A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory

Esther B. Robinson

USA 2007

11.02. 20:15 CineStar 8 (original version)
12.02. 13:30 Cubix 7 (original version)
13.02. 14:45 Arsenal 1 (original version)

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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

Language: English


Still photo of Danny Williams – Film still courtesy of The Danny Williams Estate © 2006