UCLA Archives to Screen Madonna’s Desperately Seeking Susan – December 7


Calling all Madonna fans in the Greater Los Angeles Area! UCLA Film & Television Archives is screening the 80s Film classic Desperately Seeking Susan, starring Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, at the Billy Wilder Theater, located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., in Los Angeles, Saturday, December 7, starting at 7:30pm (part of a double feature, so possibly playing later than 7:30pm).

For those living under a proverbial rock, Desperately Seeking Susan is a 1985 American comedy-drama film directed by Susan Seidelman. Set in the the filthy streets of New York, the plot involves the interaction between two women – a bored housewife and a trashy drifter – linked by various messages in the personal column of a newspaper. New Jersey housewife Roberta Glass (Rosanna Arquette) spices up her life by reading personal ads, especially a series of them being placed by a mysterious denizen of New York City named Susan (Madonna). When one of Susan’s ads proposes a rendezvous with her suitor (Robert Joy) at Battery Park, Roberta secretly tags along. But when her voyeuristic jape ends in memory loss and Susan’s jacket, it’s a case of mistaken identity with Roberta getting a lot of unwanted attention from some unsavory characters.

The film was Madonna’s first major screen role and also provided early roles for a number of other well-known performers, such as John Turturro, Laurie Metcalf, Aidan Quinn, and Steven Wright. The New York Times named it one of the ten best films of 1985.

The print is provided by UCLA Film & Television Archive; 35mm, color, 103 min.

The Screening is all part of a two-day 80s film festival promoting the book “Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan,” by J. Hoberman.

The book reflects on a presidency inspired by the dominant medium of the 20th century before Twitter, that of Ronald Reagan and the movies. A former Hollywood actor who parlayed a finely-tuned ability to hit his mark into a political career that led from the governorship of California to the White House, Reagan fused spectacle and politics to seize hold of the American popular imagination and consequently shape the world we inhabit now. In his latest riveting cultural history, Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan, J. Hoberman surveys the psychic landscape of Reagan’s America from the child-like nostalgia of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to the painful reckoning with Vietnam in the violent action fantasies starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of our foremost film critics, Hoberman weaves a magisterial account of the era’s transformative events together with incisive readings of its pop cultural touchstones to craft a galvanizing take on Reagan and his legacy. The Archive is hosting Hoberman for both nights with a book signing before each show beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Billy Wilder Theater.

The Desperately Seeking Susan screening is part of two films being shown for the price of one. The other film is Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox.

To purchase tickets, visit: https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2019/12/7/back-to-the-future-desperately-seeking-susan.

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Paulo Murillo
Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience in LGBT media and more than two decades as a West Hollywood resident. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. Murillo’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications. He was a contributor to LGBT magazine IN Los Angeles. He is known for the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, in which he covered breaking news and local events in the City of West Hollywood. His recent work has been published in the Los Angeles Blade and his articles, essays and photographs can also be seen on the pages of THE FIGHT Magazine. He started “The Share” feature for THE FIGHT, which spotlights members of the Los Angeles recovery community who share about their sober journey. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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