Tag Archives: Wanda (Loden)


“QUEEN OF DIAMONDS is my very personal portrait of the United States: an over-enlarged, profit-motivated core surrounded by mute and arid alienation. The female protagonist is both deeply estranged and psychically powerful. Her loner position is the backside of centuries of Western Heroes: she stands in the center as watcher and victim of a system which is starting to crack.” — Nina Menkes

The UCLA Film and Television program Nina Menkes, Cinematic Sorceress features a double-bill of two of Menkes’ key works—both starring her sister Tinka Menkes—including the 4K restoration of QUEEN OF DIAMONDS (1991). The filmmaker will be on hand to discuss her work.

QUEEN OF DIAMONDS shares not only the formal sophistication and structural rigor of Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970) and Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman (1975) but also their themes: female alienation and the ways that passivity, muteness, and a refusal to engage can serve as forms of resistance to patriarchal oppression. Ironically, these same themes helped to eclipse the three works—and many others like them—for too long.” — Sarah Resnick


Saturday, June 15, at 7:30 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

See Bérénice Reynaud on Menkes.

From top: Tinka Menkes in Queen of Diamonds (5); Tinka Menkes in The Bloody Child (2). Images courtesy and © Nina Menkes and Arbelos Films.


WANDA’s theme is elegantly revealed in its first few minutes: we have a woman who simply doesn’t fit within her environment, doesn’t belong anywhere (she’s never shown as having a home of her own), and whose very presence, more often than not, is an eyesore to the men around her (which doesn’t prevent her from being a sex object).” — Bérénice Reynaud

A new restoration of the Barbara Loden masterpiece WANDA (1970) opens in Los Angeles this week. A key work of modern American cinema, this was Loden’s only feature film as a director.

Loden’s son Marco Joachim, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte will introduce the screening this weekend at the Aero.



Saturday, August 4, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.


Saturday and Sunday,

August 11 and 12, at 7:30 pm, and August 18 and 19 at 8 pm.

Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian

6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Poster image credit: Cinetic Media.

Barbara LodenWanda. Image credit: Janus Films.