I’d like to turn the whole world on just for a moment


Edie Sedgwick stands out amidst a long line of modern muses such as Jane Avril, Dora Maar, Ruth Kligman, Ilona Staller and Dash Snow. Edie is the problem of the muse: a figure one wants so to behold but never to be. The fascination with her since her death in 1971, at the age of 28, has never abated. Her friend, filmmaker David Weisman, in his book Edie: Girl on Fire (Chronicle Books, co-authored with Melissa Painter), describes going before a film class at USC in 1998, prepared to talk about his award-winning film Kiss of the Spider Woman, and being stunned when the students only wished to know, “What was Edie like?”

The answer has been sought in Jean Stein and George Plimpton’s bestseller Edie, in Sienna Miller’s erotic portrayal in the new film Factory Girl, in David Bourdon’s Warhol and in Weisman’s film of Edie’s last years Ciao Manhattan, memorably filmed in the bottom of an empty swimming pool.

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