Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
May 29
Adrienne Shelly November 1, 2006
Adrienne Shelly killed

Adrienne Shelly, one of independent film’s true stars of the 1990s and, with her features Sudden Manhattan, I’ll Take You There, and Waitress, a skilled director, died tragically November 1, 2006. Shelly burst onto the scene as Audry in Hal Hartley’s 1989 debut, The Unbelievable Truth. Her portrayal as an Armageddon-obsessed teenager made her something of a generational icon, and she went on to appear in Hartley’s follow-up, Trust, as well as films like Sleep with Me, Grind and Factotum. But with I’ll Take You There, Shelly purposefully moved behind the camera, bringing a deft comic tough and understanding of contemporary female characters to her films. In the fall of 2006 she submitted Waitress to Sundance and was working in a rented apartment she was using as a writer’s studio. When she went downstairs to complain about the noise a workman was causing, he killed her and attempted to stage the death as a suicide. Shelly left behind a young daughter and a husband, Andy Ostroy, who established The Adrienne Shelly Foundation to support young women in their directing careers.


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Fury May 29, 1936
Fritz Lang's Fury

That Fritz Lang’s Fury opened in May 1936 to good reviews was a shock to the executives at MGM who released it.

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May 29, 1981
Polyester released

After a four-year hiatus, scandalous Baltimore director John Waters returned with some new, um, material on this day in 1981. Polyester marked Waters’ first film after completing his so-called “Trash Trilogy” – Pink Flamingos (1972), Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977) – and saw him move into more mainstream territory after that triptych’s shock tactics, most famously encapsulated in the moment in Pink Flamingos when Waters’ drag diva Divine eats freshly delivered doggie doo-doo.

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