This doc details the balmy Mississippi summer of 1964, when large-scale protests swelled, were brutally quelled, and then swelled again, all in the name of equal voting rights for all. The film is an apt selection for 2014, 50 years after civil rights activists bloomed in full force all over the United States.
Directed by Allan Luebke
One of two documentaries at MFF this year to focus on mixed martial arts fighting, Glena tells the story of one of female MMA’s stars, Glena Avila, a single mother who works multiple jobs and pummels people on the side. Avila will be on hand for the film’s screening.
Directed by Joe Swanberg
Mumblecore luminary Joe Swanberg (whose Drinking Buddies played last year’s MFF) directs this film about an uncomfortable holiday experience centered on Jenny, played by Anna Kendrick. Jenny makes things awkward for everyone, inserting herself where she doesn’t belong and dragging skeletons from out of the closet. Using Swanberg’s own house as the set and casting some of his family members, the film is close to home even as the director’s fame gets bigger and bigger.
Directed by Kat Candler
Thirteen-year-old Jacob is a bad kid. He’s destructive and angry, and failing at school. His father (played fittingly enough by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul) has no investment in his family life, making matters worse and effectively forcing Jacob to parent his younger brother. Juliette Lewis plays the boys’ aunt in this drama with hints of dark humor.
HE WHO GETS SLAPPED (presented by the Alloy Orchestra)
Directed by Victor Sjostrom
The Alloy Orchestra, who creates original scores for silent films, revisits the MFF, this time backing this strange 1924 film (adapted from a Russian play) starring Lon Chaney as a disgraced man who becomes a clown that gets smacked over and over again in a reenactment of his fall from grace.
THE HIP-HOP FELLOW*
Directed by Kenneth Price
Maybe those kids over at Harvard need some street smarts included in all that book learning: Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kenneth Price follows 9th Wonder, a hip-hop producer who now teaches a class called “The Standards of Hip Hop” at one of the country’s most prestigious schools.
I PLAY WITH THE PHRASE EACH OTHER*
Directed by Jay Alvarez
A small-town dude moves to the city at the behest of his friend, only to find that the friend has disappeared. He has a terrible fear of radiation in the air, and the whirring and buzzing of the city exacerbates his paranoia. Oh yeah, and the entirety of director Jay Alvarez’s feature debut unfolds via cellphone conversations.
KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER*
Directed by David Zellner
A Japanese girl (played by Rinko Kikuchi) becomes obsessed with the possibility that the buried treasure in her VHS copy of Fargo is real. She travels to the States and into that frigid Midwestern winter in order to find the booty that gives her life meaning in the latest output from the Zellner brothers.
Directed by Sara Colangelo
Recent history has not been kind to West Virginia, which for the last 40 years or so has been experiencing the worst symptoms of late-stage capitalism. Sara Colangelo’s film follows a slew of great movies made in the past decade about the woes of the Appalachians. When a mining accident rocks a tiny mountain town, lone survivor Amos (played by newcomer Boyd Holbrook) must face the questions of the families that the dead left behind.
Directed by Slava Tsukerman
Directed by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez