Friday, September 01, 2006


was the only film that actress Barbara Loden directed in her 48 short years, and its continuing historical obscurity is unsurprising. Loden’s marriage to Elia Kazan may have placed her near the nexus of Hollywood royalty, but that alone did little to assist her own risky creative output. A pseudo-heist story shot in 1970 on a shoestring budget and employing an experimentally minimalist narrative, the film preached a profound pessimism that would have disqualified it from the midnight movie circuit. According to scholar Berenice Reynaud’s fascinating essay accompanying Parlour Pictures’ release, Loden intended a stark realism that was “anti-Bonnie and Clyde.” A mere three years after the exaggerated heroic coupling of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, Wanda attacked that fantasy to boldly critique the zeitgeist.

Continue reading about Wanda at Stop Smiling...


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