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.