Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film 

Directed by Ric Burns

Think of it this way. He was Andy Warhol, and you’re not. Nearly four hours devoted to his life will convince you of that – or should. This exhaustively researched film – having at its disposal such iconically loaded imagery — is by necessity a tribute. But not a hollow one – save for the at-times breathy commentary of art historians and occasional disappointingly canned narration. But if its goal is to demean any lingering doubts about his place in 20th century history, it does that – unfailingly. Sure it’s long but really, from the filmmakers’ perspective, what do you leave out? The fact he grew up in such a weird ghettoized Slavic slab of Pittsburgh is integral to his aesthetic, as is his narrative-warping filmmaking career or the commercial illustrations for Vogue. And Edie Sedgwick – would you cut out any footage of her? Blasphemy! Not to mention the Greek operatic science-fiction of his shooting. I noticed they didn’t mention his appearance on the Love Boat though. Andy Warhol – what a great character!

Opens September 1 at Film Forum

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