Susan Seidelman established her distinctive vision of 1980s New York with this debut feature, the lo-fi original for her vibrant portraits of women reinventing themselves. After escaping New Jersey, the quintessentially punk Wren (Susan Berman)âa sparkplug in fishnets who lives dangerously downtownâmoves to the city with the mission of becoming famous. When not pasting up flyers for herself or hanging at the Peppermint Lounge, sheâs getting involved with Paul (Brad Rijn), the nicest guy to ever live in a van next to the highway, and Eric (Richard Hell), an aloof rocker. Shot on 16 mm film that captures the grit and glam of the setting, with an alternately moody and frenetic soundtrack by the Feelies and others, Smithereens
âthe first independent American film to compete for the Palme dâOrâis an unfaded snapshot of a bygone era.
- Audio commentary from 2004 featuring Susan Seidelman
- New interviews with Susan Seidelman and actor Susan Berman
- And You Act Like One Too (1976) and Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern (1979), two early shorts by Seidelman, with new introductions by the director
- An essay by critic Rebecca Bengal