Astral Projection is a monthly screening series exploring astrology through film curated by our Box Office Manager, Nic Kaneski. Join us in celebrating the beginning of each zodiac season with a screening embodying the qualities of the sign, directed by a filmmaker of the sign. For stargazers and skeptics alike and anyone interested in the intersection of astrology, pop culture, and identity.
Dir. Susan Seidelman
1982, USA, 93 min
A vibrant time capsule of the gritty East Village and its young Eighties punk life, Smithereens earned much praise and even competed for the Palme d’or — making it one of America’s trailblazing indies before the movement kicked into high gear at the end of the decade.
Wild teen Wren (Susan Berman) trades NJ for NYC, where she hopes to join what’s left of punk culture. She hangs out with fellow transplant Paul (Brad Rijn), but he’s too safe for her tastes — which run to narcissistic rockers. She finds one in Eric (punk icon Richard Hell), about to cut a record in LA. Before long, Wren plans to accompany Eric out west, but it’s clear she’s trusted the wrong person.
Smithereens marked the directorial debut of Susan Siedelman, whose career includes Desperately Seeking Susan (featuring Madonna) and charming mob comedy Cookie. Here, she turns all the dyed hair, striped shirts, checkered miniskirts, and dingy street settings into a snapshot of a subculture teetering on oblivion.
Generously sponsored by IATSE 856 Manitoba.
“Chaotic and unfiltered, like the archetypal Sagittarian, Susan Seidleman’s Smithereens is an archive of the declining punk scene of 1980s New York and the feminist allure of the self-determination it offered.” – Nic Kaneski
“It’s as unsparing a sketch of twentysomething life in New York City as American independent cinema has yet offered.” – Steve Macfarlane, Slant Magazine