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CFUV @ VFF 2019: Wild Nights With Emily

teaser WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY from Director Madeleine Olnek on Vimeo.

I, like many, have had a long standing admiration for Emily Dickinson’s poetry, but only a dim awareness of the historically intimate relationship that she shared with her sister-in-law, Susan Huntington-Dickinson. Throughout their friendship, Emily wrote hundreds of beautiful and passionate letters to Susan, and the romantic nature of this correspondence has been analyzed and speculated about by many a scholar since.

Director Madeleine Olnek, commenting on her own work in a 2014 interview, stated that “the biggest misconception–not just for me, but for other comedic filmmakers as well–is that comedy can’t be a profoundly meaningful experience.” In Wild Nights With Emily, comedy and meaning are successfully married to create a hilarious queer reimagining of Dickinson’s life that also brings the beauty and poignancy of her prose to a new light. Molly Shannon is expertly cast as Emily Dickinson, bringing heart and humour to the roll of one of the 19th century’s greatest poetic talents. This film is highly recommended as an unusual and lighthearted story of love between two women, that also provides a new awareness of the depth and scope of Dickinson’s writing.

Wild Nights With Emily will be screening Thursday, February 7th, 9pm at the Dave Dunnet Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online at

-Amy Anderson

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