6.3/10
207
5 user 9 critic

Losing Ground (1982)

Sara, a cold college professor, and her husband, an ecstatic painter, spend a summer away from the city, straining their rocky relationship.

Director:

Kathleen Collins
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Cast

Credited cast:
Seret Scott Seret Scott ... Sara Rogers
Bill Gunn ... Victor Rogers
Duane Jones ... Duke
Billie Allen Billie Allen ... Mother
Maritza Rivera Maritza Rivera ... Celia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gary Bolling Gary Bolling ... George
Clarence Branch Jr. Clarence Branch Jr. ... Man on Radio
Joe Garcia Joe Garcia ... Other Student in Class
Maureen Grady ... Female Student in Office
Noberto Kerner Noberto Kerner ... Carlos
Michelle Mais Michelle Mais ... Nelly Bly
Anthony McGowan Anthony McGowan ... Other Student in Class
Zachary Minar Zachary Minar ... Male Student in Class
Darryl Reilly Darryl Reilly ... Other Student in Class
Marjorie Spring Marjorie Spring ... Librarian
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Storyline

A comedy-drama about a Black American female philosophy professor and her insensitive, philandering, and flamboyant artist husband who are having a marital crisis. When the wife goes off on an almost unbelievable journey to find "ecstasy", her husband is forced to see her in a different light. Written by Leslye Allen (L. J. Allen-2)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf schwankendem Boden See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film never received distribution outside of festival screenings in director Kathleen Collins's lifetime. It was only decades after she died, that her daughter, who had inherited the negatives of the film, approached Milestone Films, and asked them to help restore and release the film. See more »

Quotes

Sara Rogers: Don't take your dick out like it's artistic - like it's some goddamn paintbrush!
See more »

Connections

References The Scar of Shame (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

 
See this hidden gem
16 December 2016 | by ReganRebeccaSee all my reviews

I'm glad for the previous review on IMDb because like that user I started the first few minutes of the film and was not impressed. I decided to give Losing Ground a second shot and am glad I did.

Losing Ground is the only feature length film by director Kathleen Collins and only the 2nd feature length film to be directed by an African-American woman. Despite this the film never received significant attention during Collins' lifetime. It's a real shame because the movie is quite good. It's about a professor of logic (played by Seret Scott), named Sara who is married to a painter. Sara is regarded as beautiful but cold and clinical by everyone. And this rankles as she is married to a temperamental artist and has a free-spirited actress mother. Despite her professional success she is not really respected by her family, in particular her husband, who decides that they should take a country home for the summer so he can work despite the fact that it will make it nearly impossible for Sara access the library books she needs to complete her own work, a paper on ecstatic experiences. Throughout the film Sara tries to ignore her husbands flirtations and affairs which she chalks up to him needing as part of his own ecstatic experience, which she values for its freedom and artistry. But when she tries to let loose and pursue freedom for herself, conflict arises in her marriage.

The acting here is not always that great and neither is the audio. But when you lose yourself in the movie it has a lot to say about marriage, about logic vs creativity, men vs women, theory vs practice. There are also some beautifully framed shots that break my heart because they show how Collins was capable of true greatness if she had been able to create more.

Definitely worth giving a shot to this hidden gem, I hope more people watch and enjoy it.


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