Talk in Montclair
My Cousin Maria Schneider: A Conversation with Vanessa Schneider and Molly Ringwald

Moderated by Dagmara Dominczyk

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
The Clairidge Theater

In English

Join Montclair Film and FIAF for a special discussion with author Vanessa Schneider and translator/actress Molly Ringwald about their collaboration on the new book, My Cousin Maria Schneider. The conversation will be moderated by actress Dagmara Dominczyk (Succession).

The memoir is a heartbreaking tribute to Maria Schneider, the 1970s movie starlet who catapulted to fame in the controversial film Last Tango in Paris—only to live the rest of her life plagued by scandal—and is told from the perspective of her younger cousin, Vanessa.

The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.

This event is presented in partnership with Villa Albertine and Watchung Booksellers.

  • Read more about the book
    • The late French actress Maria Schneider is perhaps best known for playing Jeanne in the provocative film Last Tango in Paris, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and released to international shock and acclaim in 1972. It was Maria’s first major role, alongside film legend Marlon Brando, when she was barely nineteen years old. The experience would haunt her for the rest of her life, traumatizing her and sparking a tabloid firestorm that only ceased when she began to retreat from the public eye nearly two decades later.

      To Maria’s much younger cousin, Vanessa Schneider, Maria was a towering figure of another kind—a beautiful and fearsome fixture in Vanessa’s childhood, a rising star turned pariah whose career and struggles with addiction won the family shame and pride in equal measure. Here, Vanessa recounts the challenges of their overlapping youths and fraught adulthood and reveals both the tragedy and inevitability of Maria’s path in a family plagued by mental illness and in a society rife with misogyny.

      Unsentimental and suffused with deep love, My Cousin Maria Schneider is the story of a talented artist and the cousin who admired her, and of exploitation and how its lingering effects can reverberate through a lifetime.

Vanessa Schneider

Vanessa Schneider is a French journalist and author of the bestselling and award-winning memoir Tu T’Appelais Maria Schneider, published in France in 2018.

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    • Vanessa is also the author of 9 other books, including the two novels La Mère de ma mère and Do Not Go Crazy. Tu T’Appelais Maria Schneider is her first publication translated into English, and it will be adapted to screen by Jessica Palud with actress Annamaria Vartolomei as Maria Schneider. Vanessa is currently a reporter at Le Monde in France and regularly contributes to the programs C dans l’air on France 5.

Molly Ringwald

Star of stage, screen and television, Molly Ringwald’s credits include Ryan Murphy’s upcoming series Feud and Murphy’s Netflix mini-series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

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    • Molly Ringwald also had a cameo in the FX critically acclaimed series The Bear and stars in the upcoming Bad Things which will premiere in the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival in the U.S Narrative Competition section.

      Molly Ringwald starred in the film All These Small Moments which was released in January 2019 by Orion Classics and is on VOD (premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival), an arc on The Netflix series Tales of the City, Netflix’s The Kissing Booth series, CW’s Riverdale, and the off-Broadway production of Terms of Endearment.

      Known for the iconic films Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles, Ringwald began her film career in Paul Mazursky’s Tempest, also starring in The Pick-Up Artist, For Keeps, Fresh Horses, Betsy’s Wedding, and the foreign films Tous Les Jours Dimanches, Enfants de Salaud, and Goddard’s King Lear. Her theater credits include Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, the Broadway production of Cabaret as “Sally Bowles”, the Broadway production of Enchanted April, the London production of When Harry Met Sally, Horton Foote’s Lily Dale off-Broadway, Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick…Boom!, and Modern Orthodox.

      An accomplished author and translator her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vogue, Esquire, The Guardian, and more. Her translation of the French novel Lie with Me (April 2019) and the memoir Your Name Was Maria Schneider (2022) are both for Scribner.

      She is the author of two books, Getting the Pretty Back and When It Happens to You, and the translator of the award-winning, bestselling French novel, Lie With Me, by Philippe Besson. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Marie-Claire, and The Guardian. Her recent New Yorker essay, “What About the Breakfast Club?” revisits the movies of her youth in the age of #MeToo. –>

Dagmara Dominczyk

Dagmara Dominczyk has starred in films, television, and plays on/off Broadway, for the past twenty years, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Lost Daughter, Succession (HBO) We Own This City (HBO) and Hello, Tomorrow! (Apple TV).

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    • Dagmara Dominczyk was born in Poland, where her father was a founding member of the freedom fighting union Solidarity. In 1983 her family emigrated to the United States as political refugees. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious School of Drama. In 2013, her debut novel, The Lullaby of Polish Girls (Random House) was described by The New York Times as “a coming of age tale…brimming with teary epiphanies, betrayal, and love.” Dominczyk’s essays have appeared in Huffington Post, and most recently in the book “Pretty Bitches.” She is currently working on her finishing her second novel, and has a number of upcoming film projects. She lives in Montclair with her husband and two sons.