Surrounding himself with artists, actors and interesting people of various talents was Andy Warhol's forte; he gave them a place to live and play, and encouraged them in their work. Warhol was the patron saint, the provider, but he was also able to bask in the collective creative glow of the Velvet Underground, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga and all of the other residents of his Factory. Danny Williams, a young filmmaker who became Warhol's boyfriend, was a major star in the Factory firmament. He designed the lights for the legendary Exploding Plastic Inevitable stage show, and he shot movies and helped set the very rapid pace for the scene. But then something happened. Williams returned home suddenly — his actual home, not the Factory — leaving this nighttime world behind. And then one night after dinner with his family, Williams disappeared completely. And then Warhol, and by extension, the Factory, pretended he'd never existed — just as his real family did. Inspired by her serendipitous discovery of a cache of her uncle Danny's films at the Museum of Modern Art, Esther Robinson created her own film, A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Factory
. Utilizing interviews with the surviving members of the Factory, family detective work, Williams' journals and letters, and, gloriously, Williams' own mysterious and beautiful films, Robinson attempts to discover not just what happened to her uncle, but what was actually behind the Factory's romantic façade. A Walk into the Sea
screens at 7 p.m. on Friday and Sunday (February 29 and March 2) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries
). Robinson attends the Sunday screening to discuss her film and her uncle. Admission is $5 to $6.
Fri., Feb. 29; Sun., March 2, 2008