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Beautiful Darling

by Bianca Fernandes / 17.10.2010

If you’re a fan of Andy Warhol and the New York avant-garde scene of the 60’s and 70’s, then you cannot miss this film. Beautiful Darling tells of the life and times of Candy Darling, Warhol superstar, once referred to as Candy Warhol, actress, transvestite, muse and inspiration. This is not your classic story of a woman born in a male body, but something a lot more special. Yes, it is about a man in a dress wearing makeup, but you can imagine how incredible she must have been to inspire Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” with lyrics like: Candy came from out on the Island / In the backroom she was everybody’s darlin’ / But she never lost her head / Even when she was giving head / She says, Hey babe / Take a walk on the wild side…

Beautiful Darling is possibly the most beautiful doccie I’ve seen all year, and perhaps the best documentary I have ever seen. It’s certainly less vulgar than Factory Girl, which attempted to cover the same time, venues and themes. Narrated by Jeremiah Newton, close friend and roommate of Candy Darling, he allows us to see through his eyes and experience the beautiful and chaotic world they once inhabited. He tells their story by gathering information from all who knew her; photographs, video footage, journal entries and voice recordings all help you to live in a time long since passed and fall in love with this ground breaking woman. Her childlike attitude to life, somewhat mirroring Marilyn Monroe, only faltered when she was truly alone, we are able to get a glimpse of her loneliness by extracts from journal entries and see the sad reality of this glittering star.

Directed by James Raisin, the film runs for 85 minutes in English.

*Watch it in JHB on Sunday the 17th at 6pm at The Bioscope or in Cape Town on Thursday the 28th at 8.15 pm at The Foxy on Broadway.

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