Wifey TVs Girl on Girl Presents: Fish Tank (w/ Dir. Andrea Arnold & Jill Soloway in person for Q&A!)

Join us for a conversation between Jill Soloway & Director Andrea Arnold!

Watching Fish Tank is a bit like watching a two-hour screaming match—Katie Jarvis, who plays 15 year-old Mia, the film’s angry and isolated protagonist, was “discovered” during a public screaming match with her boyfriend. The film is set in Essex, imagined as a truly abject place, populated by the unhappy and understimulated: a posse of young girls with impressively filthy mouths, with counterparts in brooding and threatening teenage boys, seemingly lacking any kind of adult guidance. These gangs of girls, in tracksuits and halter-tops, dance to the r&b hits of the aughts in the streets, while Mia dances alone in an abandoned apartment to escape the hysterical pitch that characterizes every other moment of her life. This brutal bildungsroman, at moments like a vignette out of Gummo, sees the impressively tough Mia through scene after degrading scene, as she develops a relationship with her decidedly non-maternal mother’s boyfriend. Arnold showcases Mia’s almost unimaginable resilience, finding an awkward elegance in the discord of hardened youthfulness, the camera always benevolently searching for beauty among the tumult.

Dir. Andrea Arnold, 2009, 35mm, 123 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!