From the director of Desperately Seeking Susan and the pilot of Sex and the City comes DESPERATELY SEEKING SOMETHING, a charming and insightful memoir from Susan Seidelman, who blazed a trail in the early 1980s for a future generation of women filmmakers.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SOMETHING
by Susan Seidelman
Macmillan, June 2024
(via Writers House)
In the early 1970s, Susan Seidelman left the ordinary suburb in which she was raised and moved to New York City to become someone different. The city was bankrupt, crumbling, cheap… and the Lower East Side was evolving into a creative playground for artists and misfits looking to reinvent themselves. There, Seidelman would break boundaries: first as an award winning independent film director of Smithereens (the first independent film nominated at the Cannes Film Festival), then as a much sought after studio director when Hollywood was still run as an all-boys club. Her work would become an important part of the zeitgeist that influenced the music, fashion, and pop culture of America in the 1980s and 90s as she unapologetically challenged the male gaze that permeated most movies of that time.
A story about feminism and creativity, and a fascinating look behind the scenes, DESPERATELY SEEKING SOMETHING is a treat for cinephiles, aspiring filmmakers, feminists, gender studies scholars, pop culture enthusiasts, New York City history lovers, punks, “bad girls,” aging Baby Boomers, and everyone and anyone who believes in the power of reinvention.
Susan Seidelman began her directorial career in the 1980s when her low budget film Smithereens became the first American Independent film accepted into the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. It went on to garner awards at several major international festivals and is currently distributed by the “Criterion Collection”. Susan’s next endeavor Desperately Seeking Susan (starring Madonna and Rosanna Arquette) was a critical and commercial success that helped launch the screen careers of many emerging actors of that time. The film premiered at Cannes in 1985, was nominated for a French “Cesar” for Best Foreign Film and voted one of the top 100 films of all times by the BBC. Directing the pilot and early episodes of HBO’s hit series Sex and the City are among the highlights of Seidelman’s TV career, which also includes two Emmy nominations for her Showtime movie A Cooler Climate.