Director Tsai-Ming Liang is famous for his long takes, and Stray Dogs is no exception. This slow film centers on a homeless man who has taken on the role of unofficial guardian to two wayward children. He makes a little money as a dancing billboard guys during the day, and at night he and the children try to find shelter from the ever-present rain.
SUMMER OF BLOOD*
Directed by Onur Tukel
Brooklyn-based nobody Erik (played by the director himself) is adrift in a world of non-commitment and ennui. His girlfriend is too good to him, but he screws it up, and she leaves. Erik commences upon a series of botched hook-up attempts before he is approached by a stranger that changes his path.
Directed by Josephine Decker
When Akin (played by the director of another MFF 2014 film, Joe Swanberg) is hired as a seasonal laborer on Jeremiah’s farm, sexual tension mounts between him and the farmer’s daughter. Weeks pass and the electricity only heightens, until unbeknownst to him, Akin’s wife and child come to visit him.
THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA*
Directed by Jessica Oreck
This documentary attempts to create a narrative from the many stories about mythical witch Baba Yaga, whose presence is described throughout rural Eastern Europe. Director Jessica Oreck uses multiple genres of film here, including animation and experimental film, to provide a look at the region beyond just its folklore, and into the societal factors that mark its everyday life.
WATER LIKE STONE*
Directed by Zack Godshall and Michael Pasquier
The coastline of Louisiana is experiencing much of the same type of land loss to erosion as many places on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Every time a big storm rolls around wetlands, beaches, and even graveyards are lost to the tides. This documentary explores the annual loss occurring in this region, one that unfortunately will become more common as climate change continues.
WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. JAMES J. BULGER*
Directed by Joe Berlinger
Whitey Bulger was the head of a huge crime racket in Boston which included racially motivated political corruption, intimidation, and many murders. He was captured after decades on the run in 2011, and convicted and sentenced last year at the age of 84. This doc tells the story of his rise, his flight, and his fall.
WHO TOOK JOHNNY*
Directed by David Beilinson, Michael Galinsky, and Suki Hawley
Directed by Lawrence Michael Levine
Barri’s neighbor just died, and she’s not sure that it was from natural causes. She sets out to figure out the circumstances of the death, dragging along her fiancé and their roommate (played by Arrested Development alum Alia Shawkat), who may have stronger feelings for Barri than a good roommate should.
YOUNG BODIES HEAL QUICKLY
Directed by Andrew T. Betzer