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Watch: EXCLUSIVE Clip from Berlin Premiere 'Thou Wast Mild and Lovely,' Starring Joe Swanberg

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 14, 2014 at 12:23PM

TOH! has scored an exclusive clip from Berlin premiere "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely," starring Joe Swanberg in an uncharacteristically dark, dramatic role. The film is helmed by Josephine Decker (who previously starred in Swanberg's "Art History"). She has a second film at Berlin, "Butter on the Latch"; both screened in the Forum section.
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Joe Swanberg in 'Thou Wast Mild and Lovely'
Joe Swanberg in 'Thou Wast Mild and Lovely'

TOH! has scored an exclusive clip from Berlin premiere "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely," starring Joe Swanberg in an uncharacteristically dark, dramatic role. The film is helmed by Josephine Decker (who previously starred in Swanberg's "Art History"). She has a second film at Berlin, "Butter on the Latch"; both screened in the Forum section.

Here's the official synopsis for "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely," which Indiewire described as a portrait of "sexual depravity taking on nightmarish proportions":

On a farm in rural Kentucky, father Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet) and daughter Sarah (Sophie Traub) squabble together like young puppies. Over crisp, verdant images of nature, of animals, streams and puddles, a mysterious, sensual female voice tells of her lover, who may be a person or may be the whole world. Enter Akin (Joe Swanberg), there to help out for the summer. He’s left his wife and child at home – and taken off his wedding ring as a precaution. Soon the three of them are circling each other, watching, feeling watched and knowing that their watching is not going unwatched. Within this atmosphere, a charged romance develops between Sarah and Akin that carries both an erotic tension and vague feeling of menace. When Akin’s wife Drew comes for a visit, the situation explodes, harmless fantasies giving way to a violent nightmare.

The seductive colors and shallow depth of field of Ashley Connor’s superb camerawork accentuate the ethereal nature of this enigmatic story. Josephine Decker’s second feature lets beauty and horror blithely flirt with one another like two coquettish flowers in the same inviting meadow.


This article is related to: Video, Video, Berlin International Film Festival, Joe Swanberg, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.