Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LFF: The Kids Aren't All Right

Still from Release the Flying Monkeys
No, I didn't attend last night's Gala Premiere of Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, sadly, but I have viewed several films that detail complicated teenaged lives.

Spork (dir JB Ghuman Jr.) is a quirky US slacker-ish comedy, curiously '90s in feel, with an outsider heroine, bullied at school for being dorky and intersex. Her tormentors include a group of Britney-alikes (very Heathers), while her few allies number the fat Asian kid and the sassy black chick. A bit pat, that, but there is some originality to be had, as Spork (the name cruelly bestowed by the bullies) tries to regain some self respect via the unlikely medium of krumping. An utterly implausible ending doesn't quite spoil the film's charms, grotesque humour chief among them.

Elisa K is much more sombre in tone, its heroine burying memories of a childhood rape by a family friend, until she reaches adulthood and suddenly remembers. Her breakdown quickly descends into bathos, and the ending is left unresolved.

Pretty Girls Make Graves, a shorts programme featuring convention-defying girls, was disappointingly uneven, but, for me, the clear standout was the comedy Release the Flying Monkeys, in which two Albanian girls perform exorcisms among the sinners of London, hoping to bring them closer to Jesus. Laugh-out-loud funny and irreverent, the film punctures religious posturing in engaging style. Most of the other films I found a bit too self-consciously arty to be fathomable, but That Thing You Drew also drew laughs, as an uncomprehending girl causes havoc in her school with her choice of artistic subject. Kids, eh?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Thanks a lot for your review on short film Release The Flying Monkeys. Im the producer of this film and just came across your post by chance. Really glad that you enjoyed it!

x Hsinyi