[SIFF Despatches: Issue Eight]

This is probably my last Despatch for SIFF 2018, but if I skipped a film you’re particularly curious about, hit me up here or on Twitter or Instagram and I’ll see what I can do. Skipping a title doesn’t mean I didn’t like it; it just means I wasn’t immediately inspired to do 75 words on it & I don’t have an editor to force the issue. My full list is here; just do a search on SIFF2018 (or scroll down).

Wild Nights with Emily
This low budget, high concept film was such fun, providing a fresh and irreverent interpretation of the text by juxtaposing the poetry of Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon) with the likely longtime romantic relationship she had with her brother’s wife, Susan (Susan Ziegler). Amy Seimetz is perfectly insufferable as the straightwasher of history and framing device. Gets slightly wobbly when the tone darkens. Not just for queer English majors (but goodness, itís a treat for us!)

A lovely film about an alienated housewife (Kelly Macdonald) who discovers a world outside her family through jigsaw puzzle competitions with teammate Robert (Irrfan Khan). What could have been a cookie cutter story is enriched by nuanced characters (everyone maybe needed to be shook up a bit, to think about and communicate their wants and needs for a change) and thoughtful cinematography (her home is all over dark browns, while his is full of sunshine).

My Name Is Myeisha
Almost more of an art piece, this is a filmed production of the complete text of Rickerby Hinds’ spoken word play, Dreamscape. Largely shot on minimalist sets, this film brings you into the rhythms of the life of Myeisha through her death, a fictionalized account of a victim of police violence. Myeisha is fully inhabited by Rhaechyl Walker who originated the role on stage and describes her life through each bullet wound on her body.

Chedeng & Apple
Two ladies in their 60s head out on a road trip after their husbands die. The twist? Newly-out Chedeng is trying to find her first girlfriend decades later. And Apple? She’s on the run because she killed her abusive partner. Oh, and she’s carrying his head around in a Louis Vuitton bag. Like you do. This updated Thelma and Louise (albeit with a much happier ending) was a delight for my last day of festival.