“Candy says I’ve come to hate my body and all that it requires in this world” – Velvet Underground
The real star of Beautiful Darling James Rasin’s portrait of Warhol superstar Candy Darling, which screened this afternoon at the Berlinale, isn’t the starlet herself. Nor is it any of the regulars of the Warhol community, although many of them make appearances. The real star of this film is Darling’s devoted and amicably gentle sidekick Jeremiah Newton, a man whose dedication to his friend has preserved her image and story warts and all.
Newton hands Raisin a treasure trove of material, which the director brilliantly turns into a dual portrait not just of Candy Darling but of of Newton as well as, who appropriately receives a producers credit on the film. This insightful picture of the tragic life and sudden death of one of Warhol’s most confident stars was only possible because of the tireless efforts Newton put into documenting Darling’s life. Newton interviewed scores of Warhol regulars and salvaged a wealth of personal belongings (photos, films, diaries, clothing etc) from Darling’s mother which allows Rasin to assemble one of the finest accounts of the Warhol factory, its tragic relationship to its coterie and its profound effect on the lives of its manufactured stars. As told through these collected stories and belongings, Rasin and Newton offer us one of the most authentic and personal portraits that factory has known.