Electrick Children.

The angelic Rachel.

Mike Gray opened his introduction to this week’s Film Club screening at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre by telling an attentive audience that he felt we were in for something different. Electrick Children (2012) is a coming of age drama that tells the fascinating story of Rachel, a 15 year-old girl raised in a fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah, Western United States, who believes that she has been made pregnant through listening to a rock music tape that she discovered on her 15thbirthday. Following this immaculate conception she flees her family home and goes to Las Vegas to search for the singer on the tape, accompanied by her brother Mr. Will who is suspected by their parents of carrying out the procreation of his sister and had been banished by the family.

Mormon rural home life.

The angelic looking Rachel is played by the 18 year-old Julia Garner, who you will probable know from another exceptional independent American movie Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) her debut feature film. Rachel’s brother is played by Liam Aiken (The Killer Inside Me 2010) who was at one time auditioned for the part of Harry Potter. Billy Zane appears as her preacher father and Rory Culkin is Clyde who falls in love with Rachel when they meet up in Las Vegas.

Rachel is bewitched by the bright lights of the big city.......

............Mr Wills does not feel the same way!

Mike went on to tell us that the 28 year-old Rebecca Thomas, whose directorial feature film debut this is, was born in Las Vegas and was also raised in a Mormon family and studied for 18 months to be a missionary in male dominated Japan. Changing direction she made the short film Ivan Sings (2009) about a male rape victim who hires a group of Russ Meyer revenge babes to kill his attacker and wrote Nobody Knows You Give a Damn (2009) where a young mother suffering from post-partum depression makes an unusual and unexpected encounter.

New friends in Las Vegas.

After returning from our break Mike, who lived and worked in America for awhile, indulged us in a little of the background to the Mormon Church including the fact that it was not only Utah where they first settled but a good deal of western America. They also own the land that the gambling city of Las Vegas is built upon allegedly collecting huge amounts of rent! The film did however reflect a serious issue within the church of young girls running away from their normal rural home life attracted by the bright lights of the city.  But the film treated the difference between the secular world and the spiritual world in a very nonjudgmental way, which in it self was very refreshing for a modern independent film.

Clyde and Rachel leave the wedding!

The movie, which was the opening film at this years Berlin Film Festival, was very well received by the RBCFT audience and it was agreed that it was an ideal movie for a “Monday night” and comments were passed that it is a great shame that films like this could not get a wider distribution but as good as the film was it did not attract a significantly large audience at the Dumfries cinema. Both the young actress Julia Garner and director Rebecca Thomas showed great promise and are certainly two people to keep your movie eye out for.