NYFF58 Revivals highlight Smooth Talk (1985) features the work of three powerhouse women: director Joyce Chopra; actress Laura Dern, in one of her first starring roles; and author Joyce Carol Oates, whose 1966 short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” provided the inspiration for the film. To celebrate the festival premiere of the film’s new restoration, Chopra, Dern, and Oates joined TCM host Alicia Malone for a talk full of insights into the making of this landmark film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1986 Sundance Film Festival.
They discussed the real-life inspirations behind Oates’s menacing story and the process of adapting it to the screen; how Laura Dern came to be cast in the movie at just 15 years of age and offered a stunning, precocious performance; and the continued relevance of the film’s subject matter—a young woman’s early encounter with the powers and perils of her sexuality.
The new restoration of Smooth Talk opens in the Film at Lincoln Center Virtual Cinema on Friday, November 6. Get tickets here.
Watch/listen to the conversation below, presented by HBO and sponsored by TCM.