In “Walk on the Wild Side,” several of Andy Warhol’s “Superstars” converge from their various former lives to New York City–a place where they can be who they were meant to be, where they can shed their former mundane or suffocating identities and transform. A place of freedom. For those from outside of this milieu, it is a hard thought to square with the New York City of 1972. Crime-ridden, virtually bankrupt, and radiant with a dangerous kind of glamour, New York didn’t seem to be a place where one could be free. All of the movies and entertainment of this era, from the “Godfather” and “The French Connection,” to small films like “Panic in Needle Park,” rendered a place in ruins and lengthening shadows. Little did the Aamerica west of the Hudson know, that The Factory, Warhol’s studio, would be a propulsive engine of cultural change from Lou and the Velvets to Interview Magazine and the seminal beginnings of punk rock, glam rock, and the explosion of art and music in the East Village. Between Warhol and Lou, a lot happened, and a great many artists, musicians and writers lost and found their place in the culture they created. The “Superstars” starred in Warhol’s movies and many weren’t really actors. Warhol revered them as entities and, in some sad cases, ciphers. All of them though, were thoroughly seduced by the thought of fame, -even when staring blankly into the lens of Warhol’s Dream Machine.
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