Most directors would be happy with just getting one film screened at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, but filmmaker Josephine Decker has two unspooling — “Thou Wast Mild & Lovely” and “Butter on the Latch.” And Christoph Terhecte, Lead Programmer of the Berlinale Forum Section where the films will play, has a simple reason why both movies are getting space: “I haven’t seen such a powerful filmmaking in a long time.”
In “Thou Wast Mild & Lovely,” Decker turns the camera on star Joe Swanberg, after appearing in his films “Uncle Kent,” “Autoerotic” and “Art History.” Here, she tells a “East Of Eden“-inspired story set in the blue hills of Kentucky, centering on a father and daughter whose world is turned upside down upon the arrival of a young farmhand. Sophie Traub and Robert Longstreet co-star in the film.
Meanwhile, in “Butter on the Latch” — already listed by Film Comment as one of the Best Undistributed Films of 2013 — she gathers together Sarah Small, Isolde Chae-Lawrence and Charlie Hewson to present the tale of Sarah and Isolde, two friends who reunite during their stay at a Balkan music camp in the beautiful woods of Mendocino, California, only to find things go south with the arrival of a handsome fellow camper.
With both films described as sensuous, subtly dangerous and boundary pushing, Decker and her films should be one to keep an eye out for in Berlin and over the coming year. The Berlin International Film Festival kicks off on February 6th. Pics and the beautifully illustrated posters for each movie below.