An Oddly Beautiful Western and a Moving Documentary
At Saratoga Film Forum this week, our commitment to fresh independent cinema has led to a change in our previously announced schedule, and we’ll be offering the regional premiere of the acclaimed offbeat Western “Slow West.” The feature debut of Scottish writer/director John Maclean (who in a previous creative life was the keyboardist for the indie-rock act The Beta Band), the movie stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road” and “Let Me In”) as a lovelorn teen who travels from Scotland to the untamed American West to find his sweetheart. While traversing dangerous territory, the naïve boy meets a roguish gunslinger (beloved actor Michael Fassbender), who joins him on the journey. Other notable cast members include fierce Australian thespian Ben Mendelsohn (“Animal Kingdom” and “The Place Beyond the Pines”) and the imposing Rory McCann, best known as the Hound on “Game of Thrones.”
The winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema division, “Slow West” has garnered comparisons to the work of the Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson, while establishing Maclean’s own unconventional aesthetic. The Village Voice calls the film a “gorgeous Dada Western,” with critic Alan Scherstuhl writing, “Maclean finds time to savor rivers and starscapes and layers of light and mountainous land. The dialogue is flighty yet weighty, each line like some delicate woodcut.”
On Monday, the SFF is also proud to present a one-night-only free screening of “Here One Day.” Directed by Kathy Leichter, the documentary offers a highly personal look at the effects of mental illness and suicide, with the filmmaker drawing on her experiences coping with her mother, a political activist and artist, taking her own life. Leichter herself will Skype both before and after the film, allowing the audience to talk directly to the filmmaker. This special event is sponsored by the Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health (SCCCMH), and their mental health professionals will be on hand to discuss the film and its issues as well.
Saratoga Film Forum will screen “Slow West” on Thursday, June 4th; Friday, June 5th; and Sunday, June 7th at 7:30 p.m. “Here One Day” will play on Monday, June 8th at 7:30 p.m. and admission to that event is free. For “Slow West,” general admission is $8, and member and student admission is $6. For more information about the Film Forum, please visit www.saratogafilmforum.org or call 584-FILM.