Candy Darling, aka John Slattery of Forest Hills, was easily one of the most beautiful transsexuals ever; the blond bombshell and habitué of Andy Warhols Factory and films in the late 60s and early 70s (she starred in Flesh and Women in Revolt) attracted the attention of everyone from the Velvet Underground (whose song Candy Says she inspired) to Tennessee Williams, who cast her in his play Small Craft Warnings. She was also incredibly brave in the way she openly flaunted who she was in a less forgiving time, and her tragic death from leukemia at the age of 29 is said to have been caused by the hormone treatments she received.
The new documentary Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Warhol Superstar, by James Rasin, puts all of this into intimate perspective, drawing from archival footage and modern and vintage interviews, as well as Candy Darlings own diaries and letters. But its also, inevitably, an inside view of Darlings milieu and its tumultuous, glitter-strewn era, delivered with sensitivity and a bittersweet underside. Go for the cultural history lesson; stay for the inside story.
Beautiful Darling opens for a weeks run tonight at the Denver FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, as part of the centers Cinema Q series; for showtimes and tickets, $7.25 to $9.75, visit www.denverfilm.org or call 303-595-3456
May 20-26, 2011