Saturday, January 25, 2014

"I Used to Be Darker": rogue teenage girl crashes her extended family dynamics

“I Used to Be Darker” is an independent drama about family dynamics filmed “locally”, in Baltimore and Ocean City, MD. by Matthew Porterfield.
Taryn (Deragh Campbell), a teenage immigrant from northern Ireland, gets into trouble with her destructive hissy fits while living in Ocean City and gets kicked out of a place, so she calls her aunt and uncle in Baltimore, country musicians Bill and Kim (Ned Oldham and Kim Taylor), asking blunt to meet her at the bus stations so she can crash. But Bill and Kim are in the middle of a difficult separation, just as their rather responsible daughter Abby (Hannah Gross) comes home for the summer from her first year of college.
The dynamic of the couple is interesting. Bill resents the fact that he doesn’t have the time for his own musically creative life because he supports the family.  He seems to depend on his wife’s musical hardware to carry on, and that may go with her.
There is some unelected family responsibility made into an issue, when Kim is challenged with the question, “after all, she is your sister’s child”.  As if she was automatically responsible as the backup?
What does the title of the film come from?  There are various romantic temptations and liaisons abounding, but maybe a scene where Abby paints her purple room white is symbolic.
The official site is here. The DVD from Strand Releasing will be available January 28, 2013.  I viewed a screener.  I just missed the opportunity to see it at the Maryland Film Festival on Charles Street, Baltimore in May, 2013.

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