A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory (2007)



Critic Consensus: A portrait piece of Danny Williams, set amongst New Yorks Factory, home of Andy Warhol, provides insight and flavour of the time and the setting, with an unresolved mystery at its heart.

A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory Photos

Movie Info

In 1963, Danny Williams dropped out of Harvard (over the strong objections of his family) and set out to make a career for himself in filmmaking. After editing several documentaries for Albert Maysles and David Maysles (including the award-winning Salesman), Williams met Andy Warhol, and soon became a member of the inner circle at Warhol's "Factory." Williams soon became both an advisor and a lover to the artist, and for a while lived with Warhol. When Warhol gave Williams a 16 mm movie camera, he began making films that displayed his sure and striking visual sense and sharp rhythms. Williams also was a key advisor to Warhol as they created "The Exploding Plastic Inevitable," the multimedia show which launched the career of the groundbreaking rock band the Velvet Underground. But Williams fell victim to the clashing egos that were a large part of Warhol's circle, and when he began receiving press attention that suggested the EPI was as much Williams' creation as Warhol's, Warhol broke off their relationship and a shattered Williams returned home to his family. After a few days, Williams went out for a drive and vanished, never to be seen again. Danny Williams' niece, Esther B. Robinson, offers an intimate look at the remarkable life and unexplained death of an important but little-known creative force in A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory, which features interviews with a number of Factory associates (including John Cale, Billy Name, Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, and Brigid Berlin), as well as highlights from several of Williams' long-lost experimental films. A Walk Into the Sea received its North American premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Television
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Critic Reviews for A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (12)

An eerily moving tone poem as hard to pin down as its subject.

Full Review… | January 6, 2011
Boston Globe
Top Critic

First-time director Esther Robinson proves that a dash of subjectivity in documentary isn't always a bad thing, showing a remarkable clarity of vision and thirst for knowledge in her superb 'A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory'.

Full Review… | August 14, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Combining contemporary interviews with Factory survivors and an astounding treasure trove of archival footage shot by Williams himself, the film is an enigmatic, atmospheric portrait of a guy apparently too nice for the notorious Warhol crowd.

Full Review… | May 2, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

This is one for the Warhol archives, not theaters.

Full Review… | December 14, 2007
New York Daily News
Top Critic

We'll probably never know what became of Williams, but his short life and mysterious disappearance make for diverting viewing.

Full Review… | December 14, 2007
New York Post
Top Critic

A Walk Into the Sea is Esther B. Robinson's documentary about Danny Williams, a former Harvard student who was a part of Andy Warhol's Factory scene.

December 14, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory


This recent documentary provides another glimpse at one of the Factory's peripheral players. The recent conversations with various associates (Maysles, Name, Berline, Cale, Paul Morrissey) and members of Williams' family are of some interest, but the highlights are the clips of Danny Williams' own films. In contrast to Warhol's own fascination with long takes and tedium, Danny uses blistering strobe-like editing. The effect is akin to what he must have been doing when lighting shows for the VU. Despite my mixed reaction to the documentary itself, it's worth seeing if you have an interest in the subject or if you want to see some striking experimental short films.

Richard Stracke
Richard Stracke

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