The Westward movement — and a woman’s perspective of that movement — emerges in the dramatic story of Delilah Fowler’s first year on the Kansas frontier in 1869. Based on diaries of the period, the program reveals the cruel violence, and even crueler loneliness, which early settlers encountered — but above all, it shows the quiet courage of those who lived it. Filmed on location in Kansas, starring Barbara Loden, who also directed the film. Read More »
Wanda is a 1970 American independent drama film written and directed by Barbara Loden, who also stars in the title role. Set in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania, the film focuses on a lone female protagonist with limited options for a better life. Wanda was chosen for the 31st Venice International Film Festival where it won the Pasinetti Award for Best Foreign Film. A restored version of the film was screened out of competition at the 67th Venice International Film Festival in 2010.
In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Read More »
With her first and only feature film—a hard-luck drama she wrote, directed, and starred in—Barbara Loden turned in a groundbreaking work of American independent cinema, bringing to life a kind of character seldom seen on-screen. Set amid a soot-choked Pennsylvania landscape, and shot in an intensely intimate vérité style, the film takes up with distant and soft-spoken Wanda (Loden), who has left her husband, lost custody of her children, and now finds herself alone, drifting between dingy bars and motels, where she falls prey to a series of callous men—including a bank robber who ropes her into his next criminal scheme. An until now difficult-to-see masterpiece that has nonetheless exerted an outsize influence on generations of artists and filmmakers, Wanda is a compassionate and wrenching portrait of a woman stranded on society’s margins. Read More »