SCREEN FORWARD: Thou Wast Mild & Lovely

Akin arrives at his new job as a farm hand to discover the erotically charged young Sarah, whose fascination with nature takes on an omi- nous bent when her father catches Akin in a lie – and forces him to reckon with it.

Erotic thriller, USA 2014 | 79 MIN | HD
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED by Josephine Decker
CO-WRITTEN by David Barker
PRODUCED: Laura Klein, Laura Heberton,
Lavallette Interests Ltd. and Russell Sheaffer
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Third Room Productions


Director Josephine Decker’s highly-acclaimed second feature unfolds with the lyricism and inexorable sense of tragedy of an ancient Appa- lachian murder ballad. Indie icon Joe Swanberg (director of HAPPY CHRISTMAS and DRINKING BUDDIES) delivers a beautifully understated performance as Akin, a soft-spoken farmworker who takes a summer job working for the belligerent, domineering Jeremiah (Robert Long- street), who lives in incestuous isolation with his daughter. Sophie Traub’s performance as the daughter, Sarah, has the sun-dappled qual- ity of one of Andrew Wyeth’s Helga paintings: hers is a completely innocent and destructive sexuality, overripe to the point of bursting.

Decker’s vision of Paradise Lost – dew clinging to a spider’s web, the insistent hum of insects, a young girl writhing on the grass – is unforgettably poetic and erotic, and seems to echo down from ages past.

The simplicity and spontaneity of “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely” offers the primal renewal of the image. It’s as if the movie were undergirded by a sense of timeless authority borrowed from scripture. – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Decker’s luridly poetic vision luxuriates in the ethereal and the mythical. [The performances are] sure to haunt many a nightmare. – Don Simpson, Smells Like Screen Spirit

With its characterful acting, and potently nerve-jangling string score, the film delivers an intriguing slant on rural-peril convention. – Jonathan Romney, Screen International


• Friday, November 14 from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM

• Saturday, November 15 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

• Saturday, November 15 from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM

• Sunday, November 16 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

• Monday, November 17 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

• Tuesday, November 18 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

• Wednesday, November 19 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

• Thursday, November 20 from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM

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Having started her career in documentaries, helping to produce for A&E, ABC and Discovery, Josephine Decker often builds her work from improvisation and collaboration with real communities.

Her recent feature Butter on the Latch – called “a sexy, wild romp you have to see to believe” by In- diewire and “an utter exhilaration of cinematic imagination” by The New Yorker — is set at a real-life Balkan folk song and dance camp. The film, based on a Balkan folk song, explores the dark intimacy and neuroses of a female friendship, was included in Film Comment’s year-end list of Best Undistrib- uted Films of 2013, and will have its international premiere at the Berlinale 2014. Recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, Josephine has just completed her second narrative feature Thou Wast Mild and Lovely. Starring Joe Swanberg, Robert Longstreet, Sophie Traub and Kristin Slaysman and inspired by a character from John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” Thou Wast Mild and Lovely balances horror, beauty, and intimacy as an erotic thriller set in the wilds of Kentucky. The film will World Premiere at the Berlinale 2014.

In 2008, Josephine directed the documentary feature Bi The Way, exploring the rise of bisexuality in America and available on Logo and Netflix. The film screened at SXSW, Silverdocs, and about 100 festivals worldwide and received write‐ups in The Austin Chronicle, Curve Magazine, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and The Dallas Morning News, among others. Josephine’s short films and music videos have played at MoMA, SXSW, Cucalorus, Maryland, and Austin Film Festival, have won children’s programming awards, and can be seen on PBS and Kidzbop. Her short Me The Terrible, about a child pirate who tries to conquer New York City, received a glowing review in The New Yorker.

Fortunate to be collaborating with artists she admires, Josephine Decker spent the past few years pro- ducing short videos for United Way, creative producing a doc for performance artist Sarah Small and acting in films by directors like Joe Swanberg, Onur Tukel and Spencer Parsons. Josephine also raises awareness about environmental issues through her performance art.

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The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced the first five projects to get weeklong theatrical runs at the state of the art Made In NY Media Center’s theater as part of the Screen Forward program. The program gives filmmakers in the process of self-distribution or micro-distribution the unique opportunity to gain a much-coveted NYC theatrical week-run, with IFP working with each filmmaking team on comprehensive audience engagement and grassroots outreach strategies, publicity support, coverage in Filmmaker Magazine, and a revenue split to all participating filmmakers.

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