Adolescence: the passage from the cushioned environment of childhood to the hard reality of the adult world, is a time, both loved and hated, where certainties crumble, opening the door to a world that is frightening, and, at the same time, utterly fascinating.
Untarnished ingenuity, shaped by a reassuring, domestic world, disintegrates, as if by magic, leaving in its place a new landscape which is dangerously attractive, where nothing is as it seems, and everything is still to be constructed.
Gregg Araki, the brilliant American filmmaker of The Doom Generation, can be considered the king of the teen movie, a concentrate of the problems of the world of adolescence, with that exquisitely provocative touch which has become his trade-mark. After the apocalyptic apotheosis of his previous film, Kaboom, Araki has, with his latest work, White Bird in a Blizzard, found his noir and ruthlessly sarcastic side, already expressed in the masterly Mysterious Skin. Always touched by that acidulous pop style that has characterised all of his film-making, he presents the homonymous novel, White Bird in a Blizzard, by Laura Kasischke, with an utterly refreshing adolescent arrogance
Kat Connors is 17 years old when, on a cold winter’s day, her mother suddenly disappears. There is no explanation, not even a message, or a lead, that could explain the reason for it. Having lived her entire life in an emotionally repressed family, Kat does not appear to be particularly affected by the absence of her mother, a beautiful and enigmatic, but cold-hearted woman. In the delicate period in which she is discovering her own sexuality, Kat is assailed by visions and dreams that impel her to face this mysterious disappearance. Appearances are often misleading and the truth lies hidden behind a daily life that is falsely reassuring.
While still remaining in the world of adolescence, already magnificently presented with films that are now iconic, like Nowhere or Totally Fucked Up, Gregg Araki surprises us by slipping towards settings and themes that are close to the world of another master of suspense, David Lynch. White Bird in a Blizzard is a pitiless and emotive portrait of a desperate housewife (the magnificent Eva Green) who attempts to find a way out of a hypocritical suburban life which has become unbearable.
Araki speaks, without taboos, about the American dream, exposing its limits and hypocrisies, with that touch of ironic pop that makes his films unique. An explosive mix of off-the-wall MTV style and formal elegance, with the psychoanalytical overtones of David Lynch.
Everything is accompanied by a mysterious and sensual New Wave musical score. Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Talk Talk or The Cure, and New Order, are just some of the musical references chosen by Araki, a true orchestral conductor who transports us to the era (not that far off) of the 1980s, where it was still possible to dream, thanks to a walkman and the voice of Elizabeth Fraser, who whispered sibylline words into our ears. A powerful film to enjoy avidly.