$12 General Admission
** New restoration from Janus Films! **
Barbara Loden’s 1970 directorial debut, in which she also stars, was the only film that she would write and direct but has assured “Loden’s place in artistic history.” Following Wanda as she leaves her husband and child behind to pursue something, though what is not exactly clear, Wanda is a small-town heist film that follows a woman on an existential adventure.
Shot on 16mm, the film begins in a cramped house, overlooking the coal mines of Pennsylvania, when we are introduced to Wanda Goronski (Barbara Loden). Without a job or money, Wanda wanders through the town, having just withdrawn from her family life by agreeing to divorce her husband and give him custody of her children. When she walks into a bar that (unbeknownst to her) is being robbed, she unknowingly leaves with the thief – “Mr. Dennis” – making her an accomplice as they hit the road. Handheld cinematography gives a lively grittiness to this noir style road trip, where Wanda is constantly meandering but with a purpose that only she seems to be aware of.
“… one of the best American independent films ever made …” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“… a pioneer female filmmaker (who) was working without a net, without role models, and without a network of female collaborators.” – Bérénice Reynaud