Bad Girl with a Heart of Gold

2004, Color/Sound, DV, 52mins
Anyone who knows Bollywood knows Helen, the face that launched a thousand songs and died a thousand deaths. Throughout the sixties and seventies, she was the feline fatale, always favoring a blonde wig and vampy wardrobe, cat claws at the ready. But even her bad-girl brashness couldn’t save her from a cinema that demanded her death, time and time again. Anuj Vaidya’s Bad Girl with a Heart of Gold is an experimental narrative that weaves four of Helen’s signature roles together in a dizzy feat of dislocation. To further heighten the vertigo, the filmmaker includes re-enactments in which he himself plays Helen, now with a touch of well-worn drag. The outcome is that the Helens, those authentic and those augmented, converge in a supra-filmic space where they plot their liberation beyond the bounds of cinema and gender binaries. (Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archives, Desire Under The Banyan Catalog)

Screenings

Sarai, New Delhi, India, 2004
Columbia College Chicago, 2004
Larzish, 2nd Festival of Gender and Sexual Plurality, Mumbai, India, 2005
Berlin Lesben Film Festival, 2005
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, 2006
Mills College, Oakland, 2007/2008
Department of Radio/TV/Film, University of Texas, Austin, 2012
Pratt Institute, 2015

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