Ciao! Manhattan [1972]

Fact and fiction collide in the cult classic Ciao! Manhattan, which was billed as "the film that wrote itself." The unexpectedly poignant tale is based on the life of "Superstar" Edie Sedgwick, who plays a drugged-out former model named Susan. In Southern California, she lives in her wealthy, pie-obsessed mother's swimming pool and recounts her glory days in Manhattan to a Houston drifter (Wesley Hayes). John Palmer and David Weisman began filming in New York in 1967 and kept shooting for the next five years, even as Sedgwick moved West, grew out her hair, got breast implants, and spent time at a variety of mental institutes. The 1970s present is in color; the 1960s flashbacks are in luminous black and white. John Phillips, Richie Havens, and others provide the period-perfect soundtrack. Confusing at times, but always entertaining, Ciao! Manhattan is a must for fans of Head, Trash, and all things weird, wiggy, and Warhol. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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