I Used to Be Darker

Directed by Matt Porterfield
USA | 2013 | 90 min | drama | English

When Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill have problems of their own: they’re trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby, just home from her first year of college. A story of family revelations, people finding each other and letting each other go, looking for love where they’ve found it before and, when that doesn’t work, figuring out where they might find it next.

Cast & Crew

Director: Matt Porterfield
Screenplay: Amy Belk & Matt Porterfield
Cinematography: Jeremy Ssulnier
Editing: MAarc Vives
Cast: Deragh Campbell (Taryn), Hannah Gross (Abby), Kim Taylor (Kim), Ned Oldham (Bill)
Producers: Steve Holmgren, Eric Bannat & Ryan Zacarias
Production companies: The Hamilton Film Group, Nomadic Independence Pictures, Steady Orbits

  • Matt Porterfield
    Matt Porterfield

Festivals & Awards
Sundance Film Festival – World Dramatic Competition
IFF Rotterdam – Big Screen Competition

press quotes

Matthew Porterfield’s „I Used To Be Darker“ is another true original, with a handful of singular moments that bare the emotional soul of its characters. Porterfield successfully conveys the cathartic nature of art by creating it.
Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire

The best movie I’ve seen at the festival so far is Matthew Porterfield’s „I Used To Be Darker“… this quietly devastating family drama feels like a major step forward.
TimeOut Chicago

At once emotionally charged, formally abstract and narratively laidback, Porterfield’s third feature should sustain the indie cred enjoyed by his much-lauded earlier films.

Matthew Porterfield establishes a series of melancholic tones with incredibly effective results.
Indiewire’s Eric Kohn

The best movie I’ve seen at the (Sundance) festival so far is Matthew Porterfield’s “I Used to Be Darker” … Though more conventionally structured than “Putty Hill”, the writer-director’s improv-driven previous effort, this quietly devastating family drama feels like a major step forward.
Time Out Chicago‘s A.A. Dowd

The exquisitely tenuous fragility of his inquisitive but respectful distance from his characters bears it out.
The New Yorker’s Richard Brody

The film that could be the sleeper hit.
Jim Brunzell, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Selected as one of “Three Excellent Sundance Films” by New Yorker film editor, Richard Brody

Matt Porterfield

Matt Porterfield studied film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and teaches in the Film & Media Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University. His first feature, HAMILTON, was released in 2006. Named “one of the finest American independent films ever made” by New Yorker film editor Richard Brody, it was recently acquired for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. His most recent feature, PUTTY HILL, premiered at the Berlinale’s International Forum of New Cinema in 2010 and was released in the U.S. by Cinema Guild in 2011. Matt has two projects in development, METAL GODS (IFP No Borders, 2012) and SOLLERS POINT (IFFR’s CineMart, 2013).

2013 I Used to Be Darker, feature
2011 Putty Hill, feature
2006 Hamilton, feature