Ciao! Manhattan (1972)

Ciao! Manhattan (1972)

“Where the fuck’s my lighter?”

Drugged-out Susan Superstar (Edie Sedgwick) tells a young drifter (Wesley Ames) about her life as a famous model in New York.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
  • Flashback Films
  • Models

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “famous underground film” — originally intended “to be a $50,000 black-and-white documentary about a day in the life of Edie Sedgwick” — is almost creepy to watch, knowing that “former Warhol factory girl and model” Sedgwick died before its release, and that she “is not putting on an act”. It’s difficult to tell whether the “pathetic, unhealthy, mixed-up” Sedgwick is aware she’s being exploited, and/or if she even cares. Regardless, this “interesting, though not always coherent” film paints a frightening portrait of a young life quickly destroyed by drugs.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • A fascinating look at a ’60’s superstar who burned out early and died at the age of 28
  • Creative mix of documentary footage with a fictionalized script

Must See?
No. This one is only mandatory viewing for fans of the Andy Warhol scene.


One thought on “Ciao! Manhattan (1972)

  1. Not a must – by any means.

    The film met good fortune in that it’s shot and edited surprisingly well.

    It also met very bad fortune in that it’s an extremely bad film.

    It’s populated with self-indulgent people who tend to accuse others of being self-indulgent. (“I can’t figure out who’s hustling who?”)

    Chances are your eyes will want to glaze over and your ears will want cotton.

    Far from reading as exploitation, the film appears to be Edie’s vanity project – in which she wants to – what? – set the record straight?…and doesn’t particularly care about the outcome of the film (or her) one way or the other.

    Things came full circle during the editing process: Edie’s actual death is reported in the film. Details regarding the filming and release are at Wikipedia: a very troubled project all around.

    This is a document of party people. It’s hogwash on parade. It went on to become some kind of cult classic. So the fuck what?

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