Closeup of Laura Dern on the phone - still from Wild at Heart (1990)
Closeup of Laura Dern on the phone - still from Wild at Heart (1990)
Wild At Heart (1990) Universal Pictures

ACMI and Fireflies Press present

Wild At Heart: The Films of Laura Dern

Film program

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5–16 Nov 2021

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We're screening 7 films in the voraciously versatile actress' filmography to coincide with the launch of Melissa Anderson's book on Inland Empire.

From David Lynch muse to Spielberg blockbuster star, Laura Dern’s career has spanned decades and genres. When your parents – veteran thespians Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd – have five Academy Award nominations between them, the acting bug is embedded deep within your DNA and a career in front of the camera seems pre-destined. Yet from her very first teenage roles in independent films like Ladies And Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains (1982) and Smooth Talk (1985), Dern has proven herself voraciously versatile as an actress.

Whether it’s as a steadying anchor or deeply unhinged force of chaos in David Lynch’s work or a reliable stalwart in ensemble pieces like Certain Women (2016) and Jurassic Park (1993), her name attached to a project immediately means that it’s worth watching. Spanning the past almost fifty years of her career, we chart her cinematic contributions through lesser-known indies, Hollywood classics and challenging arthouse fare in this retrospective season.

– Maria Lewis, Assistant Film Curator


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About the book

Inland Empire (softcover) by Melissa Anderson – $21

"A whirling, digressive journey through time and place, cinema and storytelling, Anderson’s slim yet mighty volume is a transcendent work of queer, feminist film criticism, saturated in deep scholarship, affection and respect for Lynch and their shared muse, Laura Dern." – Jenni Olson

About the author
Melissa Anderson is the film editor of 4Columns. From 2015 to 2017 she was the senior film critic for the Village Voice. She is a frequent contributor to Artforum and Bookforum.

Buy now
Inland Empire - Melissa Anderson - Fireflies Press

Learn more

READ: Figuring It Out: The Films of Laura Dern
Max O'Connell,, Mar 2018

READ: Laura Dern Embraces the Messiness of Human Life
Christine Smallwood, The New York Times, May 2019

READ: Laura Dern Changed Our Idea of Stardom
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, Dec 2019

Laura Dern in a still from 'Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains' (1982)

Fireflies: The Decadent Editions

Celebrate the launch of 10 books about 10 films, one for every year of the 2000s, with a series of screenings, talks and book launches.

The Decadent Editions - Fireflies Press - from 12 Mar.png

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