Fearless Women, On Screen and Behind the Camera

Allison Anders, top row center, and clockwise, her mother, Alberta, daughters, Tiffany* and Devon, and her sister, Dominique, Los Angeles, November 1983

“Gas Food Lodging” (1992), Allison Anders’ seminal second feature, made without asking permission, stars Brooke Adams as Nora, a waitress and single mother in “Nowheresville, New Mexico,” trying to balance raising her teenage daughters, Trudi and Shade (Ione Skye and Fairuza Balk), in a trailer park, with what hardly qualifies as a love life.

On Monday, May 15 at 7:00 pm, Film Forum will have  a special screening (DCP restoration) of “Gas Food Lodging” to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film’s U.S. premiere at the landmark independent and foreign film triplex on Houston Street. Allison Anders and Brooke Adams will appear in person for an interview with Film Forum Repertory Program Director Bruce Goldstein and an audience Q&A.

I met Allison when we worked together on Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas.” She got her job by endlessly writing letters to Wim. I asked for mine when I photographed him in Salzburg in July 1982. It was quite improbable that either of us, then without experience working on movies, would have gotten such exciting employment.

We hung out after work in inadvertently perfect vintage motels, at meals grabbed between the scenes that were being shot, in LA with her family, who took me to the since-bulldozed folk art paradise, Old Trapper’s Lodge (the giant statues live on at Pierce College in Woodland Hills), and walked around the business area of Houston, near our hotel, eerily empty on a early Sunday morning.

*Tiffany, who became a singer/songwriter, as well as a highly respected music supervisor for film and TV, is wearing a Bow Wow Wow t-shirt.

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