$12 General Admission
(Celia Rowlson-Hall, US, 2015, 80 min)
Celia Rowlson-Hall’s MA is one of the most stunning, original feature debuts in recent American cinema. A wordless retelling of the Mother Mary story rendered purely through physical and emotional movement, MA unfurls across a Southwest road trip. Tropes abound and are then distorted (the trailer sets this up perfectly); wood-paneled motels with cerulean pools; endless stretches of hot, dusty roads; foreboding cowboys and mysterious travel companions. The pilgrimage culminates in a birth scene of unpredictable grandiosity and lushness of design that belies the production’s extremely modest budget. The sparing but powerful gong-laden score (by Brian McOmber, formerly of Dirty Projectors and a fellow to Rowlson-Hall on Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film) further scaffolds the surreal anti-logic of the concept of a ‘virtuous woman.’
Following its premiere at Venice, MA won the Audience Award at AFI Film Festival. Finally arriving in Seattle for its local premiere, director/writer/producer/star Rowlson-Hall will be in attendance for the screenings. Some of Rowlson-Hall’s 50 shorts have screened previously in Next Dance Cinema, and her most recent project, a pant suit power flash mob for Hilary in downtown New York, took the internet by storm last fall.
“This microbudget labor of love augurs an exciting new voice.” – Variety
“Hall’s talent and gumption are utterly undeniable.” – RogerEbert.com
Read an interview with Celia Rowlson-Hall and the crew in Filmmaker Magazine