‘The Maiden Review: A Mysterious And Melancholic Study Of Teenagers In The Wake Of Tragedy

‘The Maiden Review: A Mysterious And Melancholic Study Of Teenagers In The Wake Of Tragedy

Something or someone is sure to haunt Calgary's grassy canyon, where much of Graham Foy's ambitious and amorphous early life took place. But this is another complete drama, including the wandering spirits of local teenagers killed prematurely, or the grief of the friends they left behind, or the lingering shadow of Gus Van Sant's mischievous filmography, or perhaps an outline; The transparent layers of metaphysics are almost imperceptible through grief and 16mm soil, so hard to tell.

Foy comes with an undeniable gift for atmosphere and a genuine belief in cinema's potential to capture the unimaginable, and strive to make sense beyond what we traditionally consider meaningful. But whether the refinement of his aspirations is justified by the sometimes mind-bogglingly elliptical nature of his narrative is another question. "Girl" is wonderfully atmospheric, but only occasionally moves.

The distant register in which most of the film takes place is a conscious choice, as evidenced by the brighter opening where we first meet Kyle (Jackson Slytherin) and his best friend Colton (Marcel T. Jimenez). the empty but paradoxically eventful days we all spent in our youth. They drift aimlessly through dull suburban streets. They talk about everything and nothing and challenge each other on the grassy slope. They find a dead cat in an abandoned construction site and throw rocks and sneakers at it as a special attraction. But when there seems to be nothing to do but stir and shake the sleeping bone marrow, they decide to give the cat a rather interesting ride. They build and decorate a small raft and send his body down the river to say goodbye to the Vikings. So we love them, these sad lost lost boys.

It's already clear that while they're both strangers, Kyle, who looks a bit like River Phoenix from Stand By Me, is the protagonist, and Colton is the skinny guy with the side-swept bob and the floaty gait. Kyle uses nukes in his speech, verbal tics rather than actual aggression, and graffiti on every available surface. later, the ubiquity of her Girl tag became a constant motif. Then, just as the characters are in focus, tragedy strikes in the form of late-night stunts on the train tracks, and Colton is suddenly friendless and guideless, following his sad and lonely character through school hallways and parking lots. movie. the more awkward it becomes.

Only after a while, given Foy's penchant for rambling and editor Brendan Mills' commitment to a less unusual route, does the story pick up steam and begin its interesting recovery. supernatural associations. Perhaps the film's boldest move is the slow-motion narrative somersault as Colton discovers a battered diary belonging to schoolmate and missing Kyle Whitney (Haley Ness). As Colton flips through the journal, we follow his actions in the days and weeks after Whitney's disappearance, Foy showing her rare compassion (like Colton, he's the shyest of his best friends) as he navigates the turbulent moment he finds himself in the strained relationship of his childhood. the new young adult in a hormonal maelstrom.

DP Kelly Jeffrey's photography exudes a dreamy magic that makes the transition from raw realism to dark abstraction all the more believable. The apparent plot is aided by crude commentary from a somewhat unprofessional cast. Formal disappointments lie elsewhere, in a simplistic approach that sometimes feels like a deliberate attempt to subvert traditional dramatic forms and the zigzags any other film might develop. At times, the very simple, somewhat surreal expression of longing for the overload of teenage pain is marred by the feeling that the director deliberately interfered with the rhythms of the story and their rhythms to think about dramatic rhythms that are not entirely organic. characters.

But when all else fails, Maiden is still sensitive to style and caution, and it's rare for a debut film to be so committed to portraying such occupied territory from the inside. When Colton finds that tired journal, the poetry of Foy's approach shifts from blank verse to a stronger internal rhythm. Is it possible to think that everything after this is a dream, or is time itself, perhaps tired of being dragged along, not jammed like a derailed train? Perhaps Colton appeared out of sheer force of will, with nothing else in mind, while the dead cat and his dead friend were still alive. Or maybe Kyle and Whitney really are together in "The Valley Beyond the Veil." Either way, Virgo might get there on her own terms, but there's a strange beauty and a strange comfort in the idea that she's somewhere perhaps not so far from the places she's always haunted. where and where the end of all lost children can be found.

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TITANIC REACTION | The reaction to watching the film for the first time

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