2014 Films

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After the Rain

1984, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. It all starts with a feeling that anything is possible. After 20 years of dictatorship, the population goes out into the streets to demand presidential elections. The emerging political process has given them a new sense of freedom. Caio, a free-thinking teenager, is struggling against authority both at home and at school. The year will be a very special…

Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Actress in a Leading Role for Glenn Close, Best Supporting Actress for Janet McTeer and Best Achievement in Makeup. The film also garnered three Golden Globe nominations—Best Actress and Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, which was co-written by Close. And Close also co-wrote and co-produced this unique film. Close delivers a tour…

MIFF 2014 Audience Favorite Award Winner, 2nd place (tie): Alive Inside

An uplifting cinematic celebration of music and the mind, Alive Inside’s inspirational and emotional story won the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity, chronicling the astonishing experiences of individuals with memory loss around the country who have been revitalized through the…

American Arab

It’s impossible to lay low as an Arab in America today. If you look the part, you are suspicious by association.Terrorists could be anywhere. You’re compelled to defend yourself, your people, your religion. But why should you apologize for acts that have nothing to do with you?  In American Arab, Iraqi-born director Usama Alshaibi takes a hard look at the contradictions of Arab…

Short animation_hotline

Ever feel like your life could use an animated rendition?  Well, your request can be granted using the Animation Hotline! Part of Shorts: Program II

ashesanddiamonds1

This early masterpiece from Andrzej Wajda, widely esteemed as one of the preeminent directors of his generation worldwide,  is set on the last day of World War II and the first day of peace—and between them, a night that changes everything. In the eyes of Maciek (the charismatic, iconic Zbigniew Cybulski in one of his greatest roles), an idealistic young Polish resistance fighter,…

  • Saturday, 7/12/2014 2:30 pm • Special Events
Oscar-winning screenwriter Ernest Thompson to return to MIFF 2014 with Heavenly Angle

For Actors, Writers, Directors, and the Audience! See how Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ernest Thompson created Heavenly Angle, taking the best – and also the worst – of what hundreds of New England actors brought to Whitebridge Farm Productions auditions and turning their remarkable courage, spirit and talent – or discernible lack thereof – into his magical and compelling movie. If you’re an Actor…

Balcony

Shot in one bravura take, a young boy perches atop his family’s balcony, where concerns for his safety compete with passersby’s personal melodramas. Part of Ha + Ha = HaHa!

THE-BETTER-ANGELS_Still_6

Produced by MIFF Mid-Life Achievement Award winner Terrence Malick, and first-time directed by his recent editor, A.J. Edwards, The Better Angels is about Abraham Lincoln as a boy. But Lincoln this is not, shot as it is in haunting black and white and imbued with a poetry and reverence for nature that seems very much influenced by Malick’s work. Indiana, 1817. The entire…

Blackbird

Young Scottish ballad singer Ruadhan despairs as the fabric of his quaint hometown erodes. Around him Portaran’s fading glory is there for all to see. There are no fish in the sea, no jobs, and the young generation is leaving for the cities. The passing of town matriarch Isobel shakes Ruadhan to the core. Another character gone, another voice lost. Portaran’s soul is…

Blind Chance

One moment, one event — three completely different outcomes. From the truly great director Krzysztof Kieślowski (Red, White, Blue, The Double Life of Veronique, The Decalogue) comes a film examining the effects of even the smallest of choices and chances. A young medical student’s life is forever changed by three subtle variations of the same innocuous episode: he does or does not catch…

Bowery

Best known for its derelict past and still retaining a great deal of that ambience when Sara Driver shot this film 20 years ago, Bowery—Spring, 1994 takes us to Lower Manhattan with striking immediacy. Shown with You Are Not I

BOYHOOD - 2014 FILM STILL - Ellar Coltrane

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, aging like the characters they play, making it a truly one-of-a-kind film, Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Slacker, Bernie), is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan…

This year there’s more music films than ever at MIFF! (Image from: Brasslands)

Brasslands explores the explosive recent popularity of Balkan brass music through the stories of three musicians whose lives revolve around playing the music for very different reasons: a Serbian trumpet master, a virtuosic Roma street musician, and a dedicated American who isn’t from the Balkans but has been playing this music in New York for the last 30 years. Their stories all converge…

Breathing Earth

Artist and architect Susumu Shingu has had a lifelong “dialogue with the wind and with water.” For many years he has been creating sculptures that reveal the hidden energies of these elements. Their surfaces move to the same wind that we feel. They allow themselves to be carried by it, to absorb it, to change and morph and change again. Susumu lives according…

The_Case_of_the_Three_Sided_Dream

No one who saw or heard Rahsaan Roland Kirk ever forgot him. One of the true geniuses of our time, Kirk was blind, played three horns at once, and marshalled the kind of energy through his jazz tenor and flute playing that’s more frequently associated with punk or rap. His life’s work was exploring sound and making music. Beyond that, he was an…

A-Chair-Fit-for-an-Angel

“There are many ways to express ideas, and eloquence is sometimes possible without words.” –Raymond St-Jean. This genre-bending documentary looks at the cultural legacy of America’s most successful utopian society: the Shakers. The Shakers were artisans and innovators, whose maxim ‘beauty rests on utility’ inspired the creation of minimalist furniture and architectural designs that influenced modern functionalism. Known to each other as the…

  • Sunday, 7/20/2014 9:00 pm • Special Events

at Mainely Brews Brewhouse & Tavern 1 Post Office Sq.

Conformist, The

“It’s a triumph of feeling and style – lyrical, flowing, velvety style, so operatic that you come away with sequences in your head like arias.” – Pauline Kael. “All at once, The Conformist is a bludgeoning indictment of fascistic follow-the-leader and an orgasm of coolness, ravishing compositions, camera gymnastics, and atmospheric resonance—as if its decadent, twilit-art deco-noir style is itself a refutation of…

constant factor

“A bracing and disturbing film.”–Janet Maslin, The New York Times. Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, this uncompromising critique of idealism from acclaimed director Krzysztov Zanussi centers on Witold, a young electrician who yearns for the purity of mathematics and the remote Himalayan peaks where his father, a noted mountain-climber, died under mysterious circumstances. Instead, he finds himself coming unstuck in a…

Cookies Fortune

“The sweet assurance and guerrilla wit of Robert Altman’s vintage ensemble films makes a serenely captivating return with Cookie’s Fortune. In this seamlessly copacetic treat, Mr. Altman once again dreams up a well-rounded community of symbiotic oddballs, then effortlessly lures the viewer into their world. With a fine cast working on a single, nicely eccentric wavelength, he and the screenwriter Anne Rapp turn…

Dangerous Liaisons

Adapted for stage and screen several times over the past century, French author Francois Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses was the basis for this Academy Award-winning Stephen Frears film, with Close notching one of her six Oscar nominations. The plot is motivated by a cruel wager between the beautiful but debauched Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and her misogynistic former lover,…

death taxes apple juice

Wondering if life has passed her by, 10 year old Claire is comforted by a glass of Chardonnay as 7 year old Hannah helps Claire file her taxes. Part of Maine Shorts

Dhoom_3

“Imagine a mashup of Cirque du Soleil, steampunk and Bollywood—throw in a few motorcycle chases, a love story, a secret double, a heist and the year’s funkiest music—and you’re just beginning to scratch the surface of Dhoom 3. The crazy thing is, it all works. Although director Vijay Krishna Acharya’s story nominally follows the exploits of a pair of Indian buddy cops (Jai,…

Disarming Falcons

An elegant documentary shot in tribal Pakistan about the sport of falconry, as the falcons and falconers pursue the wily Houbara Bustard bird. Part of Shorts: Program I

Short Doctors Delirium

Things are hopping at the asylum tonight, as a doctor unveils his legion of cured patients. Part of Shorts: Program II

Dogdown

“This program has really opened me up. It’s opened my eyes. It’s brought me to a new level of responsibility.”  These are the words of Perry, describing the impact of working as a lead trainer with the New Leash on Life dog obedience and agility training program for potentially unadoptable dogs. At the time of the interview, Perry is an inmate in a…

Eroica

“A classic slice of subversive Polish cinema.”–John Bleasdale, CineVue. Subtitled “A Heroic Symphony in Two Parts,” Eroica is in fact an antiheroic capriccio by Andrezj Munk, the director who was Polish cinema’s foremost satirist until his death in 1961 at age 40. The film’s two contrasting episodes are united by their irreverent attitude toward the fabled Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The first, wide-ranging and…

Eurocrime

One of the towering genres of the 1970s—yet one generally unknown in this country—was the Italian police thriller, also known as Euro-crime film, with over 250 titles produced over the decade, inspired in part by American cop movies like Bullitt, the Dirty Harry series, The Godfather, The French Connection, Serpico, Shaft, and Dog Day Afternoon. At the same time, these films ripped their…

Extending the Play

Two star players met in Germany during the prime of their careers, only to find themselves quickly out of basketball just a few months later due to one huge mistake. An observation of the lives of a married American couple, Kasey and Maine native Bracey Ulin, Extending the Play is as much about opportunity and the dedication to your calling as it is…

FInding Fela

The Oscar-winning director of Taxi to the Dark Side brings us the astonishing story of Fela Kuti who, among other things in his all-too-short life, created Afrobeat (a fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, funk, highlife, and psychedelic rock), married 27 women in one day, and, at the peak of his powers, in 1977, so threatened Nigeria’s oil-rich military regime that it…

Fishtail

The iconic voice and noble philosophies of Harry Dean Stanton accentuate this authentic look at life on the edge of the wilderness. Cowboys, roaring campfires, and vast landscapes—those hallmarks of the American West—punctuate director Andrew Renzi’s glimpse into a rugged lifestyle few Americans still pursue. Following the cowboys of Montana’s Fishtail Basin Ranch as they survive another calving season, Renzi captures the texture…

The Fix 2

Junior, a father trying to turn his life around after years of heroin addiction, shares his deeply personal story of redemption and hope. With fierce determination and commitment to his family now, Junior acknowledges his earlier failures as a parent. He speaks openly about the passionate and compassionate medical staff of an innovative methadone clinic at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the…

Fixed

A haunting, subtle, urgent documentary, Fixed questions commonly held beliefs about disability and normalcy by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and mind forever. Through a dynamic mix of verité, dance, archival and interview footage, Fixed challenges notions of normal, the body and what it means fundamentally to be human in the 21st century. Told primarily through the perspectives of five…

MIFF 2014 Audience Favorite Award Winner, 1st place: The Forgotten Kingdom

When Atang returns to his ancestral land of Lesotho, South Africa, to bury his father, he reconnects with the mystic landscape and hardships of village life he thought he’d left behind. Writer-director Andrew Mudge crafts an intimate tale of a soul grown used to the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg who must quickly adjust to the more spiritual rhythms of the Basotho people….

The Forgotten Pistolero

“The Forgotten Pistolero was made in 1969 when the spaghetti western genre was still very popular, but definitely starting to show signs of wear. The old formulas being worn out, new ones had to be found. While some directors decided to add a derisory element to the genre, others tried to create a more ‘adult’ variation by reshaping classical revenge stories….The Forgotten Pistolero…

  • Wednesday, 7/16/2014 8:00 pm • Special Events
4H girl 3

Waterville-based Found Films collects, curates and exhibits discarded 16mm films. We scour swap meets, garage sales, auctions and even the dumpsters behind public libraries to find obscure and unwanted films, momentarily rescuing them from obscurity. Tonight’s theme is Things Change. Fashion and hairstyles, drug policies, visions of vocational success, birthday parties, media forms – all things change. But film can remind us how…

Frank

“Frank is a comedy about a young wannabe musician, Jon, who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank and his terrifying sidekick, Clara. Frank’s uniqueness lies in the fact that he makes music purely for the joy of creating…and because he wears a giant, fake…

Vermont Movie Part 3

Part Three – Refuge, Reinvention and Revolution In the mid-20th century, political pioneers like Bill Meyer, a Congressman who challenged the Cold War, and Governor Phil Hoff, whose 1962 victory set the stage for historic change, rose to take the lead in Vermont politics. Innovation was everywhere: in the work of “talented tinkerers” like Snowflake Bentley and Thaddeus Fairbanks, in the rise of…

Vermont Movie Part 4

Part Four—Doers and Shapers Part Four explores the people and institutions that push boundaries. Starting with education, we take an engrossing journey through the philosophy of John Dewey, leading to the hands-on style of Goddard College, the Putney School, and the inseparable connection between education and democracy. We explore other progressive movements: Vermont’s famous Billboard law and Act 250, cultural movements such as…

Vermont Movie Part 5

Part Five – Ceres’ Children Part Five takes a deeper look at some of Vermont’s cherished traditions: participatory democracy and the conservation ethic, from the ideas of George Perkins Marsh, one of America’s first environmentalists, to contemporary volunteer groups and activist movements. The film captures 21st century debates over natural resources, then circles back in time to show how these concerns originate in…

Vermont Movie Part 6

Part Six – People’s Power Part Six tackles contemporary tensions over energy, independence, the environment and the state’s future. Chronicling the struggle to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, it reveals the power of protest, the influence of lobbyists and the importance of town meeting debate and a citizen legislature. It follows the battle over windmills in Lowell—a struggle over scale, aesthetics and…

Gun Crazy

Like Bonnie and Clyde but two decades earlier, Gun Crazy, a legitimate noir B movie masterpiece, dazzlingly thrilling in this stunning 35mm restoration, follows two charismatic young bank robbers in love. “John Dall plays a timorous, emotionally disturbed World War II veteran who has had a lifelong fixation with guns. He meets a kindred spirit in carnival sharpshooter Peggy Cummins, who is equally…

Voices Thrown Silent

Ha + Ha = Haha! With nothing in common except their daft innovation and palpable light-heartedness, these two films are sure to exercise some funny bones you didn’t know you had! Voices Thrown Silent Two ventriloquists find camaraderie after enduring the loneliness and disapproval of performing with interracial dummies. Balcony Shot in one bravura take, a young boy perches atop his family’s balcony,…

The Beatles Running In 'A Hard Day's Night'

Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A Hard Day’s Night, in which the bandmates play slapstick versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent…

Heavenly Angle

From Oscar winner, On Golden Pond creator and last year’s guest at MIFF, Ernest Thompson, comes a hoot with a heart. Heavenly Angle follows a has-been Hollywood director as he tries to swindle New Englanders into investing in a film he doesn’t plan to make, only to find out that there may be no better place to make a movie with real people….

HerSistersSecret

Here’s a virtually unseen gem in a gorgeous new restored 35mm print from B movie master Edgar G. Ulmer (Detour). “In this feverishly romantic, visually resplendent war-at-home melodrama from 1946, Ulmer cuts loose with a wild creativity that yoked his theatrical imagination to a keen view of the traumatic times. The opening sequence, showing Mardi Gras revels in New Orleans through the frenzied…

His New Hands

An older brother becomes his younger sibling’s confidant regarding their father’s sensationally improved boxing ability. Part of Shorts: Program II

Hourglass Sanitorium

Wojciech Has’s surrealist The Hourglass Sanatorium is a visionary reflection on the nature of time and the irreversibility of death. A young man embarks on a journey to see his dying father and succumbs to a procession of hallucinatory encounters on the grounds of a mystical, dilapidated hospice. The film’s screenplay draws from more than 20 stories by Jewish author Bruno Schulz, one…

I Believe In Unicorns

Davina views the world through a fantastical lens, struggling to navigate the harsh realities of her young life and grown-up responsibilities while attending high school and being the sole caregiver for her disabled mother. In voiceover she states, “Today is my birthday. Today I will learn how to breathe.” Davina receives a Polaroid camera for her birthday. While photographing in a park, she…

The Illumination

“An idiosyncratic masterpiece… Zanussi’s film is an absolute triumph that feels no less pertinent and urgent today as it would have when it was first released.” –Ben Nicholson, CineVue. Life is messy; science is pure…or so it seems to Franciszek, the protagonist of Krzysztof Zanussi’s highly original, semi-autobiographical work. Presented in a fragmented, collage-like style, with dollops of documentary and animation, the film…

Maine Shorts In Winter

A contemplation of winter’s inherent mystery by Unity College student Allison Perna. Part of Maine Shorts

Innocent Sorcerers

“This is excellent ’60s New Wave filmmaking: visually alluring and intellectually switched-on.”–Jonny Cooper, The Telegraph. Following the weighty historical reconsiderations of his war trilogy, Polish film icon Andrzej Wajda shifted gears to a contemporary romance that offers a snapshot of disaffected Polish youth in 1960. With intimations of My Night at Maud’s, Last Tango in Paris, and Before Sunrise, the film centers on…

jealousy

Philippe Garrel is a true child of French cinema. His father was the great actor Maurice Garrel; he made a second home for himself in the Cinémathèque Française; he shot his first film at the age of 16 and he rode through the streets of Paris shooting newsreels of May ‘68 with Godard in his red Ferrari. From the start, Garrel’s intimate, handcrafted…

World Shorts Jonestown

A film based on a reporter’s actual experience with Jim Jones days prior to the mass suicide of the inhabitants of Jonestown in Guyana. Part of Shorts: Program II

Jump

One of Poland’s most important novelists, Tadeusz Konwicki, was also a director (The Last Day of Summer) and screenwriter (Pharaoh, Mother Joan of the Angels) of note. Jump is a tantalizing existential mystery that hops nimbly between allegory and black comedy. It begins with the hero (Zbigniew Cybulski) jumping off a moving train and making his way to a small town where he…

KUMU-HINA-signature-image

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina‘s Hawai’i. At a time when gender non-conforming people are marginalized and mistreated the world over, Kumu Hina presents an intimate portrait of a proud and confident mahu (transgender) teacher who…

LastDayofSummer

Winner of the Grand Prix at the 1958 Venice Film Festival, the debut feature by acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Tadeusz Konwicki, follows a nameless woman and a nameless man as they play out a delicate dance of attraction, rejection, sympathy and disgust over the course of a single afternoon on an eerily isolated beach. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 1958 Venice…

LIving is Easy with Eyes Closed CLOSING NIGHT

Winner of six Goyas (Spain’s Oscar equivalent) including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best New Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Score (by none less than Pat Metheny)! Spain 1966. John Lennon, determined to leave the Beatles to become an actor, arrives in Almería, Spain to shoot How I Won the War, his first and only non-musical role. Antonio, played brilliantly by a…

Love is Strange

After 39 years together, Ben and George finally tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. But when news of their marriage reaches the Catholic school where George works, he is fired from his longtime job, and the couple can no longer afford their New York City apartment. As a temporary solution, George moves in with the two gay cops…

LOW DOWN 3

Brilliantly acted by Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, The Sessions, Lincoln), Elle Fanning (Maleficent, I Am Sam) and, in a brilliantly nuanced performance that’s both mesmerizing and aptly self-effacing, unlike anything else she’s ever done, Glenn Close, Low Down chronicles the torrid, true life of jazz pianist Joe Albany, as seen through the wise and adoring eyes of his young daughter, Amy….

Ursula

Death, Taxes and Apple Juice Wondering if life has passed her by, 10 year old Claire is comforted by a glass of Chardonnay as 7 year old Hannah helps Claire file her taxes. James Gilmore: That Ain’t Me Poignant black and white music video of the musician exercising his musical talents inside an abandoned concert hall. Monsura is Waiting After years of performing…

  • Saturday, 7/12/2014 10:00 am • Special Events

Showcase your latest (or next) project to other Maine filmmakers and MIFF’s filmmaker guests over brunch!  Enjoy casual brunching and networking from 10-11am. Then you’ll have the opportunity to speak for 1 to 2 minutes in a roundtable format about your project.  Representatives from the event co-hosts, the Maine Film Center, the Maine Film & Video Association, the Maine Film Office, Maine Public…

MAN OF IRON

A masterful story about the limitations of the press, coupled with real footage of the Solidarity movement strikes, Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Iron expands on the plot of its predecessor, Man of Marble. The film examines the events leading to one of the most crucial historical events of the 20th century. The movie was produced in haste at the express wish of the…

A Master Builder

Past MIFF special guest Julie Hagerty returns to the festival along with lead actress Lisa Joyce to introduce their new film (at the July 14th screening), and the artistic triumvirate of MIFF Mid-Life Achievement winner and frequent guest Jonathan Demme, André Gregory, and Wallace Shawn update Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, a modern classic about a successful, egomaniacal architect who has spent a…

  • Saturday, 7/19/2014 9:00 pm • Special Events

at Common Street Arts 16 Common Street Join us after Psychedelic Cinema for a MIFFONEDGE, Volume 2 Wrap Party! Eat, drink and be merry AND view the results of our weeklong community-created cameraless film.

MaineShort Monsura is Waiting

After years of performing their act, an homage to the giant butterfly Monsura, two sisters face a dramatic parting of the ways, as one gets married. Part of Maine Shorts

Mother Joan of the Angels

A devout, unworldly young priest attempts to exorcise a nun who claims to be possessed by demons in Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s strikingly designed and feverishly intense spiritual drama.  In a remote Polish town in the seventeenth century, the young, devout Father Suryn arrives to deal with a scandalous case of demonic possession in the local convent, where dark forces have driven many of the…

Napoli_spara

Perhaps Leonard Mann’s finest Eurocrime film, Napoli Spara! (Weapons of Death) is also pretty much peak for the genre itself. There’s trouble brewing in San Francisco when an Asian gang combines forces with American thugs to kidnap a girl as part of their master plan to take over Chinatown. It’s up to a martial arts studio master and his friend to battle these…

  • Friday, 7/11/2014 9:30 pm • Special Events
santa mamba @ twin river-25

at Mainely Brews Brewhouse & Tavern 1 Post Office Square with live music by Santa Mamba Free admission with MIFF pass or ticket stub Where many bands who fall under the broad classification of “Latin” consist of musicians with a shared ethnic heritage, Santa Mamba’s story is different. They all come from different places and grew up in different times. Some of them…

Paulette

A crowd-pleasing, truly charming comedy from France, Paulette tells the story of a grouchy old woman living alone in the projects on the outskirts of Paris. Paulette’s meager retirement pension is not enough for her to make ends meet. When she notices some curious trafficking outside her building one night, Paulette sees it as a sign of fate. As an ex-pastry chef, with…

Pharoah

“One of the classics of Polish cinema…If this film got the restoration it deserved in its full length, in the original Polish and subtitled, it would be placed with the greatest epics.” –Allan Fish, Wonders in the Dark. Well, now it has: long available only in dubbed, truncated, censored, and color-faded versions, Pharaoh has been restored to its full glory. Filmed over a…

Short PritaNoire

A mind-blowing clay animation about two sisters, one of whom grows up, and one of whom… lives in a jar, exerting her influence! Part of Shorts: Program I

Short The Professor

A radical ex-professor and her gang of student followers kidnap corporate news anchor Thomas Brookstone and force him to read the “Real News” live on the Internet. Part of Shorts: Program I

Promised Land

“Andrzej Wajda adapted his 1975 effort Land of Promise (Ziemia Obiecana) from an 1897 novel by Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont. The story concerns three Polish laborers of vastly different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Unlike many of their recalcitrant contemporaries, the three men are able to overcome their differences and work together. Eventually they create and manage a textile factory, founded upon the edicts…

MIFFONEDGE Psychedelic Cinema

Light show films by Ken Brown, 1967-1969 with live accompaniment by the Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra Between 1967 and 1969, Ken Brown, a self-described “survivor of the psychedelic wars of the 1960s,” shot Super 8 films to project with the light shows at Boston’s premiere rock club, The Boston Tea Party. The resulting films, cobbled together to make the current Psychedelic Cinema, stand today…

FILM_Requiem for a Robot

Rob, a worn out robot with a corrupt memory, drowns his sorrows in alcohol and asks himself the essential question: What did he do wrong? Part of Shorts: Program I

Salvatore Guiliano

“Francesco Rosi was on the short list of directors considered by Algerian rebels to tell their story in The Battle of Algiers, and with its stark black-and-white photography and sympathetic portrait of Sicilian nationalists, Salvatore Giuliano shows why. But Rosi’s 1961 film, a major influence on such Italian-American directors as Michael Cimino and Francis Ford Coppola (see The Sicilian and the Italian scenes…

the-sargossa-manuscript-still

Championed by Luis Buñuel, The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and Francis Ford Coppola, this film is a mind-blowing cinematic experience. Stories within stories within stories is the operative technique here. In Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, two enemy officers form an uneasy truce at a deserted Saragossa inn as they pore over a mysterious book recounting the amazing tales of Alphonse van Worden…

A short film about killing

On a grey March day, the paths of three men cross in the same café, as idealistic lawyer Piotr celebrates passing his bar exam while 20-year-old Jacek prepares to murder cabbie Marian. Krzysztof Kieślowski’s unflinching film is a psychological and ethical study of murder, both by individuals and by the State. “A horror film in which the killer is human nature itself,” per…

Disarming Falcons

Requiem for a Robot Rob, a worn out robot with a corrupt memory, drowns his sorrows in alcohol and asks himself the essential question: What did he do wrong? A Way of Saying A young woman’s touching look back at her father, using fragments of home movies. Disarming Falcons An elegant documentary shot in tribal Pakistan about the sport of falconry, as the…

His New Hands

Doctor’s Delirium Things are hopping at the asylum tonight, as a doctor unveils his legion of cured patients. Jonestown A film based on a reporter’s actual experience with Jim Jones just days prior to the mass suicide of the inhabitants of Jonestown in Guyana. Animation Hotline Ever feel like your life could use an animated rendition?  Well, your request can be granted using…

Sleepwalk

“Mysterious and suspenseful, with a touch of the supernatural thrown in, this first feature by director Sara Driver follows Nicole (Suzanne Fletcher), a woman who works at a computer all day, through an odd and menacing series of events. Nicole has been translating an old Chinese manuscript, and the more she translates, the stranger her life becomes. Surreal events seem to interrupt reality…

Sound of Redemption

Frank Morgan was arguably one of the greatest alto saxophone players who ever lived, but in order to hear him you would have had to go to San Quentin Prison. That’s where he played with The San Quentin All-Stars, comprised of jailed jazz greats like Art Pepper and Dupree Bolton. From the moment little Frankie was born he was under pressure to be…

Stories from the Past

Live Music by Jeff Beam with vintage Maine Silent Film Past and future meet at MIFF this year for a special night combining vintage era films shot in Maine and elsewhere in New England in the early part of the last century with sensitive yet very up-to-the-minute music played live. Working closely with Northeast Historic Film Archives, musician Jeff Beam has selected a…

the_strange_little_cat

“Loosely inspired by Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, this enchanting, minimalist gem by first-time feature director Ramon Zurcher has won admiring comparisons to the work of such masters as Jacques Tati, Robert Bresson and Chantal Akerman.Two siblings in their twenties return home for a family gathering, where three generations are convening for dinner overseen by a cool, reserved matriarch. The luminous and increasingly cramped Berlin…

Stranger than Paradise

“Although Jim Jarmusch made his directorial debut with Permanent Vacation (1982), Stranger than Paradise (1984) marked his breakthrough as a major American filmmaker. One of the most deadpan comedies ever committed to film, Stranger than Paradise, produced by Sara Driver, suggests a Buster Keaton film written by Samuel Beckett and Jack Kerouac and directed by Andy Warhol. Willie (John Lurie) is a small-time…

Stray Dog

Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik’s searching, stereotype-shattering film focuses on Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, and her new documentary has much in common in grit and compassion with her Best Film Oscar nominee. At first glance, this burly, bearded biker looks like one badass dude. Then, through Granik’s incisive, sympathetic eye, we begin to see his big, battle-scarred heart. The movie follows Stray Dog…

Street Law

Considered by aficionados to be the apotheosis of the Eurocrime genre, Street Law stars Franco Nero (Camelot, Django) and Bond-girl Barbara Bach. “The same year that Charlie Bronson’s wronged architect began cleaning up the streets of New York vigilante-style in Death Wish, Franco Nero’s wealthy engineer had a similar idea on the slightly-less-mean streets of Genoa, Italy. Let’s face it—purse snatchings by way…

strummer

A vivid document of legendary rocker and Clash frontman Joe Strummer composing and recording the musical soundtrack of When Pigs Fly in a studio in Wales with Sara Driver and Jim Jarmusch in attendance. Shown with When Pigs Fly

the-summer-of-flying-fish-3

“An enticing first fiction feature … Set in what should be a vacation paradise, it charts the coming to consciousness of a teenage girl, who, in a single summer, has her first love affair and discovers another world—that of the Mapuche Indians, who are being displaced from their land by men like her wealthy, brutish, arrogant father. Guess whose side she’s on?”—Amy Taubin,…

MIFF 2014 Audience Favorite Award Winner, 2nd place (tie): Take Me to the River

On the heels of Twenty Feet from Stardom and Muscle Shoals comes an ode to creation, a reverent and exuberant love letter to talent past and present recorded in crisp tones and played with wide smiles. The inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis is celebrated ecstatically in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation by the royalty of blues and their heirs,…

THIS TIME NEXT YEAR_[FARIHAH_ZAMAN]_5

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy swept along the East Coast causing unimaginable devastation to those who happened to be in the wrong place. This Time Next Year is one community’s story of what it takes to rebuild. MIFF veterans Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaiman (Remote Area Medical, Gerrymandering) follow the residents of Long Beach Island, New Jersey, during the first full year after the…

To Kill This Love

Two young lovers contend with the corrosive cynicism and corruption of 1970s Polish society in this deceptively small-scale comedy-drama from director Janusz Morgenstern. A scrappy, bitterly funny, finally heartbreaking portrait of lower-middle-class Polish youth, To Kill This Love focuses on Magda and Andrzej, young lovers who are trapped by both economic circumstance and the corrosive cynicism of a socialist society whose class barriers…

World Shorts Tobacco Burn Official Still 3

Slaves on a plantation in the American South take matters into their own hands after being brutalized by their overseer. Part of Shorts: Program 1

Too Much Johnson

Quick: name Orson Welles’ first film! “Citizen Kane!,” you say, for decades the number one film in critic’s polls for “greatest film of all time?” Nope, it’s Too Much Johnson! “Three years before Citizen Kane, his towering first feature, reached theaters and changed the course of cinema, a 23-year-old Orson Welles stepped behind the camera to shoot a delightful silent film pastiche. It…

Trap Street

“We often say that truth is hidden from us. But I believe that when we fail to see, it is because we are unable to observe, or unwilling to look. We are the victim and the accomplice at the same time”—Trap Street director Vivian Qu. Trap Street’s protagonist Li Qiuming is a naïve survey engineer in very contemporary China who “views the world…

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“Michael Winterbottom’s largely improvised 2010 film, The Trip, took comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon—or semifictionalized versions thereof—on a restaurant tour around northern England. In this witty and incisive follow-up, Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy and indulging in some sparkling banter and impersonation-offs. Rewhetting our palates from…

The-Two-Faces-of-January-DI

Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac star in this sun-soaked period noir set on the coast of Greece, and based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith (brilliant writing, fascinating psychology, and the source of great movies from Strangers on a Train to The American Friend to The Talented Mr. Ripley). It’s 1962 in Athens, and Chester and Collette MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen and…

Ursula

A modern, minimalist fairy tale, Ursula is a day in the life of the title character, in which she practices kung fu, meets a frog and a princess, and ends up living happily ever after with two people who may or may not be her actual family. Part of Maine Shorts

Voices Thrown Silent

Two ventriloquists find camaraderie after enduring the loneliness and disapproval of performing with interracial dummies. Part of Ha + Ha = HaHa!

Short A Way of Saying

A young woman’s touching look back at her father, using fragments of home movies. Part of Shorts: Program I

When Pigs Fly

“Sara Driver’s principal films are surrealist works whose images tend to linger like half-remembered dreams. The…gentler When Pigs Fly (1993)—set in an east-coast port town, though filmed in Germany—is a whimsical ghost story inspired by Topper. If the tone seems light, the images, filmed by the great Robby Muller, nevertheless persist. The hero, beautifully played by Alfred Molina, is a sweet-tempered jazz musician…

When the Curtain Comes Down

Steve Buscemi stars in Jo Andres’ charming and slightly creepy music video set to Diana Krall’s song. Shown with Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story

WorldShortWheretheRedFoxLies

In this innovative horror film, two sisters come to terms with the fact that one of them cannot control her ‘incendiary’ nature. Part of Shorts: Program II

You Are Not I

“A haunting adaptation of a 1948 short story by Paul Bowles about a woman who escapes from an asylum, You Are Not I played widely in the international film festival circuit in the early Eighties. Then, a leak in a New Jersey warehouse destroyed the negative, leaving director Sara Driver with only a battered, unprojectable copy. Miraculously, a print was found among the…

Your_Day_Is_My_Night

In this provocative hybrid documentary, shot in the kitchens, bedrooms, wedding halls, cafés, and mahjong parlors of New York City’s Chinatown, immigrant residents of a ‘shift-bed’ apartment share their stories of personal and political upheaval. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. Yun Xiu Huang evokes his journey to the U.S….