The starstruck, druggy/ambisexual, slumming-trust-fund-baby universe that Andy Warhol created in the Factory during the 1960s was, in its way, as prophetic a work of art as any of his silkscreens. The Warhol Superstars seem less exotic now but, if anything, more fascinating in their banal ”decadent” narcissism; the society of fame-whore junkies they foretold, after all, was our own. Any number of the Superstars — Joe Dallesandro, Candy Darling — might be worthy of a documentary, but Brigid Berlin is not one of those charismatic hell-bent elite.
Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story is built around the irony that Berlin, daughter of a Hearst executive, was as pure a scion of the WASP aristocracy as, say, Patty Hearst herself. Berlin’s rebellion, though, took a singularly sullen, navel-gazing form. Yes, she shot heroin and appeared nude in The Chelsea Girls, but mostly she ate — and ate. The film turns out to be the portrait of a serial yo-yo dieter, an impression enhanced by the 60-year-old Berlin, who suggests less a former depraved scene-ster than a calorie-compulsive Martha Stewart grown bored with good taste.