Smithereens. 1982. USA. Directed by Susan Seidelman. With Susan Berman, Brad Rijn, Richard Hell. 35mm. 89 min.
Susan Seidelman’s directorial debut follows Wren (Susan Berman), a punkish New Jersey teen who’s desperate for fame in the Downtown New York scene but is devoid of any marketable talents (or easy charm). Wren meets Paul, a Montana transplant even greener than her, and shacks up with him in his van, but leaves him as soon as she meets the washed-up punk Eric (Richard Hell). Seidelman blends New York realism with a slightly heightened, stylized, stylish...something. Smithereens was the first American independent film to be in competition at Cannes, followed just a year later by fellow downtown New York indie Strange than Paradise. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.