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Eric Chaney’s Indigo Children concerns the burgeoning romance between two teens who supposedly possess the mystical, otherworldly abilities that give the film its title. But after the notion is broached by the ethereal Christina (Isabelle McNally) to Mark (Robert Olsen), the young man she’s first seen gazing at with rapt adoration, the idea is essentially dropped. What instead transpires is a dreamy exercise in navel gazing and lushly photographed images that quickly lull the viewer into a soporific state.
Set in a small town suburban New Jersey, not a locale one normally associates with poeticism, the film is set over the course of a languorous summer during which the two adolescents mainly hang out together and engage in cryptic conversations while wandering through fields and around abandoned railroad tracks. Along the way they reveal bits of personal information, such as Christina’s story of how her parents met on a plane that nearly crashed and that Mark’s father, who he hasn’t seen in years, has recently passed away.
Actually, conversation may be too strong a word, as the verbiage mostly comes from the nattering flower-child Christina while Mark mostly responds in monosyllables. Such would-be dramatic moments as when Christina sees him with another girl and professes not to be jealous are treated in cursory fashion, as if genuine-seeming human interactions were something to avoid being depicted at all cost.
It’s all very pretty and elliptical in a Terrence Malick-ian kind of way, minus the underlying philosophical substance and gorgeous imagery that give that filmmaker’s even more obscure films an appreciable gravitas.
Opens Jan. 17 (Striped Entertainment)
Cast: Isabelle McNally, Robert Olsen, Christine Donlon, Arturo Castro, Suzanne Lynch, Segal Magori, Myles MacVane
Director-screenwriter: Eric Chaney
Producers: Bill Disanza, Jeremy Poster, Karen Wang
Director of photography: Jay Hufford
Editors: Garett Shore, Eric Chaney
Production designer: Geoffrey Ehrlich
Costume designer: Liz Vastola
Composers: Jesse Lee Herdman, Trevett McCandliss
Not rated, 75 min.
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