Esther B. Robinson
Nadia visits her granddaughter at work – at the Warhol Foundation – and tells her that her son, who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances, had been Andy's lover and had lived with him. From that moment on the two family histories become a projection surface: that of an "upright and traditional" American family and the most legendary of all art families: Warhol's Factory.
With the support of Callie Angell, the curator of the Andy Warhol Film Project at the Whitney Museum, Esther B. Robinson, the niece of the vanished Danny Williams, tracks down a box of 16mm film material at MoMA that has his name written on it. A treasure chest opens up: images, never seen before, of the factory, of The Velvet Underground, well-known faces, all in a fusion of intimacy and splendor. Like a detective, Robinson searches for traces. Talking with contemporaries and family members, watching the films, and researching, one thing becomes clear: writing family histories is an amorphous conglomeration of memories, existing images, and the distance created by time – no different than writing film history. Still, despite the impossibility of grasping the truth, the film carves out an artistic biography as singular as it is puzzling.
Stefanie Schulte Strathaus
Production: thatgrl Media LLC., New York
Cinematographer: Adam Cohen
Editors: Shannon Kennedy, James K. Lyons
Cast: Brigid Berlin, Billy Name, Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, John Cale, Callie Angell, Albert Maysles, Nat Finkelstein, Julia Robinson, Nadia Williams, David Williams
Format: DigiBeta PAL (shot on Mini DV and 16mm), Color
Running time: 75 minutes
Still photo of Danny Williams – Film still courtesy of The Danny Williams Estate © 2006