Dir: Marialy Rivas. Chile. 2011. 92mins
Director Marialy Rivas’s playful and stylish is another welcome addition to the roster for impressive new films charting the forthright sexuality of teens, though given the story is set in Chile the spectre of religion looms large over 17 year-old Daniela and her sexual drive.
Young & Wild (Joven y alocada) is a thoroughly charming new film and tackles a teenage girls sexual enthusiasm with compassion and intelligence.
It is a stylish and engagingly frank debut, with Alicia Rodriguez impressive as the sex-obsessed Daniela caught between her enthusiasm for her sex-orientated on-line activities (her site is called ‘youngandwild/blogspot.com’) and the pressure from her mother to embrace their evangelical church in Santiago.
When Daniela is taken out of school after revelations about her supposed sexual liaison with another student she is sent by her mother to work at the Evangelical television station.
Naturally enough, the theory is that this should help her see the light…but Daniela instead finds herself attracted to co-workers Tomas (Felipe Pinto) and Antonia (María Gracia Omegna), which leads her enthusiastic imagination into conjuring all sort of possible relationships with the pair.
The scenes of her blog entries offer up the opportunity for a little dabbling with on-screen effects, as other bloggers as also seen responding to her comments. It is never absolutely clear if Daniela’s descriptions of her sexual trysts are real or not – blogs are not often the best sources of reliable information – but Rivas shoots the sex scenes with care and style, and is clearly benefited by Alicia Rodriguez’s charming performance of a young girl on the cusp of womanhood.
The scenes of Daniela’s relationship with her authoritarian mother and her much more laid-back (and terminally ill) aunt act as a nice counterbalance to sex sequences. There is nothing explicit here, though the tone of the subject might make the film a tough sell for some distributors.
But Young & Wild (Joven y alocada) is a thoroughly charming new film and tackles a teenage girls sexual enthusiasm with compassion and intelligence.
Production company: Fabula
International sales: Elle Driver, www.elledriver.fr
Producers: Juan de Dios Larrain, Pablo Larrain
Executive producers: Mariane Hatard, Juan Ignacio Correa
Screenplay: Marialy Rivas, Camila Gutierrez, Pedro Peirano, Sebastian Sepulveda
Cinematography: Sergio Armstrong
Editors: Andrea Chignoli, Sebastian Sepulveda
Production design: Roberto Espinoza
Main cast: Alicia Luz Rodriguez, Aline Kuppenheim, María Gracia Omegna, Felipe Pinto