It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
When Andy Warhol mused that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, he could not have anticipated that Valerie Solanas would earn her fame by shooting him. To be fair, she did it only as a last resort; God knows she tried everything else to get Andy to make her famous. Now her life and crime are dramatized in “I Shot Andy Warhol,” which Warhol might have found the perfect movie title, combining as it does the deadpan, the sensational, and name-dropping.
Solanas walked into the Factory, Warhol's studio, on June 3, 1968, pulled out a gun that was given to her by a guy she met in a mimeo shop, and fired on America's most famous artist. “Jesus Christ, now she's shot somebody,” one of Warhol's assistants says. (One expects Warhol to summon his strength and gasp, “Not just somebody.”) When the police ask her why she did it, she says she has “a lot of real involved reasons.” She sure does.
In following the life of Valerie Solanas from her wounded childhood to her moment of vindication, director Mary Harron and actress Lili Taylor go inside the mind of a woman who was deranged and possibly schizophrenic, and follow the logic of her situation as she sees it, until her act is revealed as the inevitable result of what went before.
Solanas, who was abused as a child and worked her way through college as a prostitute, comes across as a gifted woman who never quite loses a wry sense of humor. After a short career on her college paper (she writes columns arguing that females can reproduce without males and should do so), Valerie takes on Manhattan; she writes plays, does readings in luncheonettes, and is befriended by Candy Darling (Stephen Dorff), a transsexual who takes her for the first time to the Factory.