Part-Time Punx

The musings of a struggling writer in art school, in Brooklyn New York

Jul 16
MOVIES I SAW: Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus and 2012

   I heard about Crystal Fairy through a random Village Voice article the other day. As someone who has liked virtually everything I’ve seen Cera in, I was intrigued by the role he would be playing in this. So today I decided to check it out.
   If you’ve heard anything about the film, it’s probably been regarding how this is a departure of the “typical Cera role.” I definitely think that this could be a major turning point in his career, which is kind of the point. With this, he jumps from the adorkable leading boy to an indie-leading man. That being said, he plays essentially an adolescent man-boy archetype.
   Basic plot synopsis: Cera plays a drug-obsessed twenty-comething who is living in Chile. Within the first scene it is established that he is your typical Doors of Perception post-undergrad. A little too into drugs, while also not towing the line of drug-addict. The movie follows him and his friends as they drive to the coast with the intent of eating a San Pedro cactus(which is used to cook mescaline). Along the way, the group picks up Crystal Fairy, another American, played by Gaby Hoffman. At first-glance Crystal Fairy is your classic new-age, Coachella-hippie-type, but as the film gains momentum, he character unravels in a totally spell-binding way. Let me just take a minute to say, Gaby Hoffman absolutely steals the show. Hoffman immerses herself so deeply in the character that after walking out of the theater, I had to remind myself she was not that person.
   The movie builds upon two well-known archetypes familiar to most millenials. The manic-pixie-hippie type(not to be confused with the manic-pixie-dream-girl), that you may find at your local music festival, and the aforementioned philosophy dork a little too into experimenting with drugs. Watching the two American presences on the Chilean landscape is interesting. The film turns the “Stranger in a Strange Land” archetype on its head, presenting two characters who believe to fit into an escapist culture and are therefore unknowingly alienated.
    The first half of the movie is an enthralling, realistic look at a road movie. As opposed to the traditional young, wild, and free feeling, the movie shows the uncomfortable traveling conditions and more uncomfortable relations. The movie really gets going after the characters ingest the mescaline. The drugged out sequences are beautiful, yet understated. While I was expecting the blissed-out psychedelia of your traditional indie movie, the movie opted for barely-noticeable bright hues and a little bit of sound-work. It also kept a steady, yet just-stylized-enough look at the ways that a person looks while tripping. Even more impressive is the way that just by facial expression or a flick of the eyes, the cast manages to showcase all of the inner workings of a mind melting down.
   Essentially, you should really see this movie. It is an important movie coming out of a wave of generational defining movies of a culture adrift looking to come to terms with the world, and not really succeeding. Better, the movie succeeds because the characters do not. Nothing is moralized, noting is contextualized. Instead, everything just happens.

MOVIES I SAW: Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus and 2012


   I heard about Crystal Fairy through a random Village Voice article the other day. As someone who has liked virtually everything I’ve seen Cera in, I was intrigued by the role he would be playing in this. So today I decided to check it out.

   If you’ve heard anything about the film, it’s probably been regarding how this is a departure of the “typical Cera role.” I definitely think that this could be a major turning point in his career, which is kind of the point. With this, he jumps from the adorkable leading boy to an indie-leading man. That being said, he plays essentially an adolescent man-boy archetype.

   Basic plot synopsis: Cera plays a drug-obsessed twenty-comething who is living in Chile. Within the first scene it is established that he is your typical Doors of Perception post-undergrad. A little too into drugs, while also not towing the line of drug-addict. The movie follows him and his friends as they drive to the coast with the intent of eating a San Pedro cactus(which is used to cook mescaline). Along the way, the group picks up Crystal Fairy, another American, played by Gaby Hoffman. At first-glance Crystal Fairy is your classic new-age, Coachella-hippie-type, but as the film gains momentum, he character unravels in a totally spell-binding way. Let me just take a minute to say, Gaby Hoffman absolutely steals the show. Hoffman immerses herself so deeply in the character that after walking out of the theater, I had to remind myself she was not that person.

   The movie builds upon two well-known archetypes familiar to most millenials. The manic-pixie-hippie type(not to be confused with the manic-pixie-dream-girl), that you may find at your local music festival, and the aforementioned philosophy dork a little too into experimenting with drugs. Watching the two American presences on the Chilean landscape is interesting. The film turns the “Stranger in a Strange Land” archetype on its head, presenting two characters who believe to fit into an escapist culture and are therefore unknowingly alienated.

    The first half of the movie is an enthralling, realistic look at a road movie. As opposed to the traditional young, wild, and free feeling, the movie shows the uncomfortable traveling conditions and more uncomfortable relations. The movie really gets going after the characters ingest the mescaline. The drugged out sequences are beautiful, yet understated. While I was expecting the blissed-out psychedelia of your traditional indie movie, the movie opted for barely-noticeable bright hues and a little bit of sound-work. It also kept a steady, yet just-stylized-enough look at the ways that a person looks while tripping. Even more impressive is the way that just by facial expression or a flick of the eyes, the cast manages to showcase all of the inner workings of a mind melting down.

   Essentially, you should really see this movie. It is an important movie coming out of a wave of generational defining movies of a culture adrift looking to come to terms with the world, and not really succeeding. Better, the movie succeeds because the characters do not. Nothing is moralized, noting is contextualized. Instead, everything just happens.


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