Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Beautiful Darling

A belated post marking Candy Darling's birthday yesterday, and as a tribute I watched the 2010 documentary Beautiful Darling earlier, a superb and affectionate portrait of the gorgeous and talented Warhol superstar who passed away in 1974 aged just 29 following a short illness. What emerges most strongly from the film is Candy's commitment to living her life as a woman, an act of sheer heroism that exacted a heavy price in terms of her romantic relationships (none of her friends remember her with a partner), as well as her health - the toxic transgender medicine she took probably shortened her life. But for the most part the documentary is a celebration rather than a lament, with friends sharing warm memories of this very sweet girl, from Factory survivors like Paul Morrissey and Gerard Malanga to John Waters and Jayne County (who admonishes those who would refer to Candy as a he). Fantastic footage too of Candy appearing in some decidedly off-Broadway productions and more intimate home movies. Final thought comes from Candy herself, in an extract from her diary read by Chloe Sevigny: “I will not cease to be myself for foolish people. For foolish people make harsh judgments on me. You must always be yourself, no matter what the price. It is the highest form of morality.” Words to live by.

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