Wanda, Nineteen Seventy Venice Film Festival, Barbara Coppel discussed on Filmspotting



Commenting. Stupid. I'm stupid. Don't want anything you won't have any. Don't have anything in nothing. Be Dead. Not even shish in the United States. That's a clip from the nineteen seventy film Wanda written directed by end starring, Barbara? Loden Michael Higgins. Also in that, Clip Wanda is the next film not the fourth film, but the fourth installment in our overlooked deters marathon. It is the only feature loden directed. She died of cancer in nineteen eighty at age forty eight she started as an actress mostly on the stage later appearing Ilia. Red River and splendour in the grass. She was a member of Kazan's famed actors studio and later married Iliad Kazan the low budget. Wanda. Which New Yorker critic ruled brody has compared to the work John Cavities is about a woman played by Loden who abandons her impoverished life in Pennsylvania coal country leaving behind a husband in two young children by chance she winds up on the run with a small time thief, the abusive and hard-drinking Mr Dennis as she calls him played by Higgins. Wanda. Had Its debut at the Nineteen Seventy Venice Film Festival where it won the best foreign film prize. So. Adam. Kesse that is certainly came to mind for me watching this, but it's interesting because you know buddies in the sixty s well established in the independent film scene already yet a woman under the influence didn't come until seventy four and this is seventy and so it was interesting to me because I I thought that had to have been an influence. Wanda had to abandon influence on some part on a woman under the influence, and then I'm thinking the other film. This made me think of is Badlands Malik Badlands Right. Yeah Seventy three. So here obviously Wanda itself influenced by Bonnie and Clyde which came out in sixty seven. We'll probably get into how it's an interesting rift for maybe a a reimagining of that in some ways but here it Kinda sits at seventy and I'm realizing this is a movie that likely influenced to monumental works of cinema and Tamai discredit and I think to sinophile files discredit at large. It's it's really been talked about until recent years when it of popped up on my radar. This thing is you know in its own, right? Incredibly fascinating and it has to be really crucially influential instrumental film leading into the seventies when you say, yeah, for sure and this is indeed why we have embarked on and overlooked occurs marathon. It's overlook she is overlooked Barbara, Loden by US and maybe the OT tour framing. Doesn't apply in one sense. She only got to make one film what a voice, what a talent she exhibits here in this movie which she did as we said, right direct and stars in this is completely her movie and in some ways whether not ties back to her actual life or not feels so intimate and personal and you're right I think you got all the main. Touch points there the badlands one in particular. I love seeing Wanda as a counterpoint to sissy space x character in that movie getting caught up when the wrong guy going on this crime spree. But of course, where Sissy SPACEX character has such actual childlike innocence Wanda is childlike in many ways. But whatever the opposite of innocence is world weariness having having seen almost everything and just kind. Of having to take the punches day of what life gives you it is the opposite in a lot of ways and it's a tough movie to connect with. It's it's a bleak movie and Loadin does very little. Initially, I think to make us try to relate to or understand Wanda even when we see her interact with her former husband and her two kids she she shows no. Remorse or sensitivity whatsoever. Right she isn't interested in having any roller kids lives. She says, they'll be better off with him and I think we're kind of left to read between the lines of what that relationship might have truly been like not just the way the husband's representing it and representing him and and really only from her actions throughout the whole film. Do we realize how rooted? Her behavior must be her psychology must be in abuse, but again, Loden doesn't make any of that really explicitly clear though we do see the mistreatment she suffers at the hands of most men she encounters but I agree it's an extraordinary work and I think part of it is how loden combines different elements into something that feels wholly unique. It is on one level this crime movie it's a Quirkier, even more dysfunctional and probably dangerous in some way Bonnie and Clyde like I'm thinking about Mr Dennis and. The way he is so paranoid and how he can, he can fly off the handle. He scares me more than than Warren, beatty or Faye. Dunaway ever sure right in Bonnie and Clyde, and they're on this crime spree and Wanda's part of its surely because of her sense of codependency maybe needing a man on the trees are terribly but also Josh what else does she have to do she goes moment to moment yeah. Man Demand need to need just seeing where it takes her but then you have that. Combined with the grainy sixteen millimeter look the aspect ratio, the square aspect ratio, the hand held camera, the setting it being coal, mining country, blue collar workers, impoverished people, not exactly. Hollywood stuff we don't see movies made about these people unless it's something like a few years. Later, we're going to get Barbara Coppel doing a documentary about Harlan County USA, but it is like a verite documentary to with her curlers in her hair and the custody hearing easy to feel like you've just dropped in at an actual custody hearing you've dropped in on this couple going. Through this scenario and I think as well Yup to talk about load-ins, performance itself and how fits into this scheme as well. But but I'll stop and let you jump in on what you appreciated about it. Yeah. We'll definitely get to the performance. This is where you know for the reasons you mentioned cavities had to be an influence on load and to right she shows after he's doing this work in the sixties she chose for her filmmaking debut to work in the independent film scene. So she she chose this kind of grainy approached the camera work. That you're talking about and yet she manages some real beauty in it to think about this came to mind because we just did our top five landscapes as characters with Gregg recruits last show and you get that shot. Wanda wearing mostly white. It's a long shot from fire away wandering out of this house. She's been staying at I'm assuming it's maybe her sister's yeah that's what I got, but she's not welcome there anymore, and so she wanders out emits this coal mining pit dark gray all around her she's the solitary figure in she's kind of trudging. Through it on her own, it's almost apocalyptic but you know the irony of this is that that setting almost after we get about hour into the movie seem safer than when she goes out into the real world, which are which are these bars, these hotels, these shopping centers, and again, it's because she's just trying to survive and it's a meager existence a moment by moment existence and essentially it's an existence that's left to the mercy of men who have cash and who have cars, and that's the only way she knows how to eat how to get food. To. It's that simple..

Coming up next