Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Future Weather screens at SIFF June 9, 5:30pm and June 10, 10am at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Director Jenny Deller is scheduled to attend}

Both Future Weather and I Am Not a Hipster are also part of the inaugural Catalyst program at SIFF, and are eligible for the FIPESCI New American Cinema juried prize award! As part of the program, SIFF is offering a full day of public panels and discussion around co-cretion and community in the new digital space. Panels start at 10am and run through 2pm on Saturday, June 9, at the SIFF Film Center — and are FREE to attend.  

Future Weather, which I was mainly excited about because the writer and director is female and HELLO WE NEED MORE WOMEN IN FILM, was an interesting spin on the usual coming-of-age story.

Perla Haney-Jardine (who you may remember as the adorbs BB Kiddo in Kill Bill Vol. 2) plays Lauderee, a 13-year-old in a small town with a pretty terrible mom. Seems mom has a dream of becoming a Hollywood makeup artist, and so you know, she just leaves to do that, as moms do. And Lauderee’s hard-drinking, miserable grandma Greta (yay, Amy Madigan!) isn’t much more help. She tries, but uh. Let’s just say the apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree. The only person for this neglected teen to turn to is science teacher Ms. Markovi (Lily Taylor), who encourages Laurderee’s obsession with schoolin’.

And that’s where the spin comes in. Rather than focus on the whole "troubled teenage girl who runs around sleeping with everybody, drinking, doing drugs, and godknowswhatelse," Lauderee throws herself into environmental studies and obsesses over Global Warming—right down to how much oxygen trees can create, and how she can save a rare mollusk that’s barely surviving in the town’s rivers.

Sure, there’s a love interest—kind of—that results in one very chaste kiss. But in the long run, it’s not about that, and man was it was refreshing to see a teenage girl portrayed as something more than a wild, out-of-control monster blindly trying to imitate what she’s been taught. The only thing I wish the movie had more of was Lily Taylor’s character, but Haney-Jardine and Madigan were so good in their roles, I was okay with what ended up on film. Overall, it’s a nice, solid film, and I’m excited to see what Jenny Deller does next.