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Butter on the Latch

Josephine Decker
USA 2013 / 72’

This is an experimental psychological drama. Hurt by a painful breakup with her boyfriend, Sarah leaves behind the urban bustle of New York and heads, together with a girlfriend, to a small, provincial festival of Balkan music in California’s Mendocino Forest. The two friends spend their time there listening to stories from distant places, singing folk songs, and having casual conversations in the small house where they are staying. Thanks to a handsome stranger, Sarah soon forgets about her friend. She starts to seduce the man while, at the same time, losing herself in the dark, sensual microcosm of Mendocino and the Balkan mystery taking place there. The boundary between dreams and reality begins to blur, increasingly revealing Sarah’s unstable psychological state. Josephine Decker’s debut is a naturalistic, improvised independent film with spontaneous narration. While intriguing and hypnotic, though, at times, reminiscent of low-budget horror films, Butter on the Latch manages to defy genre classifications.

Katarzyna Wolanin

Josephine Decker

She is a director, actress, writer, and performance artist. She spent the last two years making short films for the United Way. Her short and documentary films have been shown at a number of festivals, including SXSW and the Austin Film Festival, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She has also worked with Joe Swanberg, among others. Butter on the Latch is her feature-film debut, which was screened as part of the Forum section at this year’s Berlinale.

Selected filmography

2008 Bi the Way (doc.)

2009 Where Are You Going, Elena? (short)

2010 Squeezebox (short)

2012 Me the Terrible (short)

2014 Thou Wast Mild and Lovely

Cast & Crew

director Josephine Decker
screenplay Josephine Decker
cinematography Ashley Connor
editing Josephine Decker
cast Isolde Chae-Lawrence, Stephan Goldbach, Charlie Hewson, Sarah Small
producer Josephine Decker, Laura Heberton, Rachel Wolther
production Third Room Productions, Dallas
sales Paradigm Agency
language English
colouration colour