A new series from BAM, Punks, Poets, and Valley Girls: Women Filmmakers in 1980s America, spotlights the work of brilliant female filmmakers—working in Hollywood and the indie underground, the New York No Wave and the LA Rebellion—who defied the Reagan-era status quo to bring their stories to the screen. Films include Suburbia (Spheeris, 1983); The Decline of Western Civilization (Spheeris, 1981); The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Spheeris, 1988); Smithereens (Seidelman, 1982); Born in Flames (Borden, 1983); Variety (Gordon, 1983); Desperately Seeking Susan (Seidelman, 1985); Twice as Nice (Maple, 1981); Losing Ground (Collins, 1982); Smooth Talk (Chopra, 1985); Crossing Delancey (Micklin Silver, 1988); Mississippi Triangle (Choy, Long, & Siegel, 1984); La Ofrenda (Portillo & Muñoz, 1989); the program Black Women’s Short Films; Navajo Talking Picture (Bowman, 1985); Desert Hearts (Deitch, 1985); Border Radio (Anders, Lent, & Voss, 1987); True Love (Savoca, 1989); Kamikaze Hearts (Bashore, 1986); Near Dark (Bigelow, 1987); Big (Marshall, 1988); Valley Girl (Coolidge, 1983); Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling, 1982); Casual Sex? (Robert, 1988); Testament (Littman, 1983); Pet Sematary (Lambert, 1989); Yentl (Streisand, 1983); the program LA Rebellion Short Films; and Sleepwalk (Driver, 1986).
Still from Smithereens (1982), directed by Susan Seidelman. Courtesy of BAM.