“Tura Thursday” is a regular series celebrating the legacy of the late, great Tura Satana, best known as Varla in the 1965 Russ Meyer cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. This series is curated by Tura’s longtime manager, friend, confidant and CEO of Tura Satana Productions, Siouxzan Perry.
The final words in Phil Chung’s article written on the death of Tura on 4th February 2011 are perfect as an introduction to celebrate her birthday in this week’s blog. They are also a reminder that, as we continue on our path to realize the documentary and Tura’s dream, there are so many different sides of her to consider to make the picture whole, all of which are still hugely relevant …and that today, more than ever, we have to stick together to fight for all the issues she, as an Asian American woman, naturally and proudly stood for throughout her life.
The Most Kickass Asian American Woman to Ever Grace the Silver Screen
“Over the years, Tura’s status as not only a cult icon, but, also a feminist icon has grown—having been reclaimed by new generations of women as the pioneer she was. This line from Faster Pussycat spoken by one of the male characters about Satana says it all: “Women! They let ’em vote, smoke and drive–even put ’em in pants! And what happens? A Democrat for president!”
It’d be great to also see her acknowledged by the Asian American community as one of our pioneers. I remember back in college in an Asian American studies class when the T.A. asked for examples of pioneering Asian American women in the arts. I brought up Satana’s name. The T.A. dismissed her by saying, “A whore is not a pioneer. A pioneer is someone like Amy Tan who actually did something worthwhile besides lying on her back.”
I told this story to Russ Meyer when I interviewed him a few years later. “That T.A. was an ignorant bitch,” was how he replied. I clarified to Meyer that the T.A. was actually a guy. “Like I said, he was an ignorant bitch. Tura was very proud of being Asian and talked about it all the time. I think she was always a little sad that her own community never really accepted her.”
So today I’d like to make this small gesture to acknowledge Tura Satana as the Asian American icon that she is and wish her a happy birthday! Wherever she is, I’m sure she’s still kicking ass.”
MAKING TURA’S DREAM COME TRUE
This is the message at the end of our 2015 Birthday Homage to Tura…
Today, we are very excited to add a new message at the end of the Birthday Homage for Tura’s 79th birthday.
When working in creative fields, financing media projects is no easy feat! Although we had initially intended to crowdfund in 2015, we then decided to plow on with the film using our own resources for the interviews and building up a greater audience on social media. By 2017, however, we were unable to continue on this path. The time had come to turn to Tura’s fans, something she wanted so much even on her death bed. The making of TURA! The Documentary should be a project involving her adored, loyal fans. So, we took the plunge and dived headfirst into the KICKSTARTER crowdfunding project we wanted and needed to do for the final steps of the film…and many of you reading these words were there to see the joyous result as we passed the $50,000 dollar finishing line…just in time in this all or nothing race!
Three months after the successful funding of our KICKSTARTER project, we are still reeling (literally) from the month long nail-biting experience. The generosity and sheer determination we felt from all those who supported us will never be forgotten…and we will make sure of that as your names will also go down in cinematic history with the making of the film biopic. The interviews are already lined up from LA to Chicago, New York to Las Vegas. In fact, we will already be kicking off by interviewing Tura’s daughters, Lani and Jade in LA in August. Siouxzan is now working through her huge archive of Tura film and memorabilia and more. All is pussycat purringly perfect!
TURA SOCIAL MEDIA
We are bowled over by your support and input on all our TURA SATANA social media platforms. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Youtube…every post, every share is more than appreciated! Keep up the good work and share the Tura word…and by Tura’s 80th birthday we will have FAR MORE to celebrate
A BIRTHDAY WISH TO TURA FROM OUR DIRECTOR, CODY JARRETT
July 10, 1938. Tura Satana’s birthday. No one could have predicted that this little girl would become such a great woman, a true pioneer whose amazing life we’re still exploring to this day. The events she experienced; the actions she took in the face of almost unthinkable adversity have directly or indirectly influenced millions, and will continue to do so as long as there is a wo/mankind.
While Tura may not be here with us physically, her spirit is very much alive and present. The Tura we don’t see with our eyes is thrilled right now! Thanks to the grand effort of many, her lifelong wish (TURA! The documentary) is a reality, and IMO she is experiencing one of her most gratifying birthdays ever right now.
Happy birthday, Tura. We are giving you our best, as you deserve.
As Tura’s long-time manager and closest friend, I am so beyond thrilled and proud we are on the road to realize Tura’s dream. Every day we unearth something new, extraordinary and fabuloust, which is very emotional for many people, especially me. It is still hard to believe that Tura is not here with me to complete OUR project, that I can’t make that phone call to ask her advice and I don’t receive that mail with her latest ideas and support. I am so grateful to have her two daughters, Lani and Jade standing next to me in her place.
Thanks to all of you who are helping me and our team keep Tura’s dream alive. Join us in celebrating the life of one amazingly talented, beautiful , kick-ass woman by clicking here and writing your own birthday wish to Tura!