At the outset, Factory Girl looks like thin material for a biopic: It covers the life of Edie Sedgwick, a college dropout propelled to "it" girl status by Andy Warhol in the sixties, only to lose herself, as "it" people often do, to drugs and fresher faces. The movie starts with her leaving college, ends well before her death at age 28, and (intentionally or not) presents a convincing case that she didn't do much with the years in between.

But so many filmed biographies cram from childhood to old age, resulting in filmed Cliff Notes, or a mini-series at twice the speed and half the scenes. That Factory Girl doesn't have to cover an Edie Sedgwick comeback -- that she dies young and off-camera -- is a perverse relief. George Hickenlooper's brief, sometimes impressionistic film is most illuminating when showing both the allure and the casualties of Warhol's free but detached Factory scene.

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