Marin Blue

Marin Blue


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

Marin (Najarra Townsend) and Jim (Cory Knauf) are both outsiders who share a common history which neither can recollect. Their paths both cross again when Jim is commited to a Los Angeles mental institution where Marin works, Marin is a former patient who suffers from narcolepsey and who works there in return for free medication to help her condition.

The only real backstory we learn about Jim is why he decided to leave the facility, which was to avoid the two male strangers who come to visit him claiming to be his brothers. Jim, however has no idea who these individuals are and decides to get the hell out of there. Jim is only familiar with Marin's voice when she sings to patients over the loud speaker, one day when circumstances get the better of him he decides to scale the fence and escape. Upon fleeing the facility he find himself wandering around the Los Angeles landscape with no real destination in mind but in search of discovery and a potential new beginning in his life. Intrigued by Jim, Marin sets off on a journey of her own to try to find him in a move which will ultimately trigger long-forgotten memories for Jim.

Copy picture

These two lost souls form an unlikely bond and meet regularly in an abandoned coffee shop with the hope of sparking new memories about each other, especially since Jim claims to have known Marin previously from high school. He even proposes to Marin that they re-visit the school to provide possible answers but Marin rejects his suggestion. Slightly dejected Jim wanders around Los Angeles in a haze trying to search for hope and that's then when he realises hope comes in the form of Marin who may well be his shining light.

Filmed with limited resources, Marin Blue is a great festival entry, with a lovely dreamlike feel. Shot on HD with wonderful artistic flair, each image looks like a photograph and each location used only adds to the film's narrative. The action is helped by an evocative score composed by writer/director Matthew Hysell.

I must also deliver high praise to Director of Photography George Su, who frames the film magnificently, using inventive angles and lighting that really adds to the visual impact. The two leads are well cast and, in a film that's so arresting to look at, it's no wonder they both happen to be photogenic, though one of the least believeble things was seeing Jim with such a trendy haircut floating around in a mental institute.

The movie does leave lots of unanswered questions and poses much debate which is very healthy and fresh in this day and age, but as much as this has a certain charm it also works slightly against it. Not everyone will be happy with the film's lack of closure as the final credits roll. However, Hysell has crafted a beautiful aural and visual piece of cinema that deserves to be seen.

Reviewed on: 07 Feb 2009
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Story of an unusual romance between a narcoleptic woman and a man who can't recall his past.

Director: Matthew Hysell

Writer: Matthew Hysell

Starring: Cory Knauf, Najarra Townsend, Elliott Ehlers, Josh Cobb, Trista Robinson, Tanya F. Yarbrough, Sean Guse, Kate Melia, Brett Mann, Alanna Blair

Year: 2008

Runtime: 77 minutes

Country: US


BIFF 2009

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