Marialy Rivas’ debut film Young and Wild (2012) premiered at Sundance and received the World Cinema Screenwriting Award. We got the opportunity to talk with Marialy Rivas and Alicia Rodriguez, the lead actor from Young and Wild, about their experiences at Sundance, their upbringings in Chile, and their times in New York. Marialy and Alicia will also be at the NewFest Closing Night screening of Young and Wild, tonight on July 31st.
Daniela (Alicia Rodriguez) wakes up on an anonymous naked man after a wild night. First, she masturbates. Then, she presses ignore on her cell phone to reject her mother’s third consecutive call. And finally, she rushes to her Evangelical church service. Marialy Rivas’ Sundance Award Winning film, YOUNG AND WILD (2012), depicts the life of a Chilean teenager caught between her Evangelical upbringing and hormone-driven, blossoming body.
Daniela conceals her wild sex life and blog “Joven y Alocada” (Young and Wild) from her Evangelical parents, her Evangelical boyfriend, and even her blog followers who, for the most part, don’t know her true identity. Her large-frame glasses support Daniela’s double life: she appears studious in front of her mother and sexy to her blog readers and movie viewers.
Unlike some troubled teenager films, Daniela is not struggling with drugs, alcohol, or crazy partying—in fact, her parents pick her up from a party where she’s been drinking…as long as it doesn’t involve sex, they don’t care. Daniela’s problem is a contemporary issue common amongst teenagers: anonymity. Daniela posts anything and fucks anyone. Her blog followers are just as scandalous and anonymous in their posts. Their interaction with their computer rather than a human is very accurate of the technological, horny teenager. They blog vulgarly, vigorously hitting the keyboard whilst alone in their rooms, never to meet each other (except for occasion), let alone have sex with each other.
However, Daniela does not fuck and post without consequence. Amongst all the fiery vaginas and penises, Rivas manages to send a (non-facebook) message to teenagers of the Anonymous Age. Daniela’s actions end up biting her in the butt (only after she tries butt sex, of course). Her demise begins when she is kicked out of her all-girls, Evangelical high school when they find out that she has committed fornication. This only worsens her already awful relationship with her mother. She then steals her Evangelical boyfriend’s virginity while, secretly, experimenting with a girl. However, her blogging and cheating is unveiled and her boyfriend and girlfriend desert her on the beach. Then her mother beats her after she finds out about her scandals. One can’t stay anonymous forever.
Through sexual and whimsical visuals—such as the web graphics depicting Jeezuz, Gozpel passages, and lots of vaginas and penises—along with scandalous, but clever language—“bacon and tofu” representing boy and girl, or girl and boy, it is left open for interpretation—Rivas creates an atmosphere just as sprightly and sexy as herself and her cast.