Other locally-focused film highlights at MIFF this weekend include what ought to be a fine and raucous screening of local cult classic documentary Dead River Rough Cut (1976), about a pair of DIY hunters, fishers, loggers, and shack-dwellers. The screening will be accompanied by live music from the Gawler Family, who contributed work for the film’s revamped soundtrack. Another form of rough-cut is a double-feature of half-hours of two forthcoming local films: Lena Friedrich’s documentary Hermythology, about the infamous North Pond hermit Christopher Knight; and a feature-film version of Maine young-adult classic Lost on a Mountain in Maine, directed by Ryan Cook and Derek Desmond. A local doc for fans of the recent award-winner Marwencol is Jeremy Workman’s MagicalUniverse, about an elderly Saco native devoted to photographing his collection of Barbie dolls. Maine-set features screening this weekend include Lance Edmonds’s debut Bluebird, a small-town drama inspired by The Sweet Hereafter and starring Mad Men’s John Slattery and Girls’ Adam Driver; and The Guide, a potentially-preposterous but slick-looking backwoods thriller directed by John Meyers.
Arthouse-bound features and documentaries not to be missed are headlined by Viola, an inventive, female-focused Shakespeare riff directed by the young Argentinean prodigy Matias Pineiro. A double-award winner at this year’s SXSW film festival, MIFF closer Short Term 12, directed by Destin Cretton, is a dramedy about two counselors at a foster-care facility for teenagers. Dutch director Jos Stelling’s intriguing period drama The Girl and Death looks to owe a great and invigorating cinematographic debt to Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman’s Remote Area Medical, shaping up as one of the year’s notable documentaries, follows a volunteer crew organizing pop-up clinics at large public events.
Also keep a lookout for MIFF’s Re-Discovery sidebar of lesser-known films from major filmmakers screening on 35mm, this year featuring work by Martin Scorsese, Nicholas Ray, and the great silent comic Harold Lloyd.
, MAINE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL