The Andy Warhol Diaries
In typical documentary style, The Andy Warhol Diaries opens with flashes of social and historical events meshed together that encapsulate the influence of the subject matter, highlighted by one significant quote that encompasses everything. The premise is simple: Warhol kept a diary for over a decade, and these are the stories written within it. It all started with transcriptions of his phone calls, which later developed into a cohesive timeline of Warhol’s life. The diary frames an entire period in just the little bits and details Warhol once noted down.
Beyond the impact of his work, the series explores the artist’s sexuality in a similar manner to how Bohemian Rhapsody explored Freddie Mercury’s queerness. Warhol’s experience with attraction and sex are interlaced with his struggles with insecurity and his vision of beauty, art and expression. One of the standout statements from one of the interviewees is that he was a boy “who didn’t know how to be closeted”. But there’s a whole section of the documentary that subtly debunks this statement, comparing the hiding of sexuality to hiding his true self. This is underlined through visual irony: when talking about gay marriage and Warhol’s relationship with Jed Johnson, the clips shown are that of straight marriages.
In essence, the docuseries is very good at finding parallels in disparate parts of Warhol’s life that on the surface may seem meaningless, but actually paint a more nuanced picture of his character. This exposition is guided by excellent production choices, from the perfect tracks that set a similar artistic tone to Warhol’s own work to selecting the clips that evoke the intended emotion demanded by the dialogue or topics discussed. The very fast editing style adds vibrance to the show’s information dump, as do the translucent lighting and filters that emulate the colour palette of Warhol’s artwork.
The structure is the backbone of the whole of The Andy Warhol Diaries: each episode has one overarching theme, discussed thoroughly in sub-topics that flow into a chronological timeline. The last sub-topic from the previous episode then acts as the bridge to the following episode. This allows all of these moving parts to fit and tell Warhol’s story in a cohesive and extremely informative manner, without taking away from the sentiment behind it all.
The Andy Warhol Diaries is released on Netflix on 9th March 2022.
Watch the trailer for The Andy Warhol Diaries here: