One Night Only 5/4
Director: Josephine Decker
Starring: Molly Parker, Miranda July, and Helena Howard
2018, USA, 93 minutes, Digital
Madeline (newcomer Helena Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop’s ambitious director (Molly Parker) pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives.
Writer/director Josephine Decker has long been an independent filmmaker to admire, utilizing a welcome expressionistic approach that imbues her subjects with a vibrant sense of urgency. Anchored by a virtuoso performance from newcomer Helena Howard, whose powerful screen presence commands attention, Decker’s film displays a rare sensitivity for capturing the messy struggles of discovering a sense of one’s self that defies easy narrative categorization.
“One of the year’s headiest, most dazzlingly assured moviegoing experiences.”
— Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
“In her third film, writer-director Josephine Decker confirms her position as the American indie queen of improv, whose self-styled mission it is to push the outer limits of film language into the stratosphere.”
— Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“Among its other astonishments, Josephine Decker’s new feature, Madeline’s Madeline, does something very simple: it dispels the shibboleth that movies spotlighting strong and original performances differ from ones that innovate at the level of cinematic style. Madeline’s Madeline does both, with equal intensity. Decker’s film, in its dramatic contours, is an utterly clear and classical drama about a Queens family.”
— Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Part of the series CONTEMPORARY WOMEN FILMMAKERS and MAKING CINEMA MATTER IN BALTIMORE.
MAKING CINEMA MATTER IN BALTIMORE is a FREE artist-led workshop and screening series featuring distinguished visiting filmmakers who connect their films and filmmaking to social, creative, or cultural issues in Baltimore. This project is presented in partnership with Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Film Festival/Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre, and the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.