I Shot Andy Warhol
I Shot Andy Warhol is a biopic about Valerie Solanas, yet makes the world
around her much more intriguing than its subject. Lili Taylor portrays
Valerie, the radical lesbian-feminist who, as the title says, shot Andy Warhol.
It follows her quickly from her battered childhood through some college
studies where her bizaare philosophy was born. However after introducing
her S.C.U.M. manifesto (that's Society for Cutting Up Men), the film hits
a rut. We are drawn through tale after tale of how Valerie yearns for fame
and for a man-free society, only to be denied. Much more interesting at this
point in the film is the crowd she hangs around with, including her former
lesbian lover (Martha Plimpton), a transsexual (Stephen Dorff), and, of course,
Andy Warhol (Jared Harris). But, unfortunately, the film must stick with its
subject, and we follow her into schizophrenic paranoia and despair, until she
discovers an ultimate way to achieve fame. Taylor does a good job at bringing
Valerie to life, even if it is a rather repugnant and lifeless one. But
with such interesting stuff happening in the periphery, it would be hard
to concentrate on even a thoroughly engaging character. The film excels in
those moments when it breaks off of its subject in order to explore Warhol's
Factory. But, like the inevitability of history, you know Valerie will soon
return, and all hope will be lost.
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