Watch I Shot Andy Warhol
I Shot Andy Warhol is a dramatic biographical film released in 1996, directed by Mary Harron, and written by Harron and Daniel Minahan. The movie depicts the life of Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist who shot and critically wounded the renowned artist, Andy Warhol, in 1968. The film features an impressive cast, including Lili Taylor, Jared Harris, and Martha Plimpton, among others.
The story of the movie is mainly set in the 1960s in New York City, a period when the feminist movement, gay rights, and avant-garde art were taking shape. The film introduces Valerie Solanas, a struggling writer and sex worker, who is a fiercely independent woman and tireless advocate for lesbian rights. Solanas comes into contact with Warhol, the highly influential pop artist, who runs the famous art studio, The Factory, where many artists, drag queens, and other free spirits congregate.
Valerie Solanas wants Warhol to produce her play, but he refuses. This initial encounter sets off a chain of events that culminates in Solanas shooting Warhol in the chest, almost killing him. The movie explores why Solanas felt driven to commit such an act, and the lives that surrounded her.
The film delves deep into the minds of the characters, exploring their motivations, desires, and psychological states. The lead actor, Lili Taylor, delivers an exceptional performance as Valerie, embodying all of her contradictions, strengths, anxieties, and rage. The film portrays Solanas as an erratic, charismatic, and sensitive person who is struggling with her own demons and distrust of men. Her relationship with Warhol and her bizarre behavior culminate in the violent act that almost kills him.
The movie also portrays the complex dynamics of Warhol's art community at The Factory, including his relationship with his assistant, Gerard Malanga (played by Jared Harris). Malanga is a gay man who supports the feminist cause, but feels stuck in the shadow of Warhol's fame. Martha Plimpton delivers a compelling portrayal of Stevie, one of Warhol's Factory regulars, who puts up with the misogyny of the male artists around her, including Solanas.
Mary Harron imbues the film with a sense of authenticity and a keen attention to detail when it comes to the art, fashion, and music of the time. The sets and costumes are meticulously crafted, bringing the viewer into the world of the Factory and the counterculture scene of Greenwich Village. The soundtrack features tracks from artists like The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, and Silver Apples, which add to the film's overall vibe and authenticity.
I Shot Andy Warhol is a haunting and thought-provoking film that explores themes of feminism, creativity, power dynamics, and mental illness. The movie portrays the murder attempt on Warhol as a tragic event, rather than a heroic or antiheroic act of rebellion. The film does not entirely condone or condemn the actions of Solanas, but instead, allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the motives and intentions of the characters.
Overall, I Shot Andy Warhol is a gripping movie that will appeal to both fans of the 1960s art scene and those interested in the psychology of violent acts committed by marginalized individuals. The film is a stunning portrait of a tumultuous time in American history and the flawed individuals who shaped it.