By Michael Bernieri
June 18 – 22, 2014
As New England settles into another beautiful summer, there’s no better place to celebrate than the Provincetown International Film Festival. This year, in addition to a stellar line-up of films, PIFF honors director and provocateur David Cronenberg with the Filmmaker on the Edge award. Patricia Clarkson will be presented with the Excellence in Acting award, and Debra Winger will receive the Faith Hubley Memorial Achievement award. All will be in conversation at 5 PM, June 21st in Town Hall.
Notorious for high-brow body horror, David Cronenberg’s iconic, unsettling filmography includes VIDEODROME and THE FLY, which will screen in the festival as a double feature. Cronenberg also directed the William Boroughs adaptation NAKED LUNCH (also screening at PIFF), SCANNERS, COSMOPOLIS, and the forthcoming MAPS TO THE STARS, for which Julianne Moore won the Best Actress award at Cannes. As with last year’s honoree Harmony Korine, Cronenberg crafts darkly humorous, deeply unsettling films with formidable precision. Canadian in origin, Cronenberg has sustained a penchant for the bizarre throughout his forty year career. He excels in getting under his audience’s skin, DEAD RINGERS being the prime example–a film in which Jeremy Irons plays twin gynecologists. Cronenberg’s films leave a mark on the viewer. He is one of the greatest horror directors of all time, one of the most effectively provocative filmmakers, and a sterling example of a Filmmaker on the Edge.
Since her first major role as Catherine Ness in THE UNTOUCHABLES, Patricia Clarkson has maintained a diverse and distinguished career, appearing in films from JUMANJI, to DOGVILLE, THE GREEN MILE, THE STATION AGENT, ALL THE REAL GIRLS, FAR FROM HEAVEN, and GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Never typecast, she brings something new to every role throughout her career. Her talents can be seen in her latest film LAST WEEKEND, which will screen in Spotlight at the festival.
Debra Winger has been nominated for three Oscars. Perhaps best known for TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, she’s also starred in SHADOWLANDS, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, and URBAN COWBOY. Coming off a star-turning performance in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, Winger elected for more challenging, independent roles and eventually retired from acting and moved to Upstate New York with her husband and children. She returned to the film scene BIG BAD LOVE in 2001 and proceeded to swiftly revive her career with roles in RADIO, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, and a recurring role on the HBO original series In Treatment.
This year’s lineup of films offers a variety of talents, both established and newcomers. In Roman Polanski’s latest film: VENUS IN FUR, an actress attempts to convince a director how she’s perfect for a role in his upcoming production. HAPPY CHRISTMAS, Joe Swanberg’s latest directorial effort, traces an irresponsible twentysomething (Anna Kendrick) going to Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff (Joe Swanberg). Lena Dunham also stars. OBVIOUS CHILD, an abortion comedy starring Jenny Slate, will screen fresh off a successful run at Sundance, where it was picked up for distribution by A24. Jonathan Demme’s latest film A MASTER BUILDER, an adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play, will show in Spotlight. John Waters Presents ABUSE OF WEAKNESS directed Catherine Breillat, the brilliant auteur behind FAT GIRL and SEX IS COMEDY, an autobiographical account of a stroke-afflicted filmmaker who is manipulated by a notorious con man.
The Documentary section includes WHITEY: USA VS. JAMES WHITEY BULGER, an exploration of last year’s trial of the infamous Boston gangster. THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ follows the story of Aaron Swartz, programming prodigy and information activist. MALA MALA traces the struggle for LGBT advocates fighting for anti-discrimination legislation in Puerto Rico. Winner of the US Documentary Directing award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, THE CASE AGAINST 8 follows the passing of Proposition 8, the measure passed in California which repealed the rights to same-sex marriage.
The themes of this year’s Shorts program include Gays Just Wanna Have Fun, Rewriting Conventions, Odds and Ends (which features SATELLITE BEACH, a short written and directed by Luke Wilson), Teenage Confidential, and Gallery Crawl. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT and JAWS will play as a double bill at the Drive-In Theater.
With a slew of great films playing throughout the festival, 2014 looks to be another great year for the Provincetown International Film Festival. Come enjoy a relaxing weekend with beautiful cinema, great food, fine wine and sunshine on the Cape at PIFF 2014 from June 18th-22nd.