Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wildwood NJ (1994)

Ruth Leitman takes you down the shore to Wildwood, New Jersey, the last great blue-collar carnival town of America. Away from their parents for the first time, rangy girls barge around the boardwalk like baby elephants, scouting for boys and hedonism or else spraying each other with Mace and insults. From grandmothers to go-go girls, the women of Wildwood offer flakes of their lives to an all-female crew. With tales of Wildwood honeymoons, virginities lost to boardwalk strangers, fistfights and babies - these women know they’re funny but don’t realise how much so. The sartorial choices of 90s America are also comic (halo scrunchies/shoulder-less shirts) but, moving beyond the big hair and press on nails, their frank anecdotes serve to provide a snapshot of a place and its people. Filmed on Super 8 for television, Leitman really captures the buzz of the boardwalk’s rides, lights and come-ons so that you can almost sense the dizzy escapism offered by the sea. It’s no wonder that, no matter what, these girls return to Wildwood, year after year, as they grow up and grow old.

Clip after the jump.

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