THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely
Directed by Josephine Decker
USA | 2014 | 79 min | thriller | English
When Akin arrives at the farm, he finds his job. This is what he expected to find. When Sarah opens her legs, she finds someone watching. This is what she expected to find. When Jeremiah opens his mouth, frightening things come out of it. This has come to be expected. But what happens by the creek next to the cow. This was not expected. Thou Wast Mild and Lovely is a highly intimate and subtly erotic thriller inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and featuring love, death, guns, goats, a farmer, his grown daughter and the secrets they no longer succeed in keeping.
Cast & Crew
Director: Josephine Decker
Screenplay: Josephine Decker, David Barker
Cinematography: Ashley Connor
Editing: Josephine Decker, David Barker, Steven Schardt
Cast: Joe Swanberg (Akin), Sophie Traub (Sarah), Robert Longstreet (Jeremiah), Kristin Slaysman (Drew), Geoff Marslett (Richard)
Producers: Laura Klein, Laura Heberton, Lavallette Interests Ltd. Russell Sheaffer
Co-producers: Adam Donaghey, Rachel Wolther, Braden King, Linday Olbrych
Production company: Third Room Productions
Festivals & Awards
Hong Kong International Film Festival
BAMcinemaFest New York
Maryland Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
Independent Visions Award – Tangerine Entertainments Juice Award
Sidewalk Film Festival
Fantasia Film Festival
Galway Film Fleadh
Imagine Film Festival
Roffa Mon Amour
The simplicity and spontaneity of “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely” offers the primal renewal of the image. It’s as if the movie were undergirded by a sense of timeless authority borrowed from scripture.
Richard Brody, The New Yorker
The talk of the Berlin International Film Festival… with tense eroticism and experimental, largely free-form filmmaking
Peter Knegt, Indiewire
Decker’s luridly poetic vision luxuriates in the ethereal and the mythical. [The performances are] sure to haunt many a nightmare. Don Simpson, Smells Like Screen Spirit With its characterful acting, and potently nerve-jangling string score, the film delivers an intriguing slant on rural-peril convention.
Jonathan Romney, Screen International
a dream-like exploration of sexuality and tragedy.
Phil Lederer, SRQ Backlot
the unholy marriage of Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch
Eric Kohn, Indiewire
like a Flannery O’Connor short story shot by Cindy Sherman…. Berlinale audience was stunned by her movies.
Dmitry Volchek, Svoboda
Unquestionably one of the biggest joys of the festival was the discovery of young female director Josephine Decker… From the first blurry
shots of Butter on the Latch to the wonderfully insane ending of Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, Decker gave her audiences two thrilling cinematic rides that were refreshingly unconventional and often experimental, all in all shamelessly wild and almost bursting with energy and artistic dynamism.
Toby Ashraf, Stil in Berlin
brazenly surreal approach
Patrick Gamble, The Skinny (UK)
Last year brought “Upstream Color,” “To the Wonder,” and “Butter on the Latch.” “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely” is the latest, and, to my mind, the most extreme, of these new films. It’s not a conclusion, and it’s not the only recent movie that suggests that there’s something new in the air. Such films as Miranda July’s “The Future,” Terence Nance’s “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” Raúl Ruiz’s “Night Across the Street,” Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors,” Jafar Panahi’s “This Is Not a Film,” and … Agnès Varda’s “The Beaches of Agnès” point far ahead to a “new grammar” of narrative.
Richard Brody, The New Yorker
unrestrained, poetic and brutal
Andreas Günther, Filmstarts.de
Berlinale Breakouts: 10 Folks That Made A Major Impression At This Year’s Festival
turns conventional narrative wisdom upside down, much like the work of lyricism-prone contemporaries Shane Carruth, Leos Carax and Terrence Malick…By turns nightmarish, titillating and dreamlike, Thou Wast is one hell of an experiential enigma
Michael-Oliver Harding, Exclaim.ca