When: March 2, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m.

Where: The Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, Toronto, ON

What: An offbeat indie discovery inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s AUTUMN SONATA and conjured by an obscure auteur who’s been averaging two feature films a year since 2008.

CANADIAN PREMIERE with writer/Director Mickey Reece will be in attendance!

Dir. Mickey Reece
Cast: Mary Buss, Audrey Lecrone and Jacob Snovel
Runtime: 71 min
Country: USA

"A bewildering, intoxicating and precious delight." - Alexandra Heller-Nichola, The Blue

"Whatever the hell Mickey Reese was doing there extremely worked for me. Oklahoma Gothic melodrama/nightmare/comedy. Loved it." - Macon Blair, director of I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore.

What The Film Festival has always endeavoured to seek out idiosyncratic auteurs, particular those who ply away in obscurity with meager resources and inspired imaginations. Endearing in part by virtue of their shrewd ingenuity, these productions are foremost beguiling reminders that the mettle of a movie is best measured not by its grasp, but rather its ambition to reach for an indelible and individual identity.

Enter underground Oklahoma filmmaker Mickey Reece. Since 2008, this veritable “Soderbergh of the Sticks” has written, directed, and produced over twenty undistributed no-budget feature films, each one a unique experiment in form, genre and aesthetic, and most of which feature the same cast of eccentric actors culled from his local arts community. As dexterous a creator as he is a compulsive one, Reece’s latest opus marries much of his signature proclivities — misfit protagonists, off-kilter performances, rigorous compositions, and discordant melodrama — as he conjures up a wholly wackadoo psychodrama inspired in part by both Ingmar Bergman’s AUTUMN SONATA and The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs.”

Proceeding with a detached and dryly hilarious severity reminiscent of Yorgos Lanthimos, STRIKE DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART chiefly concerns the acidic reunion of a famous pianist (Mary Buss) and her estranged daughter (Audrey Wagner) within the uncanny corridors of a run-down Victorian hotel. As Reece envelopes these characters in a pervasively unnerving atmosphere, rife with theatrical explosions of emotion and the discordant timbre of Nicholas Poss’s magnificently manic score, he also confidently weaves in a surreal parade of peculiar digressions that deliriously teeter from comic pantomime to tableaus of abject horror. The result is an offbeat and oft-chilling confluence of ingredients that’s guaranteed to simultaneously baffle, delight, and captivate those with an appetite for the strange and unusual.

WHAT THE FILM FESTIVAL is made possible in part by the funding support from Vinegar Syndrome and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.