Peter & John - PremiereD june 2015

Peter and John was filmed on location in Nantucket by the Movies from Marlboro program. The film stars 2014 Golden Globe winner Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Truffaut’s Day for Night, Chabrol’s Le Ceremonie), Christian Coulson (Harry Potter, Chamber of Secrets, The Hours), Shane Patrick Kearns (Blue Collar Boys), Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black) and Emmy winner and Tony nominee Gordon Clapp (NYPD Blue, Matewan, Glengarry Glen Ross).The crew included 32 students – from colleges including Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Sarah Lawrence, Boston College, Dartmouth College, University of Vermont, Lyndon State College, Emerson College, London School of the Arts, Burlington College, Smith College, and, of course, Marlboro - working under the direction of professional department heads.

The film is set in 1872 Nantucket, after the demise of the whaling industry, before the rise of tourism, and in the wake of the still-reverberating Civil War.  The film tells the story of Peter Roland, a sensitive, sober, and sometimes brooding town doctor in his early 30s. Peter takes pleasure from a cozy and affectionate relationship with his strikingly beautiful mother, Julia, and he enjoys a playful camaraderie with his mischievous and sometimes reckless younger brother John.

One night at dinner, a courier arrives with news of a surprising large inheritance for John.  Immediately, Peter darkens, suspecting that John’s benefactor, a bachelor aristocrat and family friend, had carried on an affair with his mother and was, in fact, John’s true father.

Burdened by his suspicions, Peter can’t find the words or feelings to resolve his fears. He finds himself unexpectedly drawn towards a young woman, Lucia, who arrives on the island and knows of startling events in Peter’s past that he wishes to keep secret. But John also finds Lucia attractive. The young doctor becomes increasingly unsure of himself, descending into a fog as thick as the rolling mist that regularly engulfs his seaside home. What emerges is less a tale of jealousy than a series of cathartic realizations prompted by Peter’s crisis, forcing him to confront what former Brandeis University French literature professor Murray Sachs described as Peter’s furtive reckoning with “the hollowness and immaturity of the illusions by which he lived.”

Peter and John is based on a french novel, Pierre et Jean, by Guy du Maupassant, which was widely heralded by critics and writers – and it was cited as an influence by Tolstory, Nabokov, and van Gogh – for the beauty of its images and its potent themes of family, class, legacy, legitimacy, and self-discovery.

“Monsieur de Maupassant has never before been so clever,” wrote Henry James who called Pierre et Jean a “masterly little novel.”

Peter and John will premiere in June 2015 on Nantucket– to inquire about bookings, contact Jay Craven (jcraven@marlboro.edu).