As the 2012 Maryland Film Festival starts tonight (gulp), let’s step up our programmer’s picks. Here’s not two, but three new picks from MFF Director of Programming Eric Hatch.
WILD IN THE STREETS
Those who know me know that I wouldn’t be recommending a sports documentary unless it was something special. WILD IN THE STREETS is something special. Since medieval times, hundreds of people in the small UK town of Ashbourne have played a game. Anything goes for days, as massive swarms of people huddle a ball to goals miles away. Meanwhile, the game fights for survival as suburban homogenization creeps into the area. This very cool documentary is, on some level, about an all-consuming passion for sport, and appealing so, but the larger issues of community and tradition hold a universal appeal. WILD IN THE STREETS plays on Friday 5/4 at 7:00pm at the WindUp Space and again on Saturday 5/5 at 1:30pm at the Charles Theater.
SUN DON’T SHINE
If you share my fascination with ’60s and ’70s renegade filmmaking, well… this one’s for us. Director Amy Seimetz (who co-starred in MFF 2011’s SMALL POND, among many other credits in front of the camera) cites inspirations like A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, and it shows. This sweaty, grimy, swampy underground thriller is Florida-set and 16mm-shot, and would, not incidentally, pair very well with John Waters’ MFF 2012 pick, Barbara Loden’s 1970 feature, WANDA. SUN DON’T SHINE plays on Friday 5/4 at 5:00pm and again on Saturday 5/5 at 7:30pm at the Charles Theater.
COME BACK, AFRICA
Those who caught ON THE BOWERY, the 1950s docu-fiction piece that played recently as part of the ever-excellent Revival Series at the Charles Theater, might be amazed that COME BACK, AFRICA comes from the same director. But Lionel Rogosin helmed this South African film, perhaps best-known for its break-out musical performances by Miriam Makeba, just three years after his stark New York-set drama. Both films were shot on location with a mixture of professional and amateur performers, with beautiful results. We’re very proud to be showcasing a beautifully restored 35mm print of this anti-Apartheid classic, to be presented by our friends Amy Heller and Dennis Doros of Milestone Films, who also brought us 2007’s restored print of KILLER OF SHEEP.
– Eric Hatch, Director of Programming