The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Film Review: 'Fort Tilden'

By Anne Harris, March 12, 2014, 8:54am, SXSW

A funny thing happens on the way to the Rockaways. It's a long bicycle ride to an obscure beach at Fort Tilden from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but it's worth the time spent with these two knuckleheads, as they set off with the promise of an afternoon rolling on Molly with cute boys at the beach in their sights.

Harper (Bridey Elliott) and her best friend Allie (Clare McNulty) are two privileged twentysomethings who find that getting to the beach isn't so easy when you fit reality around sophomore logic. As the day wears on, Allie begins to discover that being as cool as her friend isn't getting her anywhere. A voluntourist who announces her upcoming Peace Corps assignment in Liberia to snickers about doing it for the Facebook posts, the brat in her is beginning to grow up, a balance achieved by McNulty. Sure, the kids are mean, but so is Harper, who is played with a Tina Fey-like charm by Elliott. Cruel dialogue in youngster hip-speak and a terrific soundtrack keep this light, while cinematography by Brian Lannin takes us right into that hot, hassled summer day. In fact, Lannin's baking city pavement has us smelling gas fumes, as the girls struggle towards a destination that, like the day, is not what they expected.

Fort Tilden took the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Fort Tilden

Narrative Competition, World Premiere
Wednesday, March 12, 11am, VCC
Friday, March 14, 1:30pm, Stateside

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