Kathryn Bigelow's first feature, co-written and co-directed with Monty Montgomery, follows a day in the life of a 1950s biker gang as they stir up trouble in a small southern town. The moody leader of the gang is Vance, played by a young Willem Dafoe in his first starring role.
Drawing on Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising and László Benedek's The Wild One, The Loveless displays a fascination with subculture and outsiders that would recur in Bigelow's later films.
Using long takes, sparse dialogue and resisting conventional narrative, The Loveless is a languorous mediation on the iconography of the biker, hypermasculinity and the disempowerment of women.
Screening as part of Beginnings, a season of three pioneering debut features that marked pivotal moments in film history. Other films in the season include Agnès Varda's La Pointe Courte (1955) and Vera Chytilová’s Something Different (1963).
Kathryn Bigelow | 1981 | US | 82 mins | 18
Part of Scalarama's month long celebration of cinema.