Hudson Valley filmmaking, like everything else, everywhere, has been interrupted. What’s cool is that the body of great work created over the past few years makes the perfect antidote to your spring cabin fever, the perfect mental massager to take the kinks out after a long day of working from home.
Or you can browse the offerings yourself, enjoying some virtual exploration through time, space, and fictional dimension. Here are some Hudson Valley-made films to make the time fly, serious and not-so-much. You’ll find their streaming locations, along with many more, on the HVFC Streamfest Website. From a feminist domestic-abuse revenge drama to a chronicle of the rise of skin flick empire King Cobra, here are our picks.
6 Hudson Valley Film Recommendations
ABOUT ALEX, filmed in 2014 in East Durham in Greene County stars sitcom faves Aubrey Plaza (April of "Parks & Rec), Max Greenfield (Schmidt of "New Girl"), and Maggie Grace. It’s a comedy-drama about a group of college friends who reunite after the attempted suicide of one of their friends, with ample baggage to unpack along with “wine, weed and an unexpected dog.” Roger Ebert said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the “stronger-than-average ensemble cast," and Cinema Blend called it "The Big Chill for millennials."
BITTER FEAST, a comedic horror thriller made in 2010 and partly filmed in Woodstock, stars James LeGros, Joshua Leonard, and Mario Batali. A celebrity chef exacts revenge on a food blogger who ruins his career, imprisoning him in the basement of an isolated Hudson Valley estate where he is forced to take food challenges.
In FRANCINE, an ex-con (Academy Award winner and local luminary Melissa Leo) has difficulty adjusting to life in a small lakeside town until she begins working with animals, though she finds herself growing increasingly isolated from the community and embracing forms of anti-social behavior. Actual Hudson Valley pets played supporting roles.
KING COBRA, a 2016 comedy crime drama filmed in Kingston in 2016, stars James Franco, Christian Slater, Garrett Clayton and Molly Ringwald in the ripped-from-the-headlines tale of the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart (a.k.a. Brent Corrigan) before his falling out with the producer who made him famous. Nominated as Campy Film of the Year by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.
Loitering with Intent
LOITERING WITH INTENT, a 2016 entry in the emerging genre of wacky-people-trapped-in-upstate-New-York (can I get a hell yeah?) stars Sam Rockwell, Brian Geraghty, and Natasha Lyonne. Two longtime friends, Raph and Dom, have 10 days to produce a dynamite script—their Hail Mary chance at escaping film industry mediocrity—so they head to a relative's place in the country to find some peace and inspiration. The Playlist reviewer Drew Taylor says, "Watching actors of this caliber interact is a joy."
A VIGILANTE, a 2018 crime drama/action thriller, was filmed in Kingston and stars Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, and Kyle Catlett. A woman escapes her abusive husband and rebuilds her world with martial arts training and becomes a vigilante to help abuse victims in this haunting drama.
More people than ever are using the parks and trail systems across the nation, with overcrowding even forcing some parks to close. Aside from following social distancing practices and staying at least six feet away from other hikers, standard trail etiquette is more important than ever now so that we can all cooperatively steward our natural resources.
However you decide to spend your indeterminately long reprieve from society, there may be no better mental health booster than getting outdoors. If we can’t get back to reality we can at least get back to nature. Here are 7 social distancing-compliant outdoor activities you can do in the Hudson Valley to get you out of the house and stop you from going stir-crazy.