Desperately Seeking Susan
“a terrifically genial New York City farce full of funny, sharply observed details”
Susan Seidelman was waiting for the right script to follow up her breakthrough Smithereens (1982), which so potently evoked 80s NYC punk subculture, when a script with her own name in the title caught her eye. Set in New York, this screwball comedy captured Madonna on the cusp of becoming a pop icon, and launched her on-screen career.
“Phantom Ladies Over Paris” states a title card in Celine and Julie Go Boating, which is what Rivette claims his film would have been called “if it was an American film”. Seidelman’s own phantom ladies over New York are ostensibly an homage to Rivette’s classic and to the spirit of Alice: a world of magic, mistaken identity, and suggestive rabbit’s tails saturate this ode to the joys of friendship and discovery.
“[A]t the core of both [Celine and Julie Go Boating and Desperately Seeking Susan] lies the liberating premise that perhaps we all need to follow a mysterious white rabbit down the rabbit hole in order to discover the creative and adventurous potential that exists within us all”--Susan Seidelman
Whitney Monaghan, Assistant Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University and editor of Peephole Journal, will introduce both screenings.