Monday, October 9 @ 7:00 PM / Music Box Theatre
Directed by Susan Seidelman • 1982
Susan Seidelman’s feature film debut Smithereens is the meaner, younger sister of her cult classic Desperately Seeking Susan. Released three years prior and funded in part by the money Seidelman’s grandmother left her for her “future wedding,” it was shot without permits on the streets of Koch-era New York City (sorry Grandma) and went on to compete at Cannes. Susan Berman stars as Wren, a New Jersey runaway who heads to NYC seeking fame in the punk scene, and whose limited talents include pasting Xeroxed self-portraits of herself around town and pinballing back and forth between sweet (but decidedly NOT punk) Brad Rinn and sexy (real-life punk icon) Richard Hell. Though its main character may have been a ne’er-do-well who showed up late to the cultural moment party, its creator was anything but. Seidelman, in 1982: “My idea was to capture the crazy energy of the rock clubs, the sleazy bars, the tenement lofts. I wanted to people the film with characters who were products of the mass culture of the 1970’s and 80’s, kids who grew up on rock and roll. The design of the film is strongly influenced by cartoons, pop art and the colorful trashiness of New York’s urban landscape.” With a soundtrack soaked in the Feelies, ESG, and the Voidoids and screening in a newly struck 35mm print, this is the New Wave cult film your horrible teenage self should have shoplifted from the video store. (RL)
89 min • Domestic Productions • 35mm from Westchester Films, Inc.
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2016) Lab: Fotokem
Presale tickets available here!
Preceded by: “Punking Out” (Maggi Carson, Juliusz Kossakowski, and Fredric A. Shore, 1979) – 16mm – 25 min
“Punking Out” courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. “Punking Out” has been preserved with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.