Wild Nights With Emily
2018 | Madeleine Olnek | USA | English | CC available upon request | 84 min | PG-13
In the mid-19th century, Emily Dickinson is writing prolifically, baking gingerbread, and enjoying a passionate, lifelong romantic relationship with another woman, her friend and sister-in-law Susan…yes this is the iconic American poet, popularly thought to have been a recluse. Beloved comic Molly Shannon leads in this humorous yet bold reappraisal of Dickinson, informed by her private letters. While seeking publication of some of the 1,775 poems written during her lifetime, Emily (Shannon) finds herself facing a troupe of male literary gatekeepers too confused by her genius to take her work seriously. Instead her work attracts the attention of an ambitious woman editor, who also sees Emily as a convenient cover for her own role in buttoned-up Amherst’s most bizarre love triangle. A timely critique of how women’s history is rewritten, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY remains vibrant, irreverent and tender – a perhaps closer depiction of Emily Dickinson’s real life than anything seen before.
“This is an irreverent film, but its lightness is meaningful. With each silly flourish, Olnek offers joy and companionship to a figure whose history was more conveniently presented to generations of readers as solitary.” — Teo Bugbee, New York Times
“WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY is refreshingly liberating in its laughter, but also rich in worthwhile lessons.” — Marisa Mirabal, Birth.Movies.Death.
“WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY may be Olnek’s most political film to date, one that could forever change the narrative of the world’s most famous woman poet.” — Jude Dry, indieWire