Friday, 22 June 2012

EIFF 2012: Kid-Thing

I've spent the last few days at the Edinburgh Film Festival: seen some good films, seen some rubbish films. This falls squarely in the former category, and has a public screening on Saturday if you like the sound of it...

We are introduced to Kid-Thing’s titular tyke via a pair of scenes that effectively distil the film as a whole. In a dream-like opening, Annie (Sydney Aguirre) watches stock cars smash into one another; shortly after, we see her eating breakfast (a bucket of Froot Loops, spooned with an ice-cream scoop) while reading a story that runs on non-sequiters. What follows combines these two elements: in a string of non-causal sketches, Annie asbos around her neighbourhood, smashing porcelain, shooting cow carcasses with a paint gun, and thieving from the convenience store.

Her banal destruction is drolly funny, with brothers David and Nathan Zellner (director/writer and producer/cinematographer respectively) adopting a stylishly detached tone. A Mark Mothersbaugh-ish soundtrack from fellow Austinites The Octopus Project enhances Kid-Thing’s unusual allure, while the discovery of a woman trapped down a pit (voiced by Susan Tyrell, who sadly died last week) adds allegorical mystery, leading to an ambiguous climax likely to illicit groans as well as gasps. 

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