Film Series

Punks, Poets & Valley Girls: Women Filmmakers in 1980s America

 
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FILM SERIES
 
Aug 7—Aug 20, 2019
 
   
 
 
 
 
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Following the independent breakthroughs made by women filmmakers in the 1970s, opportunities unseen since the silent era suddenly opened up for (white, straight, cis) women in the studio system in the 1980s. The result was a wave of decade-defining classics by directors like Kathryn Bigelow, Amy Heckerling, and Penny Marshall, who brought a sensitivity to female subjectivity and experience hitherto rare in mainstream genre cinema. Simultaneously, women filmmakers outside Hollywood continued to challenge white, patriarchal notions of narrative, form, and subject as seen in the radical works of the New York downtown scene, the LA Rebellion, and the burgeoning New Queer Cinema movement. These artists—pioneers like Kathleen Collins, Lizzie Borden, and Donna Deitch—defied the Reagan-era status quo to bring their stories and experiences to the screen.


 
Casual Sex?
Film
Casual Sex?
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 
Casual Sex?
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 

Two girlfriends (Lea Thompson and Victoria Jackson) head to a California spa looking for fun and romance in this true rarity: an 80s sex comedy that is actually sex positive and concerned with female pleasure.

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Big
Film
Big
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 
Big
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 

Soft-shoeing across giant, toy store piano keys, Tom Hanks is a pure delight in this classic body-swap comedy from the great Penny Marshall.

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Valley Girl
Film
Valley Girl
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 
Valley Girl
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 

A breakout Nicolas Cage plays a Hollywood punk who finds love with a SoCal mallrat in this refreshingly sincere 80s teen comedy, set to a bouncy New Wave soundtrack.

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Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Film
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
 

The film that launched a dozen careers, including Sean Penn as stoner icon Spicoli. Amy Heckerling’s endlessly quotable classic is an unusually frank snapshot of the 80s high school experience.

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Ishtar
Film
Ishtar
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 
Ishtar
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 

Once synonymous with “box office flop,” national treasure Elaine May’s unjustly maligned road movie comedy can now be seen as an endearingly goofy lark that should never have cut short her brilliant career.

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Yentl
Film
Yentl
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 
Yentl
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 

Barbra Streisand’s dream project—a subversive tale about a young Jewish woman who poses as a man to receive an education—made her the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a Hollywood film.

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Testament
Film
Testament
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 
Testament
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 

An ordinary American family survives a nuclear war but then must press on in the face of unimaginable horror in Lynne Littman’s quietly shattering study of tragedy and resilience.

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Pet Sematary + Mary Lambert Music Videos
Film
Pet Sematary + Mary Lambert Music Videos
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 
Pet Sematary + Mary Lambert Music Videos
Sun, Aug 18, 2019
 

Mary Lambert’s grisly adaptation of Stephen King’s all-American nightmare is presented alongside a nostalgia-inducing selection of her MTV era-defining music videos.

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LA Rebellion Short Films
Film
LA Rebellion Short Films
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
 
LA Rebellion Short Films
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
 

A groundbreaking generation of artists who came up through the UCLA Film School, the filmmakers of the LA Rebellion revolutionized the representation of black women onscreen.

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Sleepwalk
Film
Sleepwalk
Tue, Aug 20, 2019
 
Sleepwalk
Tue, Aug 20, 2019
 

An ancient Chinese scroll exerts a strange influence over a woman’s life in Sara Driver’s trancey No Wave classic from the 80s Manhattan demimonde.

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PAST EVENTS
Suburbia
Film
Suburbia
 

Penelope Spheeris’ blistering rebel yell from the restless edges of Reagan-era America.

Wed, Aug 7, 2019
 
 
The Decline of Western Civilization
Film
The Decline of Western Civilization
 

Penelope Spheeris’ ultimate record of the LA 80s punk scene.

Thu, Aug 8, 2019
 
 
The Decline of Western Civilization
Film
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years
 

Penelope Spheeris’ outrageous, often hilarious portrait of 80s hair metal excess.

Thu, Aug 8, 2019
 
 
Variety
Film
Variety
 

Bette Gordon’s scuzzy feminist noir inverts Hitchcockian themes of voyeurism and the gaze.

Sat, Aug 10, 2019
 
 
Born in Flames
Film
Born in Flames
 

Diverse feminist factions unite to fight for their rights in Lizzie Borden’s No Wave sci-fi polemic.

Sat, Aug 10, 2019
 
 
Smithereens
Film
Smithereens
 

Susan Seidelman’s unflinchingly gritty time capsule of the East Village punk underground.

Sat, Aug 10, 2019
 
 
Desperately Seeking Susan
Film
Desperately Seeking Susan
 

Susan Seidelman’s tale of amnesia and mistaken identity in New York's 80s downtown scene.

Sat, Aug 10, 2019
 
 
Crossing Delancey
Film
Crossing Delancey
 

Joan Micklin Silver’s charming look at love, Jewishness, and “having it all.”

Sun, Aug 11, 2019
 
 
Smooth Talk
Film
Smooth Talk
 

Laura Dern stars in this dark drama based on a classic story by Joyce Carol Oates.

Sun, Aug 11, 2019
 
 
Twice As Nice
Film
Twice as Nice
 

Groundbreaking director Jessie Maple celebrates sisterhood and black achievement.

Sun, Aug 11, 2019
 
 
Losing Ground
Film
Losing Ground
 

Kathleen Collins’ wonderfully complex study of the tension between the head and the heart.

Sun, Aug 11, 2019
 
 
La Ofrenda
Film
La ofrenda
 

A visually stunning examination of Chicanx identity and the Mexican relationship to death.

Mon, Aug 12, 2019
 
 
Mississippi Triangle
Film
Mississippi Triangle
 

Christine Choy upends the myth of the American melting pot.

Mon, Aug 12, 2019
 
 
Black Women's Short Films
Film
Black Women's Short Films
 

Empowering looks at black beauty, domestic labor, and a queer icon.

Tue, Aug 13, 2019
 
 
Suzanne, Suzanne + Navajo Talking Picture
Film
Navajo Talking Picture + Suzanne, Suzanne
 

Two provocative family portraits confronting indigenous representation and black family trauma.

Tue, Aug 13, 2019
 
 
Desert Hearts
Film
Desert Hearts
 

Unexpected love blossoms in 1950s Nevada in this ravishing landmark of lesbian cinema.

Wed, Aug 14, 2019
 
 
Kamikaze Hearts
Film
Kamikaze Hearts
 

This unsparing quasi-documentary looks at the 80s porn industry via the story of two women.

Thu, Aug 15, 2019
 
 
True Love
Film
True Love
 

It’s marriage, Bronx style, in this raucous, Sundance prize-winning anti-rom-com.

Thu, Aug 15, 2019
 
 
Near Dark
Film
Near Dark
 

Kathryn Bigelow’s stylishly moody vampire western.

Fri, Aug 16, 2019
 
 
Border Radio
Film
Border Radio
 

A blast of lo-fi cool from the 80s LA underground.

Fri, Aug 16, 2019