Fly Away, opens on Jeanne, a single mother, as she is awoken by her teenage daughter's cries. "Bad girl! I hate myself!" It might not be a surprising sentiment for a teenager in the throes of an angst-ridden moment, but Mandy is severe on the spectrum of autism, and the middle of the night is one of the times she communicates the clearest. Written and directed by Janet Grillo, Fly Away is a slice of life portrait of a small family at a crossroads and it focuses very much on the everyday details.
Sarah Sparks loves technology. A freelance tech geek, she fixes everything from new computers to old radios and calls her home pregnancy test a "nifty gadget." When its digital face displays the word "pregnant," she comments to boyfriend, Leon, "It's actually a pretty good quality font for a disposable," before recognizing that her life is about to be altered by a much less predictable technology. In first time feature directors Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson's Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, Sarah (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is ambivalent about her pregnancy.
Alison Bagnall's The Dish and the Spoon opens with Rose (Greta Gerwig) despondently crying as she drives to the beach—clad in pajama bottoms, a boxy coat, and knit cap—after discovering her husband's infidelity. Taking refuge from the winter air in a WWII watchtower, she discovers a young British drifter (Olly Alexander) shivering inside.
Morgan Dews' Must Read After My Death is a startling, deeply intimate look into the domestic life of the filmmaker's grandmother, Allis. Made up entirely of home movies and recordings that Allis documented (privately, in therapy sessions, or trans-Atlantic with her husband Charley), the film is at times heartwarming, but more so horrifying, as Allis struggles against the stifling systemic and familial abuse as a 1960s housewife. The personal documentation and voiceovers make the experience of watching a family unravel all the more affecting.
The film is already receiving film festival prizes and rave reviews (the Village Voice said it "makes Revolutionary Road look like a tea party") from around the world. Morgan took the time to answer some of my questions about the movie and filmmaking process. Read on for the interview as well as your chance to watch the movie online for free!