With those off-kilter features and that bold, confident carriage, she might have stepped out of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon: Karen Black was one of the most striking and strange character actresses of the 1970s, though she became relegated to lesser roles—and, sometimes, uncharitable jokes about her failed career—in the years after. But Black at her best was really too idiosyncratic to be a huge star. Instead, the actress, who died in August after a battle with cancer, came to represent the kind of oddball beauty and cubist grace that could find a home in American movies of the ’70s. No one else looked or acted like Karen Black; no one could if they tried.
It’s time to reconsider Black, and BAMcinématek’s eight-film retrospective, which runs October 18 to 24, is a good place to start.
Read the full story: “Celebrating the Late Karen Black at BAM“