Wanda ★★★★

there’s an acrid authenticity to the character of Wanda: at once submissive, passive, and tenacious — a flickering blue flame, a pilot light ready and aching to burn it all down.

as the first narrative feature ever to be written, directed by and starring the same woman (barbara loden), Wanda is undeniably herstoric, without even really trying to be, which is maybe why it succeeds. i know i’ve talked about this before and often, but contemporary studio feminism is so rooted in women being portrayed as physically strong, perfect angels devoid of fatal flaws. Wanda opens with her being late to her own divorce court hearing and eagerly pawning her kids off on her ex-husband. yee-haw! the new hollywood movement is for the girls too!

(mmm okkkkk one more thiiiiing i simply must doooooo  ..... i am going to compare barbara loden to a man.... i know, i know ... egregious ... but i think it’s okay in this instance ....... because that man is the great john cassavetes :) Wanda has a similar feel to his improvisational, ambling debut Shadows, but, dare i say, loden’s first — and only :( —film is even better? yes, i dare)

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