Long considered a reclusive spinster in the annals of literary history, Madeleine Olnek’s WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY provides a refreshing take on the life of author and poet Emily Dickinson. Starring as Emily Dickinson, Molly Shannon (of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SUPERSTAR fame) brings her hallmark irreverence, sincerity, and humor to a film that is both timely and a reflection on the past. Using Dickinson’s letters and poems (with permission from Harvard University Press), Olnek’s film paints a lively portrait of the author and her love affair with childhood friend, Susan Gilbert, that shatters the dowdy and isolated light she has long been cast in.
Before he was an art director with a successful background in design and fashion, director Vincent Gagliostro was a founding member of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, creating many of the group’s now iconic protest graphics. Not surprisingly, AFTER LOUIE shares numerous parallels with the director’s life and clear autobiographical elements in the film’s lead character, Sam, played by the versatile Alan Cumming (CABARET). The moody and abrasive Sam is a struggling artist who has endeavored unsuccessfully to write a book about his late friend William, whose death he is still reeling from years later.