Wanda

Criterion

Wanda


 With her first and only feature film—a hard-luck drama she wrote, directed, and starred in—Barbara Loden turned in a groundbreaking work of American independent cinema, bringing to life a kind of character seldom seen on-screen. Set amid a soot-choked Pennsylvania landscape, and shot in an intensely intimate vérité style, the film takes up with distant and soft-spoken Wanda (Loden), who has left her husband, lost custody of her children, and now finds herself alone, drifting between dingy bars and motels, where she falls prey to a series of callous men—including a bank robber who ropes her into his next criminal scheme. An until now difficult-to-see masterpiece that has nonetheless exerted an outsize influence on generations of artists and filmmakers, Wanda is a compassionate and wrenching portrait of a woman stranded on society’s margins.

FILM INFO

  • Barbara Loden
  • United States
  • 1970
  • 103 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #965

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • I Am Wanda, an hour-long documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980
  • Audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971
  • Segment from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring Loden
  • The Frontier Experience (1975), a short educational film about a pioneer woman’s struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin

New cover by Eric Skillman