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Marfa Girl (2012)

Unrated | | Drama | 17 December 2014 (Australia)
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A story centered on a directionless 16-year-old living in Marfa, Texas and his relationships with his girlfriend, his neighbor, his teacher, a newly arrived local artist, and a local Border Patrol officer.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Mediano ...
Adam
Drake Burnette ...
Marfa Girl
...
Tom
Mary Farley ...
Mary
Mercedes Maxwell ...
Inez
...
Donna
...
Tina (as Tina Thérèse)
Jessie Tejada ...
Jessie
Richard Covurrubias ...
Chachi
Erik Quintana ...
Erik
Lindsay Jones ...
Miss Jones
...
Ulysses
...
Oscar
Elizabeth Castro ...
Angie
Nathan Stevens ...
Ty
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Storyline

A story centered on a directionless 16-year-old living in Marfa, Texas and his relationships with his girlfriend, his neighbor, his teacher, a newly arrived local artist, and a local Border Patrol officer.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 December 2014 (Australia)  »

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Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Marfa Girl 2 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"A series of unrelated conversations punctuated by rolls in the hay"
5 April 2015 | by (U.S. Virgin Islands) – See all my reviews

...is what seems this film is striving for at first. Ignoring Larry Clark's notorious reputation of a cinematic perv and exploiter of young, underweight and under aged non-actors (quoted: I wondered about the availability of porn everywhere and how it affected what they thought about sex, what it was, what influence it had...). He makes films about specific not-for-everybody subjects and does not hide his fascination by it. Fair enough. The problem here is not weather to approve or disapprove Clark's fetishistic obsession by young & aimless, beautiful & doomed, or his over the top raw shots of them having sex, doing drugs or shooting people (Kids, Ken Park, Wassup Rockers prepared us for it) but his stubborn persistence in denying the strength and the possible depth of the material.His lazy semi- documentaristic approach makes it all more so interesting, just that it feels as if he's not in control of the outcome...And that can be tricky if you're dealing with such cold-blooded realism. Though amazing cinematography and mood cover for the lack of narrative and acting force, Clark likes to show off his talent in photography and lets his story suffer for it.

Marfa girl revolves around a half-Mexican charismatic 16 yr- old skater boy in a self-titled town in Texas, which is another character of the movie. Located on the border of US and Mexico it is the perfect setting for all kinds of weird stories and conflicts. The mixture of locals and outsiders, "breeds" and racist psychopaths, like the patrol officer Tom played by Jeremy St. James. He is a savage and brutal sociopath that, for some inexplicable reason, gets away with everything, whether showing Adam's Mom "blue waffle" pictures or abusing every single person he meets. As we learn by the end, he is in pathological relationship with pain, weather inflicted upon him or on other people... So called "circle of violence" that goes on until something really bad happens. Though St. James' performance is great and believable in every second, I find the character in the end abruptly degraded and pushed to fit the plot assignment, pretty much like the rest of them. Marfa girl, misleading "main character" of the film played by the fresh model (what else) Drake Burnette is like a patch for the others, bringing in a breeze of fresh air and liberation from their established patterns and beliefs, but coming off more as snobby and reckless then true and free spirited. She is an Artist in residence, white and privileged but nevertheless doomed and lost as her fellow townies. Maybe that's the part I feel the most ambivalent about in Clark's films. The fact he doesn't really give any chance to his characters. As if in his eyes they are all losers by birth certificate.

There are two amazing sequences in the film that made me think it would take it to a whole new level. One is an off-beat dialogue between Adam's mother and Mexican spiritual woman and her brother, involving dead parrots and their emotional bondage with them. As weird as it may sound, this was the most genuine and natural part of the film. Second one is the sequence between the Marfa girl and young Adam where she tries to pass on her liberal, kind of feminist, values of free love and double standards in male/female relations. It's the talk that feels more natural then all the stiffed sex scenes and unnecessary violence in the end. It also shows that the actors are not really that bad or inexperienced but, actually, well directed, portraying true awkwardness of the outsiders- inhabitants of the infamous American canal. I really loved those seemingly effortless dives into complexities, coming from faces of Dazed and Confused magazine covers...I am more interested in seeing their emotional landscape,their quirky philosophies and thoughts on life then the platitude of sex, drugs and violence that fits the frame all too familiar.They are all kids (with less edge than the original "Kids") and their paths are still not determined, in spite of their aimlessness and utter lack of interest and integrity.

The end result feels as if that no-future philosophy of ghost town and its Martian Marfa citizens, so pointedly and viscerally portrayed, was forced into some kind of a tragedy just to fulfill the plot assignment.Too bad Clarke didn't feel it was worthy of more thorough investigation, or maybe he found it boring comparing to visually more satisfying exploration of his fantasies.


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