Thou Wast Mild and Lovely is the wildly imaginative and unexpected second feature from US indie director Josephine Decker. The film is the creepy, erotic tale of married man Akin (Joe Swanberg) who takes a summer season job working as a ranch hand on a remote Kentucky cattle ranch.
Akin craves isolation and here he has only the deranged farmer and his strange, earthy daughter for company. While he can’t make sense of their world – full of inappropriate urges and simmering menace and lust – it’s also clear that he’s not so straightforward; he harbours secrets back at home.
Very much a creative collaboration with cast, editor, cinematographer (including a bovine-POV cam), Decker describes this as ‘magical-realism-romcom-mumblecore-western-with-horror mixture’. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, it’s a sensual thriller that has to be seen to be believed.