Film Directors on Directing

By John Andrew Gallagher | Go to book overview

Susan Seidelman
Shot in 16mm for a mere $80,000, Smithereens was a powerful feature film debut for the then thirty-one-year-old Susan Seidelman. The New York University graduate school alumna produced, directed, edited, and cowrote the movie, and guided young actress Susan Berman in a tour-deforce performance as Wren, a desperate groupie trying to break into the rock world any way she can. When Smithereens opened in late 1982, it was greeted with critical raves and a cult following, and broke the box-office records at New York's Greenwich Village Waverly Theatre One.The film's success led to the "hip" hit Desperately Seeking Susan ( 1985), the picture that made Madonna a movie star, and that shares with its predecessor the director's feel for New York's Lower East Side. Desperately Seeking Susan was a leap for Seildelman into the mainstream, and the distributor, Orion, rewarded her with Making Mr. Right ( 1986), an enjoyable, if less successful, entertainment.But it was Smithereens that signalled the arrival of a talented young director, and Seidelman's account of the film's problem-plagued production is a casebook of an ultimately winning independent motion picture. This interview was held on February 22, 1983, during the movie's resounding run at the Waverly.
FILMOGRAPHY
Smithereens ( 1982, New Line Cinema). HV: Media Home.
Desperately Seeking Susan ( 1985, Orion). HV: Thorn-EMI/HBO.
Making Mr. Right ( 1986, Orion). HV: HBO.
Cookie ( 1989, Lorimar/Warner Bros.).

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Film Directors on Directing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • John G. Avildsen 1
  • Tony Bill 21
  • Michael Cimino 37
  • Abel Ferrara 49
  • James Glickenhaus 57
  • Menahem Golan 75
  • Stuart Gordon 89
  • Ulu Grosbard 101
  • Anthony Harvey 115
  • Dennis Hopper 127
  • Ted Kotcheff 141
  • Adrian Lyne 159
  • John Milius 169
  • Alan Parker 183
  • Franc Roddam 195
  • Mark Rydell 209
  • Susan Seidelman 221
  • Joan Micklin Silver 231
  • James Toback 241
  • FrançOis Truffaut 259
  • Wim Wenders 269
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 283
  • About the Author 301
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