Seeing Sandra Bernhard’s movie Without You I’m Nothing was one of the major milestones of my aesthetic coming of age. To quote the movie, I felt like Columbus Crossing the Atlantic, I had found the new world. People could talk that smart? Behave that outrageously? Whaaaa? It’s a film I have watched more times than I could count. You can watch a great clip from it on the Uranium Madhouse 9 Muses Page.
It’s a great movie considered by itself, but it also made me aware of so many icons and cultural currents that I had had little awareness of prior to that: the world of the Factory, Nina Simone, Patti Smith, Sylvester, Laura Nyro, and many others.
While I always enjoy Sandra, I haven’t liked what I have seen of her since then to the same degree. She will always have a place in my heart, though, for Without You I’m Nothing. And she is someone I always enjoy coming across. In this interview in the Guardian, she doesn’t disappoint.
Posing for Playboy was a feminist statement. I wanted to say it’s OK to be comfortable in your own skin and that you don’t have to be obsessed with your body.
When I was growing up, the idea of fame ran in tandem with being a great performer – people loving you and celebrating you because you made them feel good and you took them places they couldn’t take themselves. The reality TV culture we live in now celebrates fame without anything to back it up: people on reality shows don’t inspire. They’re just there to laugh at and mock. It’s destructive.
And the money quote:
The ability to connect to my creative source is one of my biggest achievements.
Check out the whole piece.
To quote one of your muses, Sandra, you make us feel…mighty real.