Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway Beautiful Darling James Slattery was Candy Darling or Candy Darling was James Slattery. Either way you look at it, "Beautiful Darling" is a welcome addition to the abundance of documentaries on Andy Warhol subjects and his vamping or vampirish ilk, known as "Factory People."
Candy Darling was a Warhol Superstar who starred in many films along with Hollywoodlawn and Viva. In his pre-Candy days he was a pretty boy known as Jimmie, but he wrote in his journal and studied Hollywood films. Jimmie sketched flowing drawings of Hollywood starlets. He studied the way women walked and moved and became a scientist in feminine illusion. Then seemingly in a flash, Jimmie transformed himself into Candy Darling, a lifelong ritual and a silver star who never interrupted her spaced out vamp.
The film goes into quite a bit of depth about the friendship between Candy and Jeremiah Newton, a young Edward Scissorhands-like kid with sad eyes. An arresting part of the film is the sight of Jeremiah, now corpulent instead of slender and the painstaking lengths he takes to makes sure Candy's ashes will not be disturbed: he types the cremation notice and produces the headstone. He digs the plot. Mr. Newton was deeply in love with Candy and its easy to see why. Candy was Mega-Monroe, more feminine than feminine.
There are the usual cast of characters here: Jackie Curtis, Hollywoodlawn, and stills of Capote. Andy himself comes across once again as a tinsel eyed Pinnochio, just watching and looking. Once the party was over, Andy couldn't care less about friendships. "No more chicks with dicks" is what he was reported to have said.
The color of silver, or of Warhol himself has never seemed so hurtful. Candy, once a darling, was now never invited to Warhol's premieres.
Candy was never one to sit still, however, she starred in Tennessee Williams' Small Craft Warnings to rave reviews. If that wasn't enough she had glamour shots of herself taken in the hospital.
In the 70's, Candy made the word daring shy.
Jeremiah is the real star of the documentary. By his traveling through memory and parental discontent, he is fearless and undaunted. Even walking is hard for him and he stops at nothing in preserving his friend and giving her the proper silver shade.
Jeremiah sleeps and breathes with Candy. This documentary is as much a testament to an intimate friendship between a humble man and his best friend, as it is a story of a Warholian wonder.
Write Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org