One of America's most prominent female directors, Martha Coolidge began her career making documentaries in the early 1970s and then moved into feature films as a protegee of Francis Ford Coppola. She emerged in 1983 with an improbably deep interpretation of Valley Girls, which became a surprise hit. The result was a flood of offers to do more teen sex comedies.
Her big breakthrough came in 1991 with Rambling Rose, a quiet film about a troubled beauty played by Laura Dern, who comes to live with a respectable, if eccentric, Southern family presided over by Robert Duvall and Diane Ladd. "Coolidge takes this essentially lurid story and frames it with humor and compassion, putting sexuality in context," commended Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Coolidge's subsequent films include Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, Angie, Three Wishes, Out to Sea, and the HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk 2.
Her skill in depicting the South is again evident in The Ponder Heart. Though Coolidge is a Yankee herself, certain eccentric qualities perhaps run in her family since she is a distant cousin to one of our more idiosyncratic presidents: Calvin Coolidge.
Martha Coolidge recently talked with Masterpiece Theatre about The Ponder Heart and her admiration for its beloved author, Eudora Welty, who died at age 92 on July 23, 2001.
To read the full interview, click here.
2009-03-09Ponder Heart Interview
Martha Coolidge recently talked about The Ponder Heart and her admiration for author Eudora Welty