2022, U.K./Belgium/France, 114 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Lucile Hadžihalilović, Juno FIlms
"Those willing to be carried by the film's casual pace and haunting aesthetic will find there are few places like it in contemporary cinema." —Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
"A film that doesn't want to lull you to sleep so much as it wants to lure you into a place so dark and dreamy that you can no longer be certain that you're still awake." —David Ehrlich, Indiewire
This film includes a pre-recorded Q&A with guest programmer Ted Hope and director Lucile Hadžihalilović.
Somewhere in Europe in the mid-20th century, Albert is employed to look after Mia, a girl with teeth of ice. Mia never leaves their apartment, where the shutters are always closed. The telephone rings regularly and the Master enquires after Mia’s wellbeing.
Until the day Albert is instructed that he must prepare the child to leave.
Why have we settled for just this world? Particularly, when it comes to cinema! So many films miss the gift of offering something where everything is invented and selected. Most directors choose between what has already been offered to them, neglecting to provide the new or the previously unknown. Not so Lucile Hadžihalilović and her new film Earwig. I can’t explain the why of all that transpires, but I never found it short of fascinating; it’s like a puzzle that expands and pulls you in or a labyrinth with walls you might taste or feel but not see. I would have liked to have some of the props to myself hidden away in the back of some drawer just so I could creep myself out when it was needed. There is not a frame of this film that is not stunning. I was on the jury at San Sebastian Film Festival last November and we awarded it the Special Jury Prize. It’s twisted, scary, disgusting, mind-bending, and wonderful. – Ted Hope
This June at After Hours, experience remarkably distinct non-genre-conforming cinema with a selection of four films curated by guest programmer Ted Hope.
A note from Ted Hope
When we sit down to take in a film, we offer a challenge: go ahead, and blow my mind. Take me somewhere I have never been! Freak me out!! Change me!!! It is an incredible offer we audiences give to the filmmakers, but so few really choose to take us up on it. I think the first time I had a physical reaction to a movie was Eraserhead. It truly got inside me and made me queasy. I was in film school then; I went with a plan to make a very specific film. I storyboarded it and everything, but then one day our teacher screened Jean Cocteau's Blood of a Poet for us—and it was the movie I had been planning to make. I did not understand how that could be as I had no recollection of ever seeing Cocteau's original version; it was if it had been summoned from my dreams. It was the next weekend that I saw Eraserhead and felt more like a nightmare that I had never dreamed than any film I had seen before.
I eventually pieced together the puzzle of how I had seemingly dreamed Cocteau's film, but I was already hooked into a relationship with the cinematically surreal. Despite an extra-large dose of Bunuel, side heapings of Terry Gilliam, and acquiring my own print of Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon, I could never satisfy my urge for more of the surreal in modern cinema. I got to make Michel Gondry's first feature Human Nature with Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, perhaps the trio of most regular contributors to the realm, but again just-not-enough. Some may call all these films in my initial selection “horror,” but I don't think any “horror fans” would. The films here are remarkably distinct non-genre-conforming cinema, and for me, delightfully so.
A note from Brenda Moe
As executive director and programming director I am excited to tell you about In Exhibition With: my newest series where I invite a friend to build a film program for our audience. I am thrilled to unveil a June After Hours takeover, In Exhibition With: Ted Hope - Children of Lynch and The New Surreal.
Ted Hope is one of the most thoughtful, prolific, and involved professionals in film that I am lucky to know. Ted's early years include working with Hal Hartley on The Unbelievable Truth and Trust. As a co-founder of Good Machine and This Is That, Ted produced the first films of Ang Lee, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Moisés Kaufman, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Ted served as executive director of San Francisco Film Society, and head of production for Amazon Original Movies. He's also a twice published author. Variety says of Ted, “no film exec is better qualified to brainstorm ideas for saving indie films than Ted Hope.” In early emails with Ted, he mentioned that he wanted to create a Lynch-inspired program. I jumped at the chance.
Click above to read program notes.