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Mary Jane Regalado Presents: Wanda

Barbara Loden

Mary Jane Regalado Presents: Wanda

Mary Jane Regalado (Gauche, Downtown Boys) is a musician, visual artist, DJ and occasional radio show host currently residing in Washington, D.C. Her interests include subversive media, Chicanx feminism, underground art and record collecting. Her favorite film is Zootopia.


Winner of the Venice Critics Prize 1970

— “Whatever film I make is some extension of myself,” Barbara Loden told French film critic Michel Ciment at the Venice Film Festival in 1970, where Wanda, her landmark directing debut—which she also wrote and starred in—premiered, eventually winning the International Critics Award. The heartbreaking, hoped-for plural implied by “whatever film” would never be realized: Wanda—about the desultory existence of a woman from deepest Pennsylvania coal country who abandons her husband and small children, soon taking up with an incompetent bank robber—was the only movie Loden, who died of cancer in 1980 at age 48, ever made.

Inspired by cinema verité and the rough-hewn aesthetic of Warhol’s films (“I said, ‘Gee, everything doesn’t have to be so perfect,’ ” she laughed to Ciment), Wanda, shot in 16mm, is a road movie that culminates in a dead end. Wiser, and perhaps angrier, after her adventures, Wanda is still without resources and destined to continue drifting. “She’s trapped and she will never, ever get out of it and there are millions like her,” Loden told the New York Times. Wanda bears the rawness of its creator’s memories of barely making it out herself. — Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

“The most striking thing about “Wanda” is its textures: the grain of cheap wood in a ramshackle house, the cold metal of a coffee shop and the marble of a bank, the dank warmth of a grim hotel room, and, of course, the skin of its people, with all its power to allure and to revolt, come through with a jolting physical power. ” – Richard Broday, New Yorker


  • 3/21 | 8:00PM
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