects to relate their memories so truthfully and honest. she doesn’t (as happens in so many documentaries) do a voiceover or lead the view to come to her conclusions. rather she allows the film to represent, as she said during the q&a following the film today, the slippery nature of history.
this was such a powerful concept to hear verbalized and acknowledged. history is after all the memories of those that lived it. and memory is often colored by experience and hearsay and rumour and shadow. nobody ever really knows what happened. only their understanding of what happened.
the tragedy of this film of course is that whatever happened to danny williams, (murdered? suicide? just walked off the radar?) is that he was a very promising experimental film maker. the film clips shown in the movie were really interesting. it would have been cool to see what happened / how his life & talent progressed.
the below clip shows a bit of the film, along with a small snippet of an interview with the director. check out this movie if you can – really interesting stuff.