13 November 2012 8:37 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Teenagers fuck, get each other pregnant, fight, take drugs, and are disaffected. So far, so very, very Larry Clark. But “Marfa Girl” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival last night, also foregrounds elements that haven’t historically cropped up quite so regularly in the filmmaker’s back catalog, like race relations, spirituality, and adults defined in ways other than their effect on teens, including, rarest of all, a functional and mutually loving parent/child relationship. It also boasts an intriguing structure whereby you might think it’s business as usual for the first two thirds, until in the final act, tension that you hadn’t really been aware of building comes to a head, almost the way you might expect in a genre film -- a psychological thriller or a horror perhaps -- as the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the harmonious community is thus exorcised of its chief demon. »

- Jessica Kiang

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