Posts Tagged 'Kate Lyn Sheil'

MFF Programming Team Reports Back from TIFF 2013!


L to R: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Kelly Reichardt at TIFF 2013 NIGHT MOVES Q & A. Photo by Scott Braid.

Greetings from Toronto, where the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing. Each year Maryland Film Festival’s programming team heads to TIFF to take the pulse of the current world-cinema scene and scout films to bring back to Baltimore—conveniently, just as our own 2014 call for entries has launched.

As TIFF 2013 reaches its midpoint, our programmers are well on their way to watching ~40 films apiece in our quest to bring home another Dogtooth or Post Tenebras Lux. Here are some first reactions to films that may be of particular interest to MFF fans:



CLUB SANDWICH—From Mexico comes a coming-of-age story that has as much to say about parenthood as it does adolescence. The plot is very simple: a 40-something mother and her shy teenaged son, who have an unusually close relationship, vacation at a motel during its off-season. Mother and son enjoy a relaxed stay together, lounging by the pool, ordering room service, playing board games, and nurturing a rapport that’s half bickering, half affectionate teasing. But when another family arrives with a teenaged daughter who is just a bit older and more experienced, the two teenagers develop a flirtation—to both the bemusement and consternation of the boy’s mother. MFF followers may remember director Fernando Eimbcke from 2009’s Lake Tahoe; here he has developed a delightfully deadpan look at the first fumblings of love—and a mother’s unexpected reactions—that stands as his warmest, richest, and funniest film yet.



NIGHT MOVESKelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy; MFF 2011’s Meek’s Cutoff) returns with a quiet but riveting character study energized by extremely gripping thriller notes. Night Moves’ intimate tone will be familiar to followers of Reichardt’s work, but it also organically broadens her usual narrative scope as it tells its story of militant environmental activists who band together to plot the destruction of a river dam in Oregon. Jesse Eisenberg gives a restrained but winning central performance as a brooding young man whose actions steer him into unexpectedly gray moral territories; his bold performance sheds his usual persona as effectively as Michelle Williams did hers to star in Reichardt’s last two features. Where recent art-house thriller The East portrayed a similar subculture with cartoonish strokes, Night Moves counters with deep, knowing realism, fleshing out true-to-life personalities and dilemmas. As with all of Reichardt’s films, the natural world of the Pacific Northwest comes alive on screen to serve as more than mere setting, factoring heavily into the narrative and the poetically presented inner worlds of these characters.



THE SACRAMENT—The new thriller from Ti West (House of the Devil) is built around a veritable who’s who of familiar MFF faces, including Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kentucker Audley, and Kate Lyn Sheil. As a fashion photographer (Audley) becomes increasingly worried about his sister, who’s joined a communal family as a means to escape her problems with addiction, he invites a Vice crew (including cameraman Swanberg) to visit the commune with him. There we meet his sister (Seimetz) and a diverse, seemingly harmonious cluster of family members who swear they made the right decision in shedding their belongings to live together with their new “Father.” But as the story deepens–with nods to both The Source Family and Jonestown–some disturbing horrors come to the surface.  West’s latest boasts a riveting payoff, not to mention excellent performances from all.

Still ahead this week are the latest from master filmmakers Claire Denis, Tsai Ming-liang, and Hong Sang-soo; new films from the directors of MFF sleepers Daytime Drinking and Blind Loves; the highly buzzed, fresh-from-Cannes thriller Blue Ruin by MFF alum Jeremy Saulnier (director of MFF 2007’s Murder Party; cinematographer of such films as Septien and I Used to Be Darker); and almost certainly some under-the-radar discoveries from newcomers.  With the festival’s annual “City to City” program focusing on the explosion of intriguing films coming from Greece, we have our hands full: indeed, when all’s said and done we’ll have viewed nearly 100 films from all corners of the globe. Stay tuned for more TIFF updates from MFF’s programming team, and thanks for reading!

MFF Alum Kate Lyn Sheil Joins Season Two of Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’!

Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley in SUN DON'T SHINE.

Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley in SUN DON’T SHINE.

While her SUN DON’T SHINE director Amy Seimetz can currently be seen in AMC’s “The Killing” and HBO’s “Family Tree,” Kate Lyn Sheil will soon be seen in television project of her own.

Well, if we can classify it as TV — Sheil, a prolific indie actress who in the last few years has starred in THE COLOR WHEEL, V/H/S, GREEN, SILVER BULLETS, THE COMEDY, and many more, has joined the cast of season two of Netflix’s political drama “House of Cards.”

Click here to find out more on!

MFF Staff with Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil at SUN DON’T SHINE

Scott Braid, Eric Hatch, Jed Dietz, Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil.

Scott Braid, Eric Hatch, Jed Dietz, Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil.

MFF staff including Programming Administrator Scott Braid, Director of Programming Eric Hatch, and Director Jed Dietz with Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil at the screening of SUN DON’T SHINE last night.  Zachary Treitz’ short film WE’RE LEAVING screened in the MFF 2011 Opening Night Shorts Program.  Kate Lyn Sheil starred in SUN DON’T SHINE and has acted in several other MFF-screened films including THE COMEDY, V/H/S, EMPIRE BUILDER and THE COLOR WHEEL, among others.

MFF Presents SUN DON’T SHINE with special guest Kate Lyn Sheil on 4/3!

Sun Don't ShineAmy Seimetzs brilliant psychological thriller SUN DON’T SHINE, a massive hit at Maryland Film Festival 2012, returns to Baltimore for one screening only! Joining us as a special guest will be star Kate Lyn Sheil! Tickets are $7 for the general public, and FREE to current Friends of the Festival, MICA and JHU Students (with ID).   Click here for more information.

Maryland Film Festival presents SUN DON’T SHINE
Wednesday 4/3
MICA Brown Center
1301 W. Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD
$7/Free for Friends of the Festival, MICA and JHU Students (with ID)!

“[A] wondrously accomplished and furiously expressive drama blending the moody rambles of a road movie with the tightly ratcheted criminal tension of a film noir.”–Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Each year produces a handful of daring films that not only challenge audiences, but also set the independent filmmaking community on fire. A gritty and grimy outsider thriller that exists in a perpetual state of panic, SUN DON’T SHINE emphatically belongs in that exclusive category, a film that needs to be seen and discussed.

MFF audience favorites Kentucker Audley (BAD FEVER) and Kate Lyn Sheil (THE COMEDY and V/H/S) star as a young couple pushed to the brink by extreme circumstances. As they drive through the sweat and murk of Florida, it becomes clear that they’re on the run—perhaps from their own miasma of ever-escalating jealousies and paranoia as much as from a shared terrible secret.

Every aspect of this production is top-notch, from the perpetual-motion-machine performances by Audley and Sheil to the moody and evocative 16mm cinematography. As with the beautifully abrasive provocations that are The Brown Bunny and Frownland, SUN DON’T SHINE seems to spring simultaneously from some ecstatic 1970s cinema wasteland and the present-day vanguard, even as it mounts a winning case for its own timelessness. Recently revived cinema treasures like Zulawski’s POSSESSION and Loden’s WANDA (John Waters’ pick for MFF 2012) are other rare anchors of orientation for this free and unfettered work.

-Eric Allen Hatch, MFF Director of Programming

MFF Alum, Filmmakers, and Writers on Zulawski’s strange POSSESSION!


Andrzej Zulawski’s 1981 art-house horror film POSSESSION lands in Baltimore for three screenings over the next week as part of The Revival Series at The Charles Theater.  It’s not a film for everyone, especially not the faint of heart. But MFF director of programming Eric Allen Hatch cites the film as a favorite, combining some of the best elements of such dark and brooding filmmakers as Kubrick, Fassbinder, Cronenberg, and Breillat. In celebration of the restored, uncut 35mm print of the film finally landing in town, he asked some MFF filmmaker alum and Baltimore-based culture writers who have been affected by the film to share their thoughts.

********NOTE: Minor SPOILERS and unfettered language follow***********


POSSESSION changed the way I thought about performance in film. Isabelle Adjani is so believably explosive in every scene; swinging recklessly from performance art to painfully personal direct address. The entire film feels very dangerous, in the best possible way, and also happens to contain some of the most haunting images I’ve ever seen on screen. Go see this movie! Even if you hate it, it’ll be a worthwhile experience.


JOHN BERNDT, Baltimore cultural force of nature (RED ROOM, HIGH ZERO, BERNDT GROUP)

Zulawski’s POSSESSION is exactly what every narrative film should be from my perspective: A remake of Antonioni’s RED DESERT as if directed by David Cronenberg and shot in 80’s Berlin, with an ambiguous and vertiginous craziness that borders on unique irresponsibility. For instance, Isabelle Adjani having a miscarriage in the subway (one of the greatest scenes ever shot); creeping things that seem more at home in the first ALIEN film; Sam Neil going berserk in a rocking chair. Add to it an unforgettably sleazy German guru named “Heinrich” who evokes the best of Klaus Kinski and Brother Theodore at once without a trace of humor, and you have a film that flawlessly, effortless makes no sense and is thoroughly turgid and creepy for 127 minutes without being boring or lapsing into self-parody—a movie that can only expand your mind, and, well, make you feel weird.



There is no classification for Possession– that would mean order, boundaries, rules.

There is no order when you’ve got the devil inside. 

If you’d like to meet the devil—and I do have a strange fascination with meeting the beast—go home and play a record backwards and draw pentagrams with marker on your floor and read Faust

If you’d like to wildly make love to the devil– go see Possession

It is one of the most influential works for me in its tenor and ability to transcend logic… yet it disturbingly makes sense… 

I was trying to end with a sentence that summed up its influence, but that would be too logical.



“Possession by Andrzej Zulawski: Histrionics, Surveillance, and Sex”

Possession validates the histrionics and explores the shattered subjectivities that arise when relationships fail. I’ve read the “histrionics” framing of Possession in another review, I don’t remember who wrote it, but it really hit me personally so I’m adhering to it. Having a split subjectivity, that of being both the subject and the object of one’s own existence, the do-er and the done to, the private and the watched, the surveilled and the self-policed, is a familiar phenomena of embodiment. Zulawski uses Cold War-era Berlin as a grey backdrop, the postmodern police state in which omniscience itself is problematic, and all the colors and moods of identity, of existence, are oppressed by the greyness of the eye of the State. Possession exists in the place where divorce meets war. The self is split between its own perception and its knowledge of being perceived, and there is a violence implicit in both ends of this perception. This type of subjectivity can be doubled, or at least magnified, when in a relationship with an other, and Isabelle Adjani’s performance of Anna brutally displays outwardly that inner breaking of glass, slamming of bones, slitting of throats, destruction of restaurants, and various forms of public bleeding that occur within some of us when those relationships fail, and those subjectivities no longer split but literally shatter, becoming other people, self- abusive, bleeding, screaming, homicidal freaks who in the case of Possession have demonic meltdowns on train platforms and give birth to tentacled monsters. To any onlooker this behavior is histrionic. It is thus doubtlessly seen as histrionic to the object-identified self, resulting in an endless cycle of self-conscious and self-aware hysteria, paranoia, panic, and self-inflicted pain. “Histrionic” is a word with a historical and linguistic attachment to women. Anna is desperate, violent, maniacal, cruel, sadistic, masochistic, ridiculous, validation-seeking, neglectful, incoherent, obscene and ultimately selfish but never whiny or insincere. Anna’s behavior takes her figural, inner subjective experience outward, into the literal world. Her miscarriage of faith is both an actual miscarriage and the birth of a monster, a better monster than the options already in place for her. Her histrionics are valid, as those from whom she seeks to free herself have not experienced her without sexual benefit or archetypal male indulgence.

Anna is involved with two men: a seemingly static, stable, gentle husband; and a lascivious, narcissistic lover with more muscle than substance. Though seemingly opposite archetypes, both men are too thoroughly self-impressed with their own neuroses to understand what she is actually up to, and what’s going on in the part of her that is not surveilled by an outer other. All she really wants is to be holed up in a dirty warehouse with a bandage on her throat and a private monster who will fuck her and expect nothing. With no one watching. No police, no children, no husband, no lover, no art, no dancing, no closet, no refrigerator, no groceries, no combing of hair. This woman wants to be left alone to experience her own sex. Is this kind of sex possible in the postmodern police state? Have we been watched, judged, aestheticized, fetishized, and physically tormented by the social construction of relationships to the point that our desires no longer have a home within a realist framework? Must the fantasy of being both alone and having the availability of an accessible state of pleasure be manifest through inhuman form? And if so, how do we keep these forms alive?




There’s nothing I admire more than a filmmaker who takes risks to visualize our darkest fears and anxieties. You will never see another film that even compares to the raw performances and visceral filmmaking techniques that Zulawski employs in Possession, the most epic story of obsession.

Zulawski’s Possession lays bare the unfiltered intensity of emotions that people go through during a breakup. As a filmmaker, he is able to transform us into a world where falling out of love feels like the apocalypse. The landscapes in Possession even match the characters’ dismal feelings about each other. This film is probably the most important cautionary tale about addiction.

Being in love is like a drug. And once that drug is taken away from us, we want it back and will go to all lengths in order to do so, even if the other person is not the same person we fell in love with in the first place. This film shows the horrors that happen when someone clings to a love that no longer exists.

It is no surprise to me that Possession is Zulawski’s most personal film. Films are therapy for the soul, and what better way to exert one’s destructive feelings than to do so on the big screen rather than in real life. I happened to be going through a breakup when I first saw Possession, and it struck a nerve. All the difficulties of moving on from a person were outwardly and explicitly exposed on the screen: the ugliness, the horror, the withdrawal, and the feelings of being torn up from the inside. As soon as love is stripped away from us, we try to solve the mystery of how such a thing could occur. At the core, Possession is a mystery about finding out what causes such a love to disappear, but the real horror is ultimately realizing that there is no answer to this impossible question.

There are many films about disintegrating marriages, but none that show the extreme inhumanity of possessive love as much as this film does. As such, the term “possessive love” is an oxymoron because it is clear that love does not exist when someone tries to possess another person, even more so when that person is clearly possessed by someone (or something) else. I won’t even mention what creature possesses Isabelle Adjani in this film— you just have to see for yourself.

This movie has clearly possessed me and is a masterpiece that everyone should see, especially for anyone who has ever gambled on love and lost big time.

For the broken hearted,

Love always,

But not in an addictive junkie way,

Lauren Wolkstein


MFF Alums Prevail at the 2012 SXSW Film Awards!

SXSW unveiled the majority of their 2012 film awards last night at an awards ceremony hosted by comedian Doug Benson, with many MFF alums taking home awards.

The Audience Award for Narrative Feature in Competition went to Megan GriffithsEDEN. Griffiths has worked as assistant director on several MFF titles, including THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM (2011) and ZOO (2007).

Griffiths also took home one of two Chicken & Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director awards. The other went to Amy Seimetz for her first feature as director, SUN DON’T SHINE. Seimetz co-directed the MFF 2009 short ROUND TOWN GIRLS, and is perhaps best known as an actress featured in, among many other MFF titles, THE DISH & THE SPOON and SMALL POND. SUN DON’T SHINE will also be of interest to MFF audiences for its stars, MFF alum Kentucker Audley (BAD FEVER) and Kate Lyn Sheil (GREEN).

MFF alums also fared well in the awards for short films. The SXSW Wholphin award went to MFF faves Josh and Benny Safdie for their short THE BLACK BALLOON, and the Texas Shorts award went to Annie Silverstein for her short SPARK, shot by Nathan Duncan (director of MFF 2011’s experimental short GHOST MALL).

The audience awards for other categories (including Midnighters and Emerging Visions) will continue to be unveiled throughout the week. Meanwhile, with many filmmakers leaving town and the music conference quite literally taking over Austin, now through the weekend become prime days for dedicated film lovers to take advantage of shorter lines. At 16 films into my goal of 30+, one such film-goer signing off.

– Eric Allen Hatch, Director of Programming