I Shot Andy Warhol

Thursday, September 16, 2004 – 7:30pm
USA, 1996. Director: Mary Harron

This film is a provocative dramatic interpretation of events in the life of Valerie Solanas – the feminist who really did shoot Andy Warhol in 1968. Although Warhol survived another two decades, it is reported he never fully emotionally recovered from his near-death experience. The film is remarkable for its devastating and convincing portrait of the subculture that surrounded Warhol as well as its accurate gritty characterization of Solanas as she descends into insanity. Played with wonderful disagreeable passion by Lili Taylor, Solanas was hardly a likeable character. Abused as a child, she worked her way through college as a man-hating prostitute, a prejudice that led to her radical lesbian feminist polemic The S.C.U.M Manifesto (S.C.U. M. standing for Society for Calling Up Men) – still in print today. Convinced that her publisher Maurice Girodius (Lothaire Bluteau) wanted to steal her work and furious that Warhol (played with wonderful blasé indifference by Jared Harris) refused to produce a play she had written, the film provides a rare depiction of how unreasonable beliefs of persecution can crystallize into full-blown persecutory delusions with tragic consequences. The film is a compelling historical footnote of Solanas’s 15 minutes of fame. Colour, 35 mm. 103 mins.

The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
Dr. Oliver Robinow:
Dr. Robinow has been a member of the Dept. of Psychiatry, UBC since 1979 and holds the rank of Clinical Associate Professor. He currently works half time in the B. C. Centre for Sexual Medicine program at Vancouver General Hospital and half time in private practice. Away from his work, he has a lively interest in the history of art, and in the psychodynamics of the creative process.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.