That’s Something That I Understand: Claudia Weill’s Girlfriends – Rare 35mm Screening – July 19

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Wednesday, July 19 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Claudia Weill • 1978
After being dumped by her roommate (Anita Skinner) at the corner laundromat, Susan Weinblatt (Melanie Mayron) sets out to chart a new life for herself as a twentysomething single New Yorker who can paint her apartment any damn color she wants now. An aspiring photographer whose eye for the female body finds only fitful expression in bar mitzvah and wedding gigs, Susan struggles to keep the electricity on, but ultimately values her solitude over material comfort. She ascertains that most men her age are just interested in football or John Ford movies, but the women aren’t much better: Ceil (Amy Wright), the hitchhiker who becomes her involuntary roommate, can’t keep her hands away from Susan’s closet—or her body. Then again, neither can Susan’s rabbi, played with disarming sweetness by Eli Wallach (!). Shot cheaply on 16mm and pieced together over a year with the support of the AFI, the NEA, and New York State Council on the Arts, the feature debut of producer-director Claudia Weill is a landmark of low-key, unprepossessing feminism, sexual frankness, and Upper West Side Jewish ethnography. A key antecedent of Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Girlfriends is the tender human comedy you never knew you’d been missing. (KW)
88 min • Cyclops Productions • 35mm from Warner Bros.

Preceded by: Joyce at 34” (Joyce Chopra and Claudia Weill, 1973) – 16mm – 28 min

“Joyce at 34” courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. “Joyce at 34” has been preserved with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

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