By Erin Whitney | Indiewire May 8, 2013 at 11:53AM
"Drinking Buddies" (Joe Swanberg) NY Premiere Narrative *Outdoor screening with Rooftop Films
The ever-prolific Joe Swanberg (who has directed 15 films in less than a decade) delivers this seductive rom-com, a departure from his previous work. At a Chicago microbrewery, smitten coworkers Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson, Safety Not Guaranteed) are a little too friendly considering they’re both unavailable: Kate keeps it casual with gregarious rich guy Chris (Ron Livingston), while Luke’s longtime sweetheart (Anna Kendrick) has marriage on the brain. When all four go on a camping trip, this frothy romance turns into something a lot harder to swallow. A Magnolia Pictures release. Available on VOD July 25 and in theaters August 23.
"God Loves Uganda" (Roger Ross Williams) NY Premiere Documentary
Shifting between Kansas City and Uganda, this provocative exposé reveals the inner workings of a
group of American missionaries who have instilled a virulently conservative ideology in Uganda by
influencing public policy. Their mission is to eradicate “sexual sin” with abstinence-only sex education
and the brutal punishment of homosexuality. Fueled by outrage and with a sharp journalistic alertness
to his complex subject, Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams has already stirred controversy
with this powerful polemic.
"Hellaware" (Michael M. Bilandic) World Premiere Narrative
Aspiring but less than ambitious photographer Nate (Keith Poulson, Somebody Up There Likes Me)
clumsily navigates the New York City art world in a post-grad haze, waiting for his breakthrough project
to fall into his lap. During a drug-fueled wormhole through the annals of YouTube, Nate discovers his
next subjects when an arbitrary click lands him on a crude music video by the Young Torture Killaz—an
Insane Clown Posse knock-off group of jaded Delaware teens with a lot to scream about—and the
inspiration (and exploitation) flows. BAMcinemaFest alumnae Kate Lyn Sheil and Sophia Takal (Green)
co-star in this satirical snapshot of NYC pretention.
"I Used to be Darker" (Matthew Porterfield) NY Premiere Narrative
After a seaside summer gone sour, Northern Irish runaway Taryn crashes in on the end of her aunt and
uncle’s marriage while seeking solace in their Baltimore home. Drawing inspiration from Bill Callahan’s
song “Jim Cain”—“I used to be darker, then I got lighter, then I got dark again / Something too big to be seen was passing over and over me”—Porterfield (Putty Hill, BAMcinemaFest 2010) confronts the pain of a family’s dissolution in the form of this naturalistic, lo-fi musical. A Strand Releasing film.
"It Felt Like Love" (Eliza Hittman) NY Premiere Narrative
Evoking the unsentimental honesty of Maurice Pialat and Catherine Breillat, Brooklyn native Eliza
Hittman’s debut feature explores feelings of fear and shame that tend to be elided in more conventional coming-of-age films. During an uneventful summer, lonely Lila develops an unhealthy fixation on an older thug. Deluded and awkward in her romantic pursuit, she soon finds herself in a dangerously vulnerable situation. Set in South Brooklyn, Hittman’s film offers a glimpse of a local milieu that is often overlooked by the borough’s indie movement.
"Mother of George" (Andrew Dosunmu) NY Premiere Narrative
In a flurry of dazzling colors, textiles, music, and dance, Brooklyn restaurant owner Ayodele and his
bride Adenike (The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira) are married and ceremoniously blessed with
traditional Nigerian prayers of fertility. Immersed in the vibrant culture of Crown Heights’ Yoruba
community, Adenike struggles to conceive a child, and with mounting pressure from her oppressive
mother-in-law, she must take drastic measures to save her marriage. With sumptuous, spellbinding
cinematography from DP Bradford Young (Pariah, Middle of Nowhere), Andrew Dosunmu’s (Restless
City) exquisite sophomore feature is an enlightening look at immigrant life. An Oscilloscope
"Museum Hours" (Jem Cohen) NY Premiere Narrative
Infused with a sense of wonder at art’s ability to console in times of darkness, acclaimed media artist
Jem Cohen’s breakthrough feature film captures the beauty of Vienna in winter from the perspective of
two unlikely new friends. A Canadian woman (singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara) comes to visit
an ailing family member and finds solace in the majestic Kunsthistorisches Art Museum, where she
meets a soft-spoken middle-aged guard who offers to keep her company on her trip. As they stroll
through the city streets, observing how the paintings of the Old Masters reverberate throughout the
snow-covered landscape, their meandering conversation gives way to candid exchanges on art, grief,
and love. A Cinema Guild release. Opens June 28 at IFC Center.
"Newlyweeds" (Shaka King) NY Premiere Narrative
Rent-to-own repo man Lyle and his girlfriend Nina are a Brooklyn couple united through a deep and meaningful love of plants—specifically, the fragrant, desiccated kind that you pack into a pipe and puff on. Dispassionately whiling away their days at their jobs and spending evenings in an amorous haze, the wake-and-bake lovebirds must reevaluate their relationship and their lifestyle after a rambling and episodic comedy of errors, rife with jealousy and poor judgment. With a vaporous mix of tones and emotional shifts, this stoner comedy cum melodrama is no cautionary tale or screed against (or for) mary jane, but ultimately a bittersweet tale about how this couple deals with life and love once the smoke clears. A Phase 4 Films release. Opens August 9.
"Northern Light" (Nick Bentgen) NY Premiere Documentary
From the frozen woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula emerge three families, each weathering the
challenges of recession-era America while preparing for the Sault Ste. Marie I-500, an annual
snowmobile marathon. First-time director Bentgen’s gentle observational gaze and meticulously
framed, breathtaking images form the nexus of this nuanced portrait of Midwestern working-class life.
An official selection of True/False and Hot Docs and winner of Most Innovative Feature Film at Visions
"Remote Area Medical" (Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) NY Premiere Documentary
Amid the nation’s ongoing debate over health care reform, this bracing new documentary examines the
everyday realities of Americans who lack access to affordable medical treatment. Filmed during three
days in the operation of a “no-cost” clinic set up annually at Bristol, Tennessee’s NASCAR speedway,
Remote Area Medical documents the range of medical care the eponymous organization provides to
low-income patients in the heart of Appalachia. In the process, this moving film and winner of the
Special Jury Prize at IFF Boston, reveals the spirit of a community, the fragility of the human body, and
the inequality of our broken health care system.
"The Spectacular Now" (James Ponsoldt) NY Premiere Narrative *Spotlight screening at the BAM Harvey Theater
In this bittersweet coming-of-age dramedy from the writers of (500) Days of Summer, sociable high
schooler Sutter (relative newcomer Miles Teller, in a magnetic performance) is endlessly charming and
effortlessly popular—never mind that he is also arrogant and reckless and possibly an alcoholic, forever nursing a whiskey-infused 7-11 beverage cup. After a post-breakup all-night binge, he wakes up on the lawn of his classmate Aimee (Shailene Woodley, The Descendants)—a sweet, uncorrupted, and whip- smart girl with spirited ambition despite her uncool status—and the pair instantly connect, for better or worse. Funny and tender with moments of astonishing tragedy, the film co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). An A24 release. Opens August 2.
"These Birds Walk" (Omar Mullick & Bassam Tariq) NY Premiere Documentary
Pushing cinema vérité to its raw emotional limits, this hard-bitten portrait of Karachi’s underclass is also an ode to the beauty and anguish of childhood that has earned it comparisons to François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. For their extraordinary debut feature, Mullick and Tariq traveled to Pakistan to raise awareness about the work of aging humanitarian Abdul Satar Edhi, the man behind the nation’s largest philanthropic organization. Immersing themselves in the lives of the countless runaways crowding Edhi’s orphanages, they emerged with this heartbreaking chronicle of poverty and street life seen through the eyes of the young and vulnerable, with a lyricism that honors the resilience of its subjects. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release.
In this reflective and absorbing drama, a divorced middle-aged Australian expat (Paul Eenhorn), adrift in his adopted country, moves to Reno, where he takes a job at a Christian charity that eases newly released prisoners back into society. Through this work he meets just-released felon Travis (Richmond Arquette), who is struggling to adjust to the world after 12 years in prison. Finding kinship in their shared feeling of being lost, the two men form an unlikely friendship. Understated, affecting performances by the two leads and a rigorous aesthetic earned this gem the Best of NEXT Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. A Monterey Media release.
"White Reindeer" (Zach Clark) NY Premiere Narrative
A bittersweet, subversive take on the holiday genre that’s drawn comparisons to John Waters and
Douglas Sirk, White Reindeer follows a shell-shocked real estate agent (BAMcinemaFest alum Anna
Margaret Hollyman, Gayby) who grapples with personal tragedy while fumbling to let loose among the
strip clubs, department stores, and swinging new neighbors during one sad, strange December in
suburban Virginia. An official selection of SXSW and winner of Best Feature at the Boston Underground