Wanda "is so moving because it reflects Loden's own sad destiny. It feels like a scream of someone just about surviving. I feel as if I identify with Wanda, in that she's both fragile and strong at the same time; she may be alone but deep down there is a real resistance in her. I find that very touching. I can't imagine such a film ever having been made by a man." -Isabelle Huppert
This woman drifting from one man to another just to get a roof over her head seems to be an absolute cinema classic. In the same style of story, I much preferred the French film 'Sans toit ni loi' starring Sandrine Bonnaire. Both films clearly show a sense of direction and structure do help in life...
Just re-viewed on glorious gritty 35mm, and just after reading SUITE FOR BARBARA LODEN by Nathalie Léger. So difficult to view this film after reading the book, the book being a poetic inquiry into the life of this one-film wonder woman, so mysterious, a lost soul portraying a lost soul. Reeks of Cassavetes (shot by Proferes). Loden IS Wanda, and she declared she was the only person fit for the role. Heartbreaking.
The chance encounter between Wanda and Mr. Dennis is as ideologically cataclysmic as the one between Eddie Valiant and the cartoons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a violent conceptual clash marrying DIY, low budget neorealist principles against the hard-boiled milieu found in the most pungent pulp stories and noir films, with a strong existential undercurrent providing the point of interaction. This is a great movie.
Fuck my weaknesses, she says in these quiet, poor and 'dumb' images of a quiet, poor and 'dumb' saint of some sort, straying through a coal world, epitomized in one of the most touching long shots I've seen in a while. To be reductive, one could see the relationships of Antonioni shot by Rogosin or Cassavetes. The emotional directness of this impassive world is only lessened by some 'forced' episodes near the end.
Loden was an extraordinary artist. I have watched people who have no voice + no means to direct their own life. Beyond money-poverty. It's poverty of mind + self. They r the children of Pentecostal-America: gnostic-entrepreneurs; know-nothings; the rural-goodheart; the quiet of the land. Maybe not manipulation to bankrob but voting, believing, marryin...If U do not direct yourself, others will tell you where to go.
A cinematic spiritual sister to Jeanne Dielman. Some of the most uncompromising torture porn I've ever seen. The open ending has me thinking not only the next steps of the characters but of my life and choices I make to define myself. Its easy for any of us to slip away...