Blu-ray, DVD Release: Smithereens

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 21, 2018
Price: DVD $27.66, Blu-ray $30.37
Studio: Criterion

Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan) established her distinctive vision of 1980s New York with her 1982 debut feature Smithereens, a lo-fi original comedy/drama showcasing her vibrant portraits of women reinventing themselves.

After escaping New Jersey, the quintessentially punk Wren (Susan Berman)—a sparkplug in fishnets who lives dangerously downtown—moves to the city with the mission of becoming famous. When not pasting up flyers for herself or hanging at the Peppermint Lounge, she’s getting involved with Paul (Brad Rijn), the nicest guy to ever live in a van next to the highway, and Eric (rocker/actor Richard Hell), an aloof rocker.

Susan Berman takes the train in Smithereens.

Shot on 16 mm film that captures the grit and glam of the setting, with an alternately moody and frenetic soundtrack by the Feelies and others, Smithereens–the first independent American film to compete for the Palme d’Or–is an unfaded snapshot of a bygone era.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film include the following:

* New 2K digital restoration, approved by director Susan Seidelman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary from 2004 featuring Seidelman
* New interviews with Seidelman and actor Susan Berman
* And You Act Like One Too (1976) and Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern (1979), two early shorts by Seidelman, with new introductions by the director
* An essay by critic Rebecca Bengal

Buy or Rent Smithereens

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.