Ciao Manhattan

1972

Biography / Drama / Romance

2
IMDb Rating 6 10 905

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753.32 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
P/S 8 / 28
1.43 GB
1904*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
P/S 24 / 38

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by emefay 2 / 10

Sad, so very, very sad

As Edie's biography here on IMDb says, she was in and out of institutions. It is clear that this woman-child was taken advantage of very callously by Andy Warhol and others, at first for her money, and later for her celebrity.

Ciao! Manhattan shocked and angered me when I first saw it in 1972, because I had known Edie. For several months in 1962, when she was in a very tony, low-security psychiatric institution in Westchester, I knew her as a sweet-natured, somewhat reticent, and very artistic 19-year-old. When I first met her I thought she was a 12-year-old child, as I was, for she was so thin and under-developed looking for her age. Seeing the way she is abused in Ciao! Manhattan just leaves me feeling very sad for her. She deserved better than this exploitation film.

As for the "Summer of Love" reference made by an earlier reviewer on IMDb, referring to the fact that this film was actually made partly in 1967, I do not think Ciao, Manhattan represents any of the genuine feelings of free expression and loving attitudes that were touted at the time. There is far too much cynicism inherent in this film to connect it in any way to the hippie happiness one could experience in pleasanter circles than that inhabited/created by the ghastly, selfish, mean-spirited, and self-involved Warhol. He used and threw away such gentle souls as Edie. I weep for the lost and under-appreciated life she led while under the influence of Warhol. In kinder company, she might have survived and been happier.

Ciao, Edie! You deserved better.

Reviewed by ksie_15241 6 / 10

Worth buying if you get the Anniversary DVD

This film is interesting only to anyone familiar with the saga of Edie Sedgwick. And it seems a bit ghoulish/voyeuristic to admit watching it for that reason. Although it's often claimed to be a biography of Edie, the film really is just a painful look at a person in the final stages of mental illness-drug addiction. She died soon after filming completed, which is no surprise.

The plot of Ciao is pretty garbled by the storyline involving the character Mr. Vedecchio. The director's commentary explains that Vedecchio was only added to the movie because during shooting the rest of the cast disappeared and there was nothing else to do but beef-up this role. In fact, the whole movie is a cut-and-paste of pre-meltdown Edie (black and white footage) and post-meltdown Edie (color), with Vedecchio and Paul America tossed into the mix. The color section also introduces Butch, the drifter from Texas, who does provide some much-needed comedy.

Although Ciao, Manhattan might not be particularly entertaining on its own, the DVD extras in the Anniversary package are wonderful, and to me made the disc worth purchasing. The directors' (and Butch/Wesley's!) commentary provides the story of how this movie "directed itself", and informs much about Edie and her state of mind during the last days of her life. There is quite a bit of extra footage from the Warhol-NYC days, and some terrific stills of Edie. A nice booklet is also included.

Reviewed by TheMemphian 10 / 10

the living end...on film.

A silver lipstick stained blueprint to the "Big Come Down" era, Ciao Manhattan is, by technical standards, very bad. Though the color sequences are well photographed and the older clips seem well reproduced, the narrative is clumsy and the sound is choppy. This doesn't bother me and whereas, I would like to see a coherent documentary on Edie, the flaws of the film are perfect alongside the flawed characters in the film. It possesses a very paranoid, broken and detached quality that is in keeping with a certain sub genre that has grown over the ensuing years. In music, it's everything low-fi since the LP, The Velvet Underground & Nico(1967). In film-making, it's any art film since Andy Warhol's Empire(1964).

The film is, quite by incident, the very quintessence of the dangers of mixing cinema verity lifestyle with a diet of tablets which include a total disregard for the wages of sin, in favor of "really living". (i.e. on film, on drugs and off reality). What illustrates this is that Susan(Edie)isn't really acting in this film, but seems to be fooling herself (with coaxing from the filmmakers, no doubt) into thinking that she is, simply because, she's using the name Susan and is probably on LSD most of the time. It's a kind of twisted defense mechanism that Edie is using to distance herself from her own personal reality. This is ironic, considering the fact that her personal reality is the focus of the entire film and that her(Edie's) own mortal coil is unraveling faster then footage can record it. But, the cameras are tenacious and keep rolling thru her staged shock treatments(a true event) to her "last chance at a normal life" marriage(a true event captured on 8mm complete with a Warholsque posterized sequence) and finally a news clipping of her obituary.

The film serves well as a cautionary tale to the contemporary modern girl, with Susan(Edie) as the prototype modern girl, trying anything new, without regard to the consequences. i.e. forced stardom, derelict emotions, mood management drugs, radical psychotherapy techniques and even a botched breast job. This has all become a common lifestyle today(in 2006), perfected by time and human casualty. Susan(Edie) was an incidental trailblazer in a film(lifestyle) where the sun shines too white hot for human beings to bare it, yet is too intoxicating for the obsessive ones to turn away from. Like a pretty, lactose intolerant, lab rat that keeps eating the cheese in spite of the gas pains, Susan(Edie) was caught in a maze of learned behavior and couldn't resist it's unhealthy escapism's, even though she must have felt the grim reaper's hand on her emaciated shoulder. As long as she was feeding her head and all eyes where on her, she really lived. She only "snuffed it" after filming had concluded and she was faced the realism of a sober, off camera existence.

The book "Edie, An American Biography" is required reading if you want to get the most out of this film and may be all you can take. *Not for the mentally squeamish.

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