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Casandra Stark Mele is a New York City underground Icon, considered one of the "principal players in the Cinema of Transgression" (Sabin 1999). She made all her films in the 1980s and early 1990s under the name Casandra Stark. Since then she has added her real family name Mele to her professional name due to a deep connection she felt for her family roots. "Mele" is Italian for apple.
Casandra grew up in Wallingford, Connecticut with the first name Rosanne and still answers to "Ro". She is a dramatic vocalist and live performer as well as a painter and film maker.
Her film The Anarchists was aired on Manhattan cable Television in 1992 and features the music of Missing Foundation. It was partly filmed in Naples, Italy (A city she refers to as Napoli) as well as New York. Her film Parades of Crazy ranges from very surrealistic images of people marching slowly through a park wearing masks to a beach scene in black and white of Casandra her self and her friend Laura May wearing white gowns and splashing in the waves and floating in the tide. Most of her films do not feature Casandra herself, however she starred in the title role of her Death of an Arabian Woman.
She has dedicated her talents to working with mentally challenged of the Lower East Side promoting creative outlets such as Coocooloco: An Anthology Of Creative Writings From The "So-Called Mentally Ill"; The Lower East Side And Beyond, a collection of poetry from community access, a creative work shop.
She went on to become a high school teacher in New York.
- Sabin, Roger 1999. Punk Rock: So What?; The Cultural Legacy of Punk ISBN 0-415-17030-3
- Patterson, Clayton (2005). Captured: A Film & Video History of the Lower East Side ISBN 1-58322-674-5
- Jack Sargeant (1999). Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression ISBN 1-84068-054-7
- Casandra Stark Mele - official web site
- Official Myspace page for "Llik Your Idols", a documentary about the Cinema of Transgression featuring Casandra Stark