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.
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. … More
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Critic Reviews for A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory
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'.
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.
We'll probably never know what became of Williams, but his short life and mysterious disappearance make for diverting viewing.
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