Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7pm
Light Industry at Anthology Film Archives:
Stephanie Rothman Double Feature

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave
New York, NY

The Student Nurses (7pm)
Stephanie Rothman, 16mm, 1970, 89 mins

Terminal Island (9pm)
Stephanie Rothman, 35mm, 1973, 88 mins

Grindhouse auteur Stephanie Rothman cranked out a slew of redoubtable sexploitationers during the heyday of drive-in fare, drawing audiences in with lurid promises of violence and jiggle, then giving them an unexpected dose of radical politics. The first film produced by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, Rothman’s The Student Nurses begins as a seemingly lightweight hospital drama about four hot-to-trot pupils and the studly young doctors who teach them, but the plot soon leads into a string of decidedly less innocent topics—abortion, street protest, urban poverty—rounding out this Aquarian smorgasbord with a nude beachside acid trip.

Terminal Island, meanwhile, takes place on the San Bruno Maximum Security Center, an island prison off the coast of California populated by convicted murderers, dropped off there like so much human garbage and left to fend for themselves. The compound’s forty men use the four women as sex slaves and workhorses until a new female inmate arrives to foment a pitiless rebellion, and the fast-paced results play like a Peter Watkins power-analysis stuffed inside a Radley Metzger skin flick. Almost certainly the first woman to direct a women-in-prison film, Rothman turns what might otherwise be nothing more than a T&A showcase into a gritty vision of women’s liberation, replacing consciousness-raising meetings with knife-fights and home-made grenades.

Presented as part of Couchsurfing.

Tickets - $9, both films for one admission, available at box office.