Lower East Side
350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Street-Essex Street; B, D, Q to Grand Street
|8:30PM||Live Performance by Salt Cathedral|
|11:30PM||After-Party at Fontana's (105 Eldridge St. @ Grand) courtesy of Red Stripe|
Crystal Fairy (Sebastian Silva | Chile | 98 min.)
Jamie (Michael Cera) is the typical 21st Century “Ugly American Tourist”: inconsiderate, not even attempting to speak the language, adorned in a hipster uniform and obsessed with scoring drugs. While visiting Chile, his friend Champa (Juan Andres Silva) has arranged to take him on a camping trip at the beach. Jamie is single-minded in his quest to trip on Mescaline from the local San Pedro cactus. His inner toddler-a personification of the Id-takes what he wants, refusing to compromise, reluctant to share with Champa, or Champa's younger brothers Pilo and Len (Augustin and Jose Miguel Silva) who join them camping.
However, the night before Jamie and Champa leave for the beach, Jamie meets another American traveler, Crystal Fairy (played wonderfully by Gaby Hoffman) at a house party. Crystal Fairy is the Ego to Jamie's Id: she seeks to regulate Jamie's selfishness and ritualize his drug-induced trip. She's the kind of hippie that pays for goods in drawings and will strip off her clothes at a moment's notice -- or really no notice at all. She's a child of the universe, but at times can be just as condescending as Jamie is towards the Global South.
Set against the dreamy and surreal background of the Atacama Desert and Chile's rugged seaside, these two hateable-but-relatable characters are comedic, dominating, but never larger-than-life forces that drive the group's quest for self-discovery. Shot in just 12 days, director Sebastián Silva's most remarkable feat is that he captures how the most boorish of friends can work as as a catalyst for the group as friendships evolve, consciousnesses are altered and secrets are revealed.
- Sarah Feuquay