With all the talk about negative portrayals of transgender people in movies lately (and by the way, did you hear they're changing the trailer on the trashy one?), it's heartening to hear that some directors have class. From Wednesday's New York Times comes word of what seems like a positive portrayal of transgender actress Candy Darling:
James Rasin's Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar is a tender biographical portrait of the vulnerable transgender actress (born James Slattery in Massapequa, N.Y.) who dreamed of being an old-time movie goddess in the mode of her idol, Kim Novak. Organized around the reminiscences of her close friend Jeremiah Newton, it is one of the best documentaries spun off the Warhol axis. Darling was only 29 when she died in 1974. Had her impossible dreams come true, she might have starred in a film like I Am Love.
I'm hankering to see this on Saturday. Despite my general dislike for movies, I love well done documentaries. There's some big name stars involved with the project, people I respect. With all the stories about the awful trash out there, I think it's important to point up the positive media portrayals too. Trailer after the jump.
This trailer really piqued my interest. It's a human story, with people who actually knew her, it's touching, and I feel connected to Candy Darling. I'll let you know what I think after I see the movie.
The series continues through Sunday at the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. Information: filmlinc.com and (212) 875-5601, and at moma.org and (212) 408-6663.
Born James Slattery in Massapequa, Long Island, in 1944, Candy Darling transformed herself into a stunning blonde actress who in the mid-Sixties became an active player in New York's "downtown" scene. In her passionate act of self-creation, Candy Darling mesmerized. A party fixture, she appeared in Warhol films, and Tennessee Williams cast her in a play. She was seen and written about, and then, before she turned 30, cancer claimed her life.
Using vintage footage and interviews old and new, and anchored by the presence of Candy's very close friend, Jeremiah Newton, director James Rasin creates a critical and loving portrait of a singular and audacious life. With Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Penny Arcade, Paul Morrissey, Fran Lebowitz, John Waters. Candy's letters and diaries read by Chloë Sevigny.
About the Director: New York-based filmmaker James Rasin was born in Chicago in 1963. His short film The Burning Ghat, featuring Beat writer Herbert Huncke, was screened at the Venice Biennale and the Chicago International Film Festival, and his short documentary, Gregory Corso Reads from the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Rasin has written several screenplays, including Somebody's Sins (cowritten with Jack Walls), about the lives of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith. Rasin also wrote the screenplay for an Andy Warhol feature to be directed by Abel Ferrara.