On January 10 at 7 PM, join us for a special screening of My Love Affair with Marriage (Mans laulību projekts, Latvia/USA/Luxembourg, 2022), with a film talk by director Signe Baumane! Returning this fall and winter, the Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders series features films chosen for Oscar nominations at the 96th Annual Academy Awards, including My Love Affair with Marriage, a contender for Best Animated Feature Film. Also, see two award-winning Estonian animated shorts, Dog Apartment (Koerkorter, Estonia, 2022) and Eeva (Eeva, Estonia, 2022) starting at 6 PM!
Short film | Estonia/Croatia | 2022 | 16 minutes | Estonian with English subtitles
Directed by Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak, Eeva begins at the eponymous character’s husband’s funeral, where the rain, the tears and the wine are flowing. As Eeva struggles to comprehend her widowhood, her grieving is complicated by several woodpeckers, a couple of crazy dreams and a bunch of raucous guests. Eeva has been shortlisted for Best Animated Short Film at the 96th Academy Awards.
Short film | Estonia| 2022 | 14 minutes | Estonian with English subtitles
Inspired by a poem by the beloved Estonian poet Andres Ehin, director Priit Tender’s Dog Apartment is an absurdist delight and a stunning work of stop-motion puppetry. In a cruel twist of fate, cosmopolitan ballet dancer Sergei is deported to a Soviet collective farm in the dreary countryside. His banal surroundings and the senselessness of his labor give way to alcoholism, ennui and altercations with the local farm animals. And that’s not all—his apartment building is animated by the spirit of a real, living, barking dog. Dog Apartment has been shortlisted for Best Animated Short Film at the 96th Academy Awards.
MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH MARRIAGE
Feature film | Latvia/USA/Luxembourg | 2022 | 108 minutes | English
“A heady, wildly entertaining personal exploration of the chemical nature of romance” (ReelReviews) — My Love Affair with Marriage tells the story of Zelma (voiced by Dagmara Dominczyk) and her Biology (voiced by Michele Pawk). From an early age, songs and fairytales convinced Zelma that Love with a capital “L” would solve all her problems. The rules for how to behave and dress in order to achieve happiness — i.e., to attract the attention of the opposite sex — are clear, but the other girls in her class can play the part much better. There is, however, always a dissatisfied voice within Zelma questioning what she is told: quiet at first, the voice grows ever louder, and the more she tries to conform, the more her body resists. Although she goes through several relationships and travels to different countries, always accompanied by a singing Greek chorus, she can never outrun her biology or her heritage.
Executive produced by Matthew Modine (who also provides the voice of Zelma’s second husband, Bo), My Love Affair with Marriage is an unusual, dryly humorous animated, coming-of-age story for adults of all ages.
“A moody, unpredictable tale of love and loss, stuffed with vivid metaphors, Soviet period detail and pedagogical sequences about the physiology of love” (Natalia Winkelman, New York Times)
“With its fine mix of dark humor, healthy anger and self-compassion, this portrait of the artist as a young woman is the work of an inspired filmmaker, and it was worth the wait” (Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter)
About the Directors
Signe Baumane is a Latvian-born, Brooklyn-based filmmaker, artist, writer, and animator. She has made 17 award-winning animated shorts but is best known for her first animated feature Rocks in my Pockets, which premiered at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2014. Baumane’s new animated feature My Love Affair with Marriage fuses animation with music, theater, science, photography, three-dimensional sets and traditional hand-drawn animation. Baumane is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow in Film for New York Foundation for the Arts. She has a degree in Philosophy from Moscow State University.
Priit Tender was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He is a director and editor, known for Dog Apartment (2022), A Message for the Neighbors (2005) and Vares ja hiired (1998). Since 2019, he has been the head of the animation department at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak are Croatian directors and animators working in Tallinn, Estonia.