October 13, 2013

Electrick Children

Rebecca Thomas, 2013

Rachel (Julia Garner) is a young girl living in a remote Mormon community, separated from the outside world. When she discovers a tape recorder in the basement of her home, she plays a rock and roll tape she finds. Soon after, she begins displaying symptoms of pregnancy and is convinced the music impregnated her. When she hears that she will soon be forced into an arranged marriage with an elder member of the community she runs away. She travels to Las Vegas where she meets a boy her age named Clyde (Rory Culkin) who shows her a world she's never seen before.

The film blends in some of the beats of Almost Famous with some Christian symbolism such as the Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception. Rachel is so hungry for stimuli outside of her small community that the second the music plays on the old tape recorder she is starving for more, like tasting the forbidden fruit. She departs the small community in the desert Utah landscape and discovers a new world. Departing her faith like she is partaking in a Rumspringa-tradition. She arrives in the obviously ironic Sin City which might as well be an alternate dimension to her. Cell phones, neon lights, pizza, skateboarding. It's all new to her. Rachel's mother Gay Lynn clearly relates to Rachel. You get the feeling early on that she has a past outside of the Mormon faith, as she tells her tale of the unicorn-like Red Mustang. Early on the Mustang feels like a symbol of freedom, or perhaps represents something that has passed and that you can't get back. It later reveals itself, and it's more than that. It's a well put together fish out of water story. Love, purity, innocence. The world she enters is friendly and inviting. When entered, everything changes. Like seeing the world in black and white your whole life and finally getting a taste of color.

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