Posts Tagged 'Paradise: Faith'

MFF Programmer Scott Braid reports on the 2013 Provincetown International Film Festival

It’s not easy to find yourself back in the balmy heat of Baltimore (no matter how much you love the city), after 5 days of the most beautiful weather imaginable, in one of the most beautiful locales imaginable. Add to that, the opportunity to watch great movies with some of the greatest cinematic talents living today, and you’ve got one splendid working vacation.Image

So it was with my 5 day excursion to the very tippy-top of Cape Cod and the wonderful and welcoming Provincetown, Massachusettes with its annual Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF). This was my second year attending the amiable and well-run festival at land’s end and it was a doozy of a year, featuring a bevy of unbelievable cinematic talent including Harmony Korine, Todd Haynes, Mary Harron, legendary cinematographer Ed Lachman. Baltimore’s own John Waters also plays a central role in the festivities, much as he does for MFF. Among his many duties within the fest, Mr. Waters shares the same film that he presented to MFF audiences with the P-Town crowd. For the PIFF screening of Ulrich Seidl’s PARADISE: FAITH, Mr. Waters was joined by legendary Director of Photography, Ed Lachman. Lachman shot the entire PARADISE trilogy and in addition to this recent work with Seidl, has worked with the likes of Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Godard, and Larry Clark, to name but a few. Waters and Lachman gave a rousing post-screening Q&A which I had the good fortune to record and can be seen here:

Lachman was in attendance to receive PIFF’s Career Achievement Award, which was presented in a special conversation/ceremony with film critic B. Ruby Rich. That same event saw John Waters in conversation with cinema wunderkind, Harmony Korine (SPRING BREAKERS, GUMMO), who was presented with PIFF’s Filmmaker On The Edge Award. The conversation between Waters and Korine was a lively and entertaining one, which covered Korine’s filmmaking career and some of his more notorious acts in front of the camera and in his personal life. More about the conversation from The Film Society at Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez here.

Below – (l to r) Honorees Ed Lachman and Harmony Korine with John Waters. (photo by Bruce Gilbert)Image

While both of the conversations were highly informative and great fun, the real reason to go to any film festival is to watch films, and PIFF 2013 offered up an interesting selection of greats from the festival circuit. Giving me a chance to catch up on some of the titles I’ve been eager to see from Sundance and some things I missed at SXSW back in March.  The highlights of my viewing  (in no particular order) were as follows:

HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION, a fascinating and artful portrait of the legendary actor, which eschews a by-the-numbers recounting of his career for a more poetic and philosophical character study, a soul-penetrating look at the man behind some of the most memorable performances in cinema history. Stanton is a fascinating and charming subject from the outset, but his openness allows the filmmaker to dig deeper, discovering a discontented loner where most would expect to find a man who has lived all of his dreams. Stanton’s true passion is music (a career he has never realized) and the film is suffused with his melancholy singing, revealing as much about the man as any of the interviews do. Well worth a look to fans and non-fans alike.

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS by MFF alum and host of MFF 2013’s Opening Night Shorts Program, David Lowery, is every bit the beautifully crafted and fantastically acted work I expected from such a talented filmmaker. Favorable comparisons to BADLANDS and BONNIE AND CLYDE are apt but this film has a feel all its own and it leaves an indelible mark on the viewer. I’m still mauling over many fantastic sequences days later and there’s no sign that those scenes will stop popping into my mind anytime soon. Unfortunately, the film’s trip to Cannes precluded us from screening it within MFF 2013 but it will be a treat for Baltimore audiences when it hits screens here in the coming months. Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster all give fantastic heartfelt performances and the cinematography by Bradford Young (who won the prestigious Sundance Cinematography Award for both this film and MFF 2013 Closing Night film MOTHER OF GEORGE) is quite simply breathtaking.

As part of the honors bestowed upon Ed Lachman, the festival screened several works on which, he served as Director of Photography. Susan Seidleman’s 1985 film, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (starring then-newcomer Madonna and Rosanna Arquette) was one of the chosen films and initially I thought a ho-hum choice. But alas, after seeing the film’s visual splendor on the big screen and hearing Lachman talk about the choices he made in filming the work, I was forced to reconsider my near-lifelong blasé feelings towards it. It stands as a vibrant portrait of mid-80s New York City, with wonderful location photography and a who’s-who cast of Lower Eastside stalwarts of the time, including a pre-stardom John Turturro, character actor Will Patton (MFF 2011 alum), punk rock icon Richard Hell, as well as noted musicians John Lurie, and Arto Lindsay. It’s a fun movie and a smarter movie than most have given it credit for being. Below- Ed Lachman during the Q&A for DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN. Image CONTINENTAL by Malcolm Ingram is a fun and informative look at the culture surrounding the iconic Continental Bath House in late 60s/early 70s New York and its charismatic founder Steve Ostrow’s transformation from work-a-day business and family man, to gay culture icon and gay rights activist. The Continental Baths became one of THE places to go in 70s NYC and the night club therein launched the careers of mega-stars the likes of Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. A must-see for anyone interested in the history of gay culture in the U.S.

Below – MFF Programmer Scott Braid with CONTINENTAL director Malcolm Ingram. Image

GIDEON’S ARMY is the feature directorial debut of Dawn Porter and wow is it a powerful one! Porter follows a group of young public defenders in their quest to give the disenfranchised and poverty stricken a chance in a complex legal system all too often stacked against them. Porter’s expertly crafted film shows the ups and downs faced by this idealistic group of young lawyers as they face struggles of their own in the form of unjustly low pay, overwhelming caseloads and the emotional tolls of working with clients whose very lives and freedom depend on your performance. Wisemanesque in both the level of emotional wallop it packs and its finely crafted and largely observational style, Porter’s film is one that leaves you overwhelmed, both with outrage, at a system that disproportionately incarcerates minorities and the impoverished, and with gratitude for the work that these public defenders do, not for money, but because they are driven to give a fair shake to those who are so often chewed up and spit out by a flawed justice system.

In addition to catching a number of other screenings, I also had the pleasure of acting as guest host for a few, introducing the film and then hosting the Q&A afterwards. And, even with all of this movie-related activity, I still had time to enjoy all of the delicious food, wonderful nightlife and pristine beaches that P-Town has to offer. I can’t wait to report back from PIFF 2014!




Maryland Film Festival (May 8-12 in downtown Baltimore) is proud to announce our 2013 Opening Night Shorts program, an eclectic mix of work from an extremely talented array of filmmakers. Maryland Film Festival has played a special role in advocating for short-form film and video since the festival’s launch in 1999, and has dedicated each of its Opening Nights to short films since 2004. The MFF 2013 Opening Night Shorts program will take place Wednesday, May 8th at 8pm, in The Brown Center (1301 Mt. Royal Avenue) on the Maryland Institute College of Art campus.



Maryland Film Festival 2013’s Opening Night Shorts Films are:  Frances Bodomo’s Boneshaker, a drama about an African family lost in rural Alabama starring Quvenzhané Wallis (Academy Award nominee, Beasts of the Southern Wild); Grainger David’s The Chair, the story of one boy’s reaction to an outbreak of poisonous mold in his small town, nominated for Cannes 2012’s Short Film Palme d’or and winner of SXSW 2012’s Short Film Jury Prize;  Riley Stearns’ 16mm-shot The Cub, a note-perfect dark comedy about humans living amongst wolves that was nominated for Sundance 2013’s short-film grand-jury prize;  Dara Bratt’s observational documentary Flutter, a portrait of an ordinary man living in the extraordinary world of butterfly collecting; Chetin Chabuk’s Jujitsuing Reality, an inspiring documentary about Scott Lew, a screenwriter living with ALS; and Lauren Wolkstein’s elegant and sly Social Butterfly, in which a mysterious American woman (Anna Margaret Hollyman) arrives at a teenage party in the South of France.

In addition to approximately 50 feature films and this Opening Night program, Maryland Film Festival 2013 will include nine more programs of short films, totaling approximately 80 short films including comedy, drama, animation, documentary, and experimental work, as well as Maryland Film Festival’s signature, mind-bending “WTF Shorts” program. Other filmmakers with new short-film work in MFF 2013 include acclaimed filmmakers such as Tsai Ming-liang, Amy Seimetz, Clay Liford, Dustin Guy Defa, Kat Candler, Kelly Sears, Annie Silverstein, Steven Schardt and the team of Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer; shorts with performances from Martin Starr, Brie Larson, Kate Lyn Sheil, Will Oldham, and Tunde Adebimpe; and shorts from Baltimore-based directors such as Karen Yasinsky, Alan Resnick, Phil Davis, Lorenzo Gattorna, and the team of Nicholas Kovacic and Matthew Riggieri.

Maryland Film Festival’s Opening Night Shorts program is made possible by the generous support of the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

Maryland Film Festival has now announced the majority of its 2013 lineup, with the announcement of its 2013 Closing Night soon to come. A full list of the feature films announced for MFF 2013 follows:

12 O’CLOCK BOYS (Lotfy Nathan)

16 ACRES (Richard Hankin)


AFTER TILLER (Martha Shane and Lana Wilson)

AUGUSTINE (Alice Winocour)



BLUEBIRD (Lance Edmands)


BUTTER ON THE LATCH (Josephine Decker)


COMPUTER CHESS (Andrew Bujalski)

DOWNLOADED (Alex Winter)


FILL THE VOID (Rama Burshtein)

GOOD OL’ FREDA (Ryan White)

HERE COMES THE DEVIL (Adrián García Bogliano)

HIT & STAY (Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk)

I AM DIVINE (Jeffrey Schwarz)

I USED TO BE DARKER (Matt Porterfield)

IF WE SHOUT LOUD ENOUGH (Gabriel DeLoach and Zach Keifer)

IT FELT LIKE LOVE (Eliza Hittman)

LEVIATHAN (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel)

THE LOST WORLD (Harry O. Hoyt)


PARADISE: FAITH (Ulrich Seidl)

PARADISE: HOPE (Ulrich Seidl)

PARADISE: LOVE (Ulrich Seidl)


PIT STOP (Yen Tan)

POST TENEBRAS LUX (Carlos Reygadas)

PRINCE AVALANCHE (David Gordon Green)

THE RAMBLER (Calvin Reeder)

REMOTE AREA MEDICAL (Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman)

SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM (Lola Bessis and Ruben Amar)

A TEACHER (Hannah Fidell)


TOUCHY FEELY (Lynn Shelton)

V/H/S/2 (omnibus)

WATCHTOWER (Pelin Esmer)

WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS (AJ Schnack and David Wilson)

WILLOW CREEK (Bobcat Goldthwait)


ZERO CHARISMA (Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews)




Maryland Film Festival has just announced eight more feature films for its fifteenth edition, including legendary filmmaker John Waters’ selection, Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Faith. Each year Waters selects one favorite film to present to our audiences. This marks the first time Waters has selected a second title by the same director, having presented Seidl’s Dog Days within MFF 2004.

While Waters will host only Paradise: Faith, MFF 2013 will screen all three films in Seidl’s new Paradise trilogy: Paradise: Faith, Paradise: Hope, and Paradise: Love.  Alongside Waters’ selection, MFF has also announced the title for another signature event, our annual silent film with a live score performed by Alloy Orchestra: Harry O. Hoyt’s The Lost World (1925).

MFF 2013 will take place May 8-12 in downtown Baltimore. Lineup announcements will continue this week, including the festival’s Opening Night Shorts program and Closing Night title. Keep checking this blog for updates, and for all the latest information be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @MdFilmFestival!

The newly announced films for MFF 2013 are:



The Boy Eating the Bird’s Food (Ektoras Lygizos) The debut film from Ektoras Lygizos offers a modern re-imagination of Knut Hamsun’s classic novel Hunger, as an alienated loner tries to survive the bleak landscape of Athens in the wake of economic collapse.

Butter on the Latch (Josephine Decker) At a Balkan folk song and dance camp in the woods of Mendocino, California, Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde.  But when Sarah pursues a romance with a new camper, the nights of sensual secrets and singing with Isolde come to an abrupt end.



By and By: New Orleans Gospel at the Crossroads (Matthew T. Bowden & Joe Compton) Baltimore filmmakers Bowden and Compton’s documentary follows The Electrifying Crown Seekers, a family-based group that anchors a vibrant, under-the-radar gospel music community—even as changing tastes and the impact of Hurricane Katrina take a toll on performers and audiences alike.



The Lost World (Harry O. Hoyt) This landmark 1925 adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 fantasy novel concerns an expedition that sets out to prove that dinosaurs still walk the earth. Featuring a live original score performed by Alloy Orchestra.

Paradise: Faith (Ulrich Seidl) A middle-aged Austrian woman spends her spare time going door to door, trying to bring the Catholic faith into the homes of poor immigrants. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and presented within MFF as a favorite film by legendary filmmaker John Waters.



Paradise: Hope (Ulrich Seidl) Sent to a diet camp over her summer vacation, Austrian teen Melanie finds distraction in listening to accounts of the sexual escapades of the other girls in her dorm—as well as in her own ever-increasing infatuation with the camp doctor.

Paradise: Love (Ulrich Seidl) In the first installment of Seidl’s Paradise trilogy, a 50-year-old Austrian woman travels to Kenya to engage in sexual tourism. But as she becomes smitten with the young Kenyan men who compete for her attention, the power dynamic begins to shift.



Remote Area Medical (Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) Over three days in April 2012, Remote Area Medical, the pioneers of “no-cost” health care clinics, treated nearly 2000 patients on the infield of Bristol, Tennessee’s massive NASCAR speedway. This documentary takes an intimate look at the patients, the care providers, and the gap in public health that brought them together.