Robin Johnson in “Film Review,” Oct. 1980


This article is from the October 1980 issue of Film Review. It is part of a two-page feature on new films about young women in music; the preceding page focuses on Hazel O’Connor in Breaking Glass (dir. Brian Gibson, 1980).

As with most contemporary reviews, the article posits Time Square as a film in which the desire to become a rock star propels the narrative and drives the protagonists. I find this really interesting, because to me, this is an almost incidental aspect of the film. (Unless “become a rock star” is dyke code for “get a hot girlfriend”; it’s possible, because I was and remain out of the loop. Nevertheless…)

Otherwise, the article focuses on the film as debut for the “witty and talented” Robin Johnson, a “pretty girl displaying a keen sense of humour.” Until reading this article I didn’t know that to prepare for the role of Nicky Marotta, Johnson had “voice lessons, singing tutorial and dance and movement classes.” Also that she had never eaten flowers before.
Sheltered, eh?

Posted in Fandom, film theory / review, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Popular Culture, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie | 6 Comments

Times Square press kit photographs: Nicky and Pammy (1981)

This post is my final in the series of Times Square press kit photographs. I do not have individual slips for these 1981 photographs, but this is the general promotional description of the film:

Times Square, a contemporary drama with music starring Tim Curry, Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado, is a Robert Stigwood Presentation, produced by Stigwood and Jacob Brackman and directed by Alan Moyle from Brackman’s screenplay, based on a story by Moyle and Leanne Unger, with Kevin McCormick and John Nicollela the executive producers and Bill Oakes the associate producer.
The EMI Films motion picture will be released on Friday, October 17 in the U.S. and Canada by AFD (Associated Film Distribution).


TS-28/14
© 1981 Associated Film Distribution


TS-C-34/29
© 1981 Associated Film Distribution


TS-81/34
© 1981 Associated Film Distribution

And my favourite of them all…

TS-C-22/27
© 1981 Associated Film Distribution
… in which Robin Johnson (as Nicky Marotta) does her version of Dorothy’s “We’re Off to See the Wizard” dance from The Wizard of Oz (dir. Victor Fleming, 1939)!
(Like many women of a, i.e. my, certain age, I’d always dreamed of Robin Johnson as a “friend of Dorothy.” Sadly, this is probably as close as I will ever get to that…)

Posted in Fandom, Lesbian Representation, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Pamela "Pammy" Pearl, Popular Culture, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie, Trini Alvarado | 3 Comments

Times Square press kit photographs: Nicky and Pammy (1980)

“TS-61-14 Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl and Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta become minor media celebrities when their bizarre runaway escapades are reported on radio by an all-night disc jockey in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-82-30 Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado are New York teenagers whose runaway antics and revolt against authority make them the talk of The Big Apple through the radio reports of an all-night disc jockey in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-28-28 Robin Johnson, as self-styled ‘Sleaze Sister,’ takes a final rebellious stand against authority atop a Times Square theater marquee, as Trini Alvarado, her fellow runaway and Sleaze Sister, watches in the nerve-tingling climactic scene of Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution


“TS-94-10A Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado co-star as two-runaway teenagers in New York who create their own bohemian life style in a revolt against authority in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution


“TS-109-16 Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado portray New York runaway teenagers who revolt against authority and are encouraged to continue their escapades and ‘fly’ by an all-night radio disc jockey in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-104-17A Trini Alvarado is a novice dancer on the runway of a sleazy Times Square nitery but keeps the job as a teenage attraction with the encouragement of her fellow runaway, played by Robin Johnson (lower left), in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-72-8A Robin Johnson (right) is determined to become a rock music star, Trini Alvarado is her fellow teenage runaway and their wild, bizarre escapades in New York make them minor media celebrities when reported by an all-night radio disc jockey in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

Posted in Fandom, Lesbian Representation, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Pamela "Pammy" Pearl, Popular Culture, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie, Trini Alvarado | 2 Comments

Times Square press kit photographs: Tim Curry


“TS-78-2 Peter Coffield (left), ambitious New York politician and widower, confronts disc jockey Tim Curry when the all-night performer encourages Coffield’s runaway daughter to continue her rebellion against authority in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-66-28 Tim Curry, British actor-singer best known for his rock star role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is starred as Johnny LaGuardia, all-night disc jockey in New York whose encouragement on the air to two runaway teenage girls turns them into minor media celebrities in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

© 1981 Associated Film Distribution

Posted in Fandom, Popular Culture, Tim Curry, Times Square (1980) movie | Leave a comment

Nicky and Pammy, Angeles


no one’s gonna fool around with us
(elliott smith)

Posted in Fandom, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Pamela "Pammy" Pearl, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie, Trini Alvarado | 2 Comments

Poem for Pamela Pearl


(“now I write endless letters endless poems hoping the
magic will happen again hoping my lovers will come
back to me but all that happens is they never leave me
and they never even read what I write”
Mary Fallon, Working Hot)

Posted in Fandom, Lesbian Representation, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Pamela "Pammy" Pearl, Times Square (1980) movie | 3 Comments

I heart Robin Johnson

Consider this post my birthday card to Robin Johnson.

In an interview on DIS, A.L. Steiner and A.K. Burns discuss their queer feminist “film installation” / “sociosexual video” , Community Action Center (2010). Asked to “describe feminist fashion,” Steiner and Burns reply, “See below.” And below is a web-collage, juxtaposing images of “recommended reading / viewing” and “musical influences”. I have cropped a selection (and link to the article which should be prefaced with a Not Safe For Work proviso, but I don’t know where you work, so if you work somewhere that doesn’t like images of feminist porn, or you just don’t like feminist porn wherever you happen to work or not work, then don’t click this):

We obviously have a couple of Times Square fans here; along with Nicole Eisenman, Steiner is a member of the feminist art collective Ridykeulous! who presented a QUEER/ART/FILM screening of Times Square wearing trash bags and opining that the sex scene of their alter-egos, “Nicky” and “Pammy” — “perhaps the hottest sex scene ever recorded on film between two Jews” — had been cut. (They continued, “the sex scene is believed to have been spotted in the dusty bowels of the Lesbian Herstory Archives. At this VERY MOMENT, a small but not unattractive cadre of private investigators in wifebeaters are working up a sweat and moaning inappropriately as they ‘comb the stacks’ to retrieve it.” See, folks? “Impersonation” can be funny and clever, but you have to know your subject. And be funny and clever.)

I was thrilled to see Robin Johnson amongst other fabulous women who provide inspiration for feminists in the Community Action Center collage; since seeing Times Square, Robin Johnson, with her unique talent, presence, style and power, has continued to inspire me.

Robin Johnson, you fabulous, kick-arse woman: happy birthday and thank you for the years of inspiration. And many more to come…
xxx

Posted in Fandom, Lesbian Representation, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Popular Culture, Queer Spectatorship, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie | 8 Comments

Times Square press kit photographs: Robin Johnson

“TS-57-26 Robin Johnson, 16-year-old Brooklyn miss, makes her feature film singing and acting debut as Nicky Marotta, an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-69-34A Robin Johnson is a runaway teenage product of the streets who dreams of becoming a rock music star and lets nothing get in her way to make it to the top in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

“TS-42-11A Robin Johnson effects a garish costume and make-up as she and her fellow teenage runaway flaunt authority as the ‘Sleaze Sisters’ on their wild dash through the back streets of New York City in Times Square.”
© 1980 Associated Film Distribution

While this photograph is similarly © 1980 Associated Film Distribution, I don’t believe it was part of the official Times Square press kit. I remember seeing this publicity photograph after the release of Times Square, and finding Robin Johnson almost unrecognisable. I have no way of knowing if this publicity shot or Nicky Marotta looked more like the “real” Robin Johnson at the time!

Posted in Fandom, Nicole "Nicky" Marotta, Popular Culture, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie | 3 Comments