An Evening With Joan Micklin Silver (feat. "Chilly Scenes of Winter")

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“Unafraid to tackle the silly, messy, chaotic side of relationships, she probes issues like obsession, desire, infidelity, possessiveness, loneliness, rejection, regret. Like the smart repartee associated with Lubitsch, Wilder, Cukor or Hawks, she delights in verbal sparring matches that deflate gender myths and romantic idylls.” — Leo Adam Biga

Joan Micklin Silver, along with Babara Loden (Wanda), Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career) and Claudia Weill (Girlfriends), was amongst a handful of pioneering ‘70s female directors — and one of an even smaller number to work with a major studio. Fresh off of her two previous indie features (Hester Street and Between The Lines) Micklin next brought to life the sardonic, melancholic, lost-generation, post-Woodstock novel Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann Beattie. Join us for a super-rare L.A. screening of Chilly Scenes, preceded by an equally rare long-form Q&A appearance by Joan about her entire career.

Set in the flat environs of Carter-era Salt Lake City, amidst anonymous office spaces and gray snowy banks, the dark-edged romantic comedy of Chilly Scenes centers on civil servant Charles (John Heard), as the wistful, jilted lover who recalls his impassioned relationship with Laura, the woman he can’t get over (Mary Beth Hurt). As he passes time with his unemployed jacket salesman roommate (Peter Riegert) and his mentally unbalanced, wildly eccentric mother (a final performance by Gloria Grahame), Charles’ winsome charm betrays a compulsive underbelly as he obsesses over Laura. With a heated chemistry between Heard and Hurt, Chilly Scenes depicts love in the midst of that time of quiet malaise, a time rarely been seen on the big screen. With its perfect setting for a story of people floating in an existential, emotional fog, the film quickly gained a cult following at college towns in the early-‘80s.
Dir. Joan Micklin Silver, 1979, 35mm, 92 min.