PIGGIE
Allison Bagnall
USA 2003, 98 min

“I was interested in the powerful nature of immature and inappropriate love and how single-minded young girls can be in pursuing it. The effects of such all-consuming emotion on someone who’s already mentally unstable can be electric.

—Alison Bagnall

A paean to inappropriate behavior, Piggie tells the story of Fannie Pogue, a pony-tailed wild child who has grown up without a mother and with little influence from her father in upstate New York. Wide-eyed and gangly, attracted to wild animals, alive or dead, Fannie is somewhere between young and inexperienced and what used to be called “not quite right.” With her pet pig and an elderly woman she cares for as her closest companions, Fannie scores her own life with interludes of self-composed country songs. “I’m ready to meet you, my brand new boyfriend,” sings Fannie, and into town rolls Nile (Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500 and Luna in his acting debut), a smalltime grifter and thief as cranky and sarcastic as Fannie is strange, looking for a place to hide out and maybe do some fishing. Piggie sets her tenacious heart on Nile despite his clear lack of interest and occasional cruelty. Layering poetic visuals and lovely, lilting country tunes with Fannie’s sometimes excruciating behavior, Alison Bagnall, co-writer of Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo ’66, give a distinctive voice to this oddball comedy that half breaks your heart. Savannah Haske, who co-wrote the screenplay with Bagnall, gives a fearless performance as Fannie, embodying the painful discomfort and humor of the film’s uncomfortable situations.

—Rachel Rosen, IFP Los Angeles Film Festival

In attendance: Director Alison Bagnall,
Actor Savannah Haske, Producer Alison Dickey

 

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