With director Susan Seidelman in person
Dir. Susan Seidelman. 1982, 89 mins. Digital projection. (Original film negative archived at the Academy Film Archive in cooperation with IndieCollect.) With Susan Berman, Brad Rijn, Richard Hell. Susan Seidelman’s dissection of fame and failure in the early ‘80s Lower East Side punk underground—the first American independent film to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival—is a gritty time capsule of the era’s music, fashion, and attitude. Susan Berman stars as Wren, a working class Jersey girl whose ambition outweighs her talent as she elbows her way into the fringes of the New Wave demimonde, attaching herself to two men—a nice Montana boy (Brad Rijn) and an exploitive rocker (punk icon Richard Hell) —along the way. Matching her kinetic visual style to a blistering soundtrack by The Feelies, Seidelman captures the mix of decay and decadence that defined the downtown scene.
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