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Volunteer of the Month Cassandra Hawkins on Showgirls

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While it’s a new year, it’s still the same Frida: quality films, fun times, and plenty of chances to craft a unique viewing experience to remember. In a tribute to the late Ryan O’Neal, treat yourself in the following week to a screening of 1975’s Barry Lyndon from Stanley Kubrick. Don’t forget to gear up for one of the most influential, genre-defining found footage films with The Blair Witch Project screening from the 19th through the 21st. If found footage horror isn’t quite your speed, Screamfest presents the John Landis classic An American Werewolf in London on Saturday, January 20th. It’s a howling good time.

If the prior offerings didn’t strike a cord, or even if they did, then we highly and excitably suggest attending our second Volunteer of the Month pick coming from Cassandra Hawkins with Showgirls. From the always daring Paul Verhoeven, Showgirls has an established place in film and cult lore. Showgirls is the story of Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley), an aspiring showgirl who finds herself in Las Vegas only to face the realities of a cut-throat business where the only person you can trust is yourself. After meeting star dancer Cristal (Gina Gershon) at the Stardust Casino, a tense professional and personal rivalry arises. Nomi must then navigate and perform her way to top status all while embracing the consequences of what it truly means to be a star.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cassandra for her volunteer honor, and while I was initially giddy at the opportunity to talk about a film like Showgirls, my eyes were wide open by her final answers to my questions with a sense of pure delight and interest. Someone who has a clear focus and wide, fascinating range of taste, I wish I could’ve picked Cassandra’s brain further. Enjoy the following interview, and join us at The Frida for what will surely be a series of exciting screenings.

How did you find out about The Frida Cinema?

I found about the Frida cinema because back in 2015 my future roommates and I were looking for a place to live and we had stumbled into the downtown Santa Ana area and saw The Frida, I think they were playing Pulp Fiction and we knew that this was the place we wanted to live, so, thanks to The Frida I have now been a Santa Ana resident for eight years.

What made you want to volunteer here?

Well […] I’d been coming to The Frida for years, and last year I started working from home and so I had more free time, and you know, wanted to get out and get away from my apartment for some time, so I thought it was finally time to start volunteering at The Frida.

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Tell us a little bit about Showgirls.

Showgirls is one of my favorite movies. I remember the first time I saw it, and after I watched it I thought, “This is a movie that I need to show every single person that I come in contact with,” and what better way to show every person that I come in contact with and don’t come in contact with than by having it played at a theater?

What were your other choices for Volunteer Pick of the Month?

My other choices were The Thing, which is one of my favorite Carpenter films. I thought that it was a nice wintery movie, and also, a year ago I had the fortune to go to Antarctica, so it was kind of a year tribute since my Antarctic trip since that was taking place there. Unfortunately, I did not run into shapeshifting aliens, but you know, maybe I’ll get it next time. And my other choice was Vampire’s Kiss, which I thought was a good lead into the Valentine’s Day season, and once again, just another unhinged movie that was just so bonkers that I feel like other people need to see that.

What is your favorite Frida memory?

My favorite Frida memory… One of the best memories I had was watching Cats. That was back in in 2020, and it was a Valentine’s Day special just before the pandemic and I think it was the last movie I saw in theaters, and that crowd was so completely unhinged and wild [that] it made that watching experience perfection.

If you could program any movie here, what would you pick?

If I could program any, what would I pick outside of the choices I picked already? I think I would pick – you know, this is maybe not everyone’s choice, is Martyrs. I would pick Martyrs. Once again, very shocking and a very memorable film if you haven’t seen it before, and I’ve tried to plug it a little bit, but they said it needs [to be] in a French extremist movie grouping/pair. But I hope everyone enjoys coming to watch Showgirls and has as good of a time with it as I’m going to. I hope people scream and make comments and dance in the aisles.

Showgirls screens starting Friday, January 12th.
Friday, Jan 12 – 7:45pm
Saturday, Jan 13 – 10pm
Tuesday, Jan 16 – 8pm


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