"I'm in love with everyone I've ever met in one way or another. I'm just a crazy, unhinged disaster of a human being." -- Edie Sedgwick
You can have your Kim Kardashians, your Gigi Hadids, your newly transformed princesses and Instagram sensations, I'll take Edie Sedgwick every day over any of them. In fact, nearly fifty years after her death, she remains for this child of the 70s a favorite fashion icon, an "It Girl" like no other and an example whose style and attitude I always keep in my consciousness.
So why has Sedgwick remained such a star, even though she could appear to have done little more than be born a socialite and die at age 28, of an overdose-slash-suicide after several stretches in mental institutions? Because she once met Andy Warhol, whom with his usual flair for discovering the broken yet utterly fascinating -- see Jean-Michel Basquiat and Candy Darling among many many more -- made of Sedgwick the original reality star. She is the predecessor of the Kardashians, only her reality was captured on film, by Warhol, a master artist of creation.
At this year's FIDMarseille, the Marseille International Film Festival, a complete retrospective of Sedgwick's cinematic collaboration with Warhol will be on show. The festival runs from July 10th to the 16th in the southern French coastal city of Marseille and will feature a masterclass with/retrospective of Isabelle Huppert, the world premieres of Albert Serra's 'Roi Soleil' and Khaled Abdulwahed's 'Backyard' among many more films, as well as the FIDLab -- a two day event which connects selected projects with producers, support funds, broadcasters, distributors, all culminating in an award ceremony where 7 prizes will be given by an international jury.
All of the films by Warhol starring Sedgwick will be shown in 16mm, and come courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The series was organized by David Schwartz, the Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC.
Schwartz himself calls Sedgwick "one of the most mesmerizing performers ever to be captured on camera" and no one can argue with him. Whether smoking a cigarette while sipping a cocktail elegantly among downtown NYC celebrities or simply sitting in a corner wearing her signature chandelier earrings, pale skin, filled-in eyebrows and bleached short blond hair, Edie is a style legend, the kind of woman who continues to influence fashion, pop culture and cinema today.
In 'Poor Little Rich Girl' Warhol follows her around with his camera as she goes about her day, which of course is the stuff reality TV dreams are made of today, yet something the artist invented more than 40 years ago. In the film, Sedgwick is seen waking up, putting on make up and going to exercise, not acting at all yet keeping us, the audience simply spellbound by her sheer presence.
It's really too bad, or too sad that once Warhol, in his typically fickle way, got tired to his muse and moved on, he left the camera-centric Edie to fight the demons of her fame lost. And that hollow space in her heart is what probably lead to her untimely death.
A death that deprived the world of a muse, a style icon and an all around cool girl. And don't we need more of those!
For more information on the FIDMarseille, check out the festival's website.