Entertainment & Arts

‘Charlie Says’: Were the Manson girls his first victims?

(L-R) Hannah Murray as “Leslie Van Houten”, and Marianne Rendón as “Susan Atkins” and Sosie Bacon a
Hannah Murray as Leslie Van Houten, from left, Marianne Rendón as Susan Atkins, and Sosie Bacon as Patricia Krenwinkel in Mary Harron’s “Charlie Says.”
(IFC Films)

The summer of Manson is upon us. Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the mass murder masterminded by Charles Manson, a wave of content is coming our way.

The grisly slayings of eight people — including the very pregnant Sharon Tate — cast a long shadow over the romantic adventure of the ’60s counterculture, fascinating and haunting us to this day.

Out now in theaters is “Charlie Says,” the second of a trio of Manson family films this year. Rather than focus on the violence, “Charlie Says” is a sensitive, psychological portrait of three of Charlie’s girls -- as they descend into the madness of Manson’s world, and with the help of a grad student, go through a deprogramming process in prison.

LA Times film writer Mark Olsen (@IndieFocus) talks with the movie’s director Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner (@turnerguinevere), the filmmakers behind “American Psycho.” Harron and Turner discuss their efforts to capture the domestic abuse and manipulation within the Manson family, along with the sexism of their freewheeling commune life.


But first, Olsen chats with critic and self-described Manson head Katie Walsh (@katiewalshstx), who calls “Charlie Says” a deeply feminist film that captures the toxic masculinity and sexual manipulation practiced by Charles Manson.

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