Title: Marfa Girl 2
Director: Larry Clark
Starring: Adam Mediano, Drake Burnette, Mercedes Maxwell
Runtime: 1 hr 46 minutes
What It Is: A sequel to Clark’s Marfa Girl, this film chronicles the lives of several young adults trying to cope with their new found responsibilities, including a girl who is battling with the aftermath of a violent sexual assault.
What We Think: I previously reviewed a film that left me highly conflicted as it left me dazzled in certain aspects of its art while failing to provide me full satisfaction in others. This film, with its stylistic cinematography but an otherwise frail sense of story and character development, is unfortunately not very different. On the better side of things, I was especially impressed with the way the camera work conveyed the tone of the film; a gritty and dogged look into how the other half lives. In this case, the half of life whose personal struggles impede them from striving for growth out of their dead-end small town. On a visual scale, you are given an up close and personal view of a lifestyle one could only see to believe. The scenes are so intimate that every moment witnessed within the feature is almost tangible like you are witnessing a story unfold through your own perspective. This film is a crude yet pleasant visual promenade that can make you feel like much more than just a spectator.
Now a film’s huge purpose is to provide artistic representation and value in a visual medium. However, we’ve grown out of the era where a short segment of two people kissing is enough to fuel our level of interest and intrigue. We as appreciators of the cinematic arts and what it is capable of need more: beautiful, thought and emotion provoking imagery and a profound story to match. In this day in age, these two filmmaking tools almost go hand in hand. Unfortunately, I wasn’t satisfied with both levels of cinematic expression with this feature. The stylistic visual artwork fails to compensate for this potentially intriguing case study turned cryptic soap opera.
Our Grade: C-, Marfa Girl 2 had the skeleton for a potential tragic-feel good feature, a grim look into the lives of decent, relatable people just trying to make it through life, struggling and changing and growing, as we all do. However, it seemed like there was a harder focus on putting a fine wax job over the grit of the film’s content, rather than breaking down that same content to its most uncomfortable form and building up from it using the characters as spokespeople for constructive change. It is a shame that I can appreciate how much more satisfying this feature could have been, had the creators just put more meat on its bones.