Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Back listening to the Velvet Underground

Post reading the Edie Sedgewick book, I have run through a sequence of related material. First up, the really bizarre film Ciao Manhattan, Sedgewick's last movie. The write-up in her biography indicated that this was a very strange film indeed - highly exploitative of Sedgewick in her final decline. And it has to be said that this is a very appropriate description. It is a strange mish-mash of what looks like several films, in which, in a somewhat self-referential manner, Sedgewick seems to play an actress playing Edie Sedgewick. She is clearly well passed her best, indeed it is hard to say it is the same person who was at the Factory just five years earlier.

I would have never guess that this was Edie Sedgewick

A very wasted Sedgewick, playing an actress playing Sedgewick - with a large picture of Sedgewick on the wall behind her
Then on to the Sienna Miller movie, Factory Girl. This has mixed reviews, though I rather enjoyed it. True it is not a deep psychological profile, but it is factually fairly accurate. The actor who plays Andy Warhol is pretty good I thought

Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgewick

Then onto a Warhol film, Vinyl. This appears briefly in Factory Girl, and is a fairly typical Warhol film. The single camera angle, little or no script. I though Gerard Malanga was good in it. Edie just sits to the right throughout - not doing much

A brief search reveals that I can't find Victor Bokris's book on Warhol that I had intended to read next, so instead I have moved onto his book on the Velvet Underground, Uptight. I have been trying to remember when I first heard the Velvet Underground. I remember that the first time I came across them was in the NME Encyclopedia of Rock Music which was my constant guide in the late 1970s as I became more and more obsessed with music. I think the first track of their's I heard was "Run, Run, Run" on either John Peel or the Friday Rock Show. I bought the first album and White Light, White Heat when I was 16 with some of my earliest pay packets from working at the restaurant

I have all the Velvet's albums now of course and have decided to have a serious re-listen over the next few days. So today I am listening to the 5cd Peel Slowly and See, then moving onto the Quine Tapes Bootleg set from a few years back.
The Velvet Underground, with dancers Gerard Malanga and Edie Sedgewick (yes, really the girl above)

On Youtube there is the following extraordinary clip of the Velvets playing Venus in Furs with Malanga and Sedgewick. Dramatic stuff - to think this was the mid-sixties!

1 comment:

TZWmancunia said...

hya, got to your blog through accident while trying to locate one of the biggest turn ons on tv awhile ago,didn't know her name but googled wpc/shameless and I have just forgot her name again..anyway I I read the cale book too,if its the same, bigger wider hardback...never got the lou reed (v.bokris lou reed back) and I thought I could ask you a few things if its ok? in return I have a dynamite version of 'sister ray' with a video of art backdrop if you want me to give you a copy..terry.