Amanda Donohoe's performance in Ken Russell's campy The Lair of the White Worm registers deeply with me. I can best reflect upon it through a web animation:
I call the animation Hedda Redux. Its root image was not sampled from The Lair of the White Worm, but from a promotional photo of Amanda Donohoe in Henrik Ibsen's classic play Hedda Gabler. For me the magic of Amanda Donohoe's performance in The Lair of the White Worm lies in fusing grand theatricality with the surreal malleability of cinema. My aim in Hedda Redux was to tap a potent feminine theatrical/cinematic presence (both directly - Hedda Gabler embodying repressed feminist rage - and indirectly - the actress identified with the vampish predator driving The Lair of the White Worm) and externalizing the swirling internal forces that gave her power.
© 2004 Peter Schmideg