On the eve of the all-but-guaranteed success of the new HBO comedy Girls, its creator and star Lena Dunham is giving a series of nods to the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s influences that make the Girls ethos possible. “Hey Girlfriend!” is a film series curated by Dunham and set to run at BAM from April 2-8, featuring the seminal films that highlight female relationships in all their multi-layeredness and nuance. The thought being (quite accurately) that most films don’t do this, which gets us wondering, why has this kind of series been such a long time coming?
We’re not only excited about the appearance of long-overlooked films on the roster (cheifly the 1992 Nora Ephron–Julie Kavner career drama This is My Life) but the fact that Dunham’s success is motivating her to actually do interesting things with all the attention lately placed upon her. Chief on this list is trying to forge a marriage between pop culture, economic reality in some kind of mutant strain—call it fifth-wave feminism—all while having to bear being described condescendingly (and ridiculously) by the New York Times as a “one-woman film-making bandwagon“.
In any case, her choice of films for BAM’s series makes the point clear enough: Clueless, The Craft, Mullholland Dr., The Last Days of Disco and the lesser-known Girlfriends are all among the listed screenings. We just hope she doesn’t leave out Gillian Armstrong’s High Tide.