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David Zellner, 2012
USA | 83 minutes
Q&A with David and Nathan Zellner, moderated by Ted Hope!
If Harmony Korine and David Gordon Green collaborated on a children’s film, the result might look something like this excitingly unclassifiable second feature by the team of writer-director-actor David Zellner and his brother, producer-cinematographer Nathan Zellner. An official selection of this year’s Sundance and Berlin film festivals, Kid-Thing unfolds somewhere in the East Texas backwoods, where a 10-year-old tomboy named Annie (terrific newcomer Sidney Aguirre) whiles away a few lazy days during a supposed school closure. Paid little mind by her inarticulate man-child father (played by Nathan Zellner himself), Annie spends most of her time shoplifting from the corner store, blasting animal carcasses (and sometimes people) with her paintball gun and—in one truly unforgettable scene—destroying another girl’s backyard birthday party with a baseball bat. One day, Annie hears a voice (Oscar nominee Susan Tyrrell) crying for help from deep in an abandoned well in the woods. At first, she offers the voice homemade PB&J sandwiches and Capri Sun, but soon begins to have her doubts. Is this “Esther” merely a kind old lady who lost her footing, or perchance the Devil himself? A lyrical, often hilarious, ultimately melancholy ode to fleeting childhood innocence, Kid-Thing places the Zellner brothers in the front rank of an exciting new wave of American independent filmmakers.
Additional support provided by Fandor.