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Maryland Film Festival 2015

Written by , Posted in Baltimore

Maryland Film Fest

The 17th annual Maryland Film Festival (@MdFilmFestival) is upon us guys! The Festival runs from May 6th until May 10th in a variety of menu.I quickly browsed through a few of the movie lined up yesterday and they are showing some pretty good ones. I’d love to go to the opening nights to see the different short story, and attend the Opening night party, but the price is a bit high for me, plus it’s on a Wednesday and I already have plans. Well I’m never free during the week really.

A few movies I’m interested in are:

1. Girlhood – I have a soft spot for French movies. Maybe it’s me trying to make up for growing up hating them.

In a tough suburb of Paris, teenager Marieme navigates an often harsh, male-dominated world—her life taking a new turn when she finds a place within an initially hostile all-girl gang. From the director of Water Lilies and Tomboy comes an emotionally rich drama that wowed audiences at Cannes, Toronto, and Sundance, driven by an unforgettable lead performance from Karidja Touré.

2. God Bless The Child –

Four brothers spend a day on their own in Davis, California, with their thirteen year-old sister forced to look after them as best she can in the absence of their troubled and unreliable mother. This visually stunning experimental drama, which premiered at SXSW, turns an unflinching eye on the behavior of children in the absence of adults, with results at turns hilarious, awkward, poignant, and unnerving.

3. Henry Gamble’s Birthday – Something about watching the hypocrisy of men, and how they navigate life and lie to keep their secrets hidden; knowing one day the truth will come out, but hoping that day will never come.

A pool party celebrating the seventeenth birthday of Henry Gamble (Cole Doman), the son of a megachurch preacher (Pat Healy), sets the stage for this expertly observed ensemble drama. As sunny skies fade into moonlight, director Stephen Cone (The Wise Kids, Black Box) offers a subtle and insightful portrait of a community full of pressures and secrets —exploring identity, sexuality, and organized religion in the process. World premiere.

4. In The Basement – I haven’t been into documentaries in a while, but this one seems interesting. Maybe it’s my curiosity of knowing how some people live out there.

The director of the staggering Paradise trilogy, all three films of which were presented within MFF 2013, returns to the realm of intimate documentary with this stylized, disturbing, and darkly hilarious work. The basements of Austria open up to Seidl’s camera, revealing private lives built around such underground worlds as shooting ranges, taxidermy, BDSM, and Nazi memorabilia.

5. Jauja – I’m not sure how I feel about this one, but I love me some Viggo mortensen (yes I had to copy and paste the name). Plus he hasn’t been in a movie in a while.

Viggo Mortensen stars as a Danish engineer who’s travelled to Patagonia with his teenage daughter to work for the Argentine army. When she disappears, he ventures out in pursuit, embarking on a journey full of crises physical, emotional, and existential. Lisandro Alonso (MFF 2010’s Liverpool) works here not only with one of contemporary cinema’s greatest performers, but also a bold new visual approach.

6. People, Places, Things –

In this thoughtful and hilarious rom-com, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows stars as a graphic novelist whose comfortable life is shaken after walking in on his wife with another man. Downgraded to a tiny apartment and weekend status with his twin daughters, a bright spot appears when a student in a college art course he teaches challenges him to be more social and adventurous.

7. Prophet’s Prey – As a follower of Jesus Christ it is always good to know how false prophets operate in order to remind people that God is not present in every church that call themselves followers of God; do not turn from God because some are doing things in his name. They are not the same thing.

The director of Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis takes us deep into another explosive story, that of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Exploring allegations of sexual abuse, family expulsions, forced marriages, and other horrors, this Sundance-premiered documentary paints an unforgettable portrait of conformity, fear, and oppression.

8. The reaper –

From Croatia comes this tense and moody drama about a quiet loner haunted by his criminal past—and by other residents of his small town, who won’t let him forget. When he stops one night to come to the assistance of a woman stranded by the roadside, his evening takes a strange turn, launching three intertwined plot threads that recall Haneke in their grim outlook and narrative potency.

9. Results – I love Rom Coms.

High-octane personal trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders) works for her friend, fitness guru and entrepreneur Trevor (Guy Pearce)—both of whom have their lives turned upside-down when nouveau riche couch potato Danny (Kevin Corrigan) arrives at their gym. The director of MFF 2013’s Computer Chess follows up that highly experimental work with something different: a romantic comedy with a stellar cast and a massive heart.

10. Sailing a Sinking Sea – Interesting

This experimental documentary, which premiered at SXSW, looks at the traditional lifestyle of the Moken people, a seafaring community of Burma and Thailand. Olivia Wyatt’s gorgeous and immersive film transports viewers deep into the turquoise sea and onto thirteen different islands, giving us intimate access to a culture where shamans, mermaids, and sea gods collide with present-day practices. Executive-produced by Will Oldham.

11. There is a long list of short series you MUST checkout! The animated, character study, international, and why do the WTF shorts run amok genres seems interesting.

12. Unexpected –

High-school science teacher Samantha (Cobie Smulders), already dealing with stress and uncertainty as her low-income school prepares to close, finds out she’s pregnant. When she discovers her favorite student Jasmine (Gail Bean) is also with child, the two form a tight and unconventional bond. From Kris Swanberg (whose earlier features Empire Builder and It was great, but I was ready to come home. both screened within MFF) comes this refreshing character study that mines honest emotions and the quiet battlefields of love and friendship for real beauty and insight.

13. Venice –

It’s payday, and three female coworkers at a hair salon in Havana head out for a night on the town, their moonlit partying encountering unexpected twists and yielding surprising personal revelations. This exciting independent Cuban/Colombian co-production not only gives us rare access to an insider’s view of Havana, it also displays a refreshingly frank and empowered take on female sexuality.

I didn’t expect to be interested in so many. Oh well, hopefully my wallet can handle it. I’ll let you know which one I watch along with my reviews. I will be scheduling movies through the meetup group Baltimore Indie & Foreign Films.

 

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