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She Had Her Gun All Ready (1978)

| Short
Two women- one passive and resigned, the other aggressive and domineering - interact in various locations in New York city. The film explores the dynamic between them before ending with a showdown at the roller-coaster on Coney Island.

Director:

Vivienne Dick
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Cast

Credited cast:
Vivienne Dick Vivienne Dick
Lydia Lunch
Pat Place Pat Place
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Storyline

Two women- one passive and resigned, the other aggressive and domineering - interact in various locations in New York city. The film explores the dynamic between them before ending with a showdown at the roller-coaster on Coney Island.

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Plot Keywords:

no wave | independent film | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Thoughtful and interesting experiment
23 February 2018 | by erskine-bridgeSee all my reviews

This film explores the idea of power imbalances. While some see the characters portrayed by Lunch and Place as the passive and active partners in a relationship, I read it as the struggle between the dominant and repressed parts of one woman's psyche. The key to this is the scene where Place stares into the mirror, Lunch appears, and the mirror breaks.

It is possible to read Lunch's character as the personification of intrusive thoughts. In the opening scene, as Place seems gripped a by torpor/depression she's unable to shake, Lunch declaims repeatedly and aggressively: "Well, what ya gonna do?"

Eventually, the Place character flees from her dingy flat but she is unable to completely escape the Lunch character who we suddenly get glimpses of in the café and on the street, like a spectre haunting Place. The Lunch character also seems to appear in conjunction with scenes depicting broken glass. I'm reaching here, but I thought you could read that as the Place character considering self-harm.

Finally, the two characters end up at the fun park at Coney Island. Here, initially, we see the strongest example of the Lunch character's sexual swagger and physical confidence. Without revealing too much in the way of spoilers, the power relationship is altered at the denouement when Place finally reveals her handgun and dons her new costume of black gloves and red scarf.

I thought this had a deeper intention than most No Wave films and that Dick has produced a thoughtful and interesting film that will continue to provoke interpretation. Lunch is excellent as the dominant/aggressive partner - the role perfectly suits the persona she had cultivated at the time. Place (who herself was a gifted musician in Bush Tetras and The Contortions) is given the less showy role, but acquits herself well.


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