Is Sebastian Silva‘s Crystal Fairy a drug film? A road trip film, or a comedy? Maybe a drama, or an experimental film? In fact, the movie is all of those things. Filmed on a shoestring budget while waiting to make another movie called Magic Magic, Crystal Fairy stars Michael Cera as Jamie, an American traveling in Chile hoping to trip on the psychedelic chemical in the San Pedro cactus. Along the way he picks up a crazy American girl named Crystal (Gaby Hoffman) and with three brothers in tow they all go on a very awkward journey of discovery. Basically, it’s a film that defies any real classification beyond “captivating.”
That nature is why I was so excited to talk at length with the writer/director and star of the film. We spoke to Cera and Silva about the film and talked about its eccentricities, its different tones, strong female representation, and the idea of Cera playing a total ass. (OK, we touched on Arrested Development, too.)
The film is now playing in select cities and on-demand. Read our interview below. Read More »
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Sebastián Silva‘s first film at Sundance this year was the road trip/drug trip experiment Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus, or simply Crystal Fairy. Michael Cera stars as a somewhat clueless and boorish American on extended holiday in Chile. All he really wants to do is find a San Pedro cactus that he can boil down so that he can trip balls thanks to the hallucinogenic properties of the plant. But there’s a snag — along the way he and his friends pick up Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman), a free spirit who provokes some very unwelcome self-examination on Cera’s part.
The first trailer for the film is out, and it has a lot of the weird humor that keeps the movie spinning. This footage also makes the film seem a bit more conventional than it really is — and since this isn’t exactly a conventional trailer, that should tell you something about the film. But damn, Hoffman’s performance is really something in this movie, and it’s great to see Cera take his own screen persona pretty far out on a limb, too. Read More »
The weirdest double-feature at Sundance this year was the pair of films from Sebastián Silva and Michael Cera. While in a holding pattern waiting to shoot one film, Magic Magic (see a trailer for that movie here) they improvised a second film, Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus. IFC picked up Crystal Fairy during the fest, and while we don’t yet have a trailer, we can show you the first poster for the film now.
While Cera is the “star” of both films, in truth each movie really comes to life thanks to the performance of an actress antagonized by Cera. Here, that’s Gaby Hoffmann, whose vibrant performance may be the most bracingly fearless turn you’ll see this year. It’s quite a thing to see.
Cera, Hoffman, and Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva play an unlikely group of kids in search of the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus. As you’ll see in the poster image, they definitely find one, and it’s effect of ingesting the distilled essence of the cactus that pushes things into the realms of the weird and deeply confessional. Check out the poster below. Read More »
Michael Cera has crafted a recognizable outsider persona since his breakout gig on Arrested Development, and this latest role hones the edge of his gawky, lovelorn screen ego from brightly earnest towards something more viciously awkward. In Crystal Fairy Cera looks like Gene Wilder playing Abbie Hoffman, and he gives his funniest adult performance by dropping all self-conscious comic pretense.
At a house party somewhere in Chile, Jamie (Cera) takes drugs and retreats into the bathroom, where he comes face to face with ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights‘ by Hieronymus Bosch. The wild triptych points to the few days ahead, in which a quest for an elusive psychoactive cactus will lead Jamie to understand what an ass he can be. That might not sound like a lot of fun, but the odd, meandering Crystal Fairy has a loopy honesty paired with the uncomfortable laughter Cera provokes throughout. And Gaby Hoffmann, known to fans of Uncle Buck, Field of Dreams, and Sleepless in Seattle, gives an all-out provocative performance.
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