Torrey Pines

Director: Clyde Petersen
2016 | USA | 84m
GENRE: Animation | Biography/History | Female-to-Male | Genderqueer | Lesbian | Mental Health | Music/Music Videos | Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy | Transgender
SECTION: US Feature

Trailer

Southern California, 1993: a Star Trek–obsessed 12-year-old girl is navigating life with both the inherent queasiness of adolescence and the instability of her schizophrenic single mother. All the while, she harbors a fierce longing to escape the ramifications of puberty, to grow into a strapping, bearded man. Out of nowhere, her mother takes her on a spontaneous road trip that ranges from the glittery ocean waves of San Diego to the eerie gravestones of Arlington National Cemetery, ending in kidnapping charges. It sounds like a whirlwind of a journey, and it most certainly is. Though nearly wordless, Torrey Pines uses its sonic palette judiciously, with unexpected details like tigers flying from the mouths of people arguing. Three years in the making, director Clyde Petersen’s mashup features stop-motion animation, ’90s pop culture references, and an original soundtrack produced by Chris Walla. The film is at once intimate and expansive, capturing Petersen’s real life coming-of-age story (as extolled in the title song he co-wrote with musician Kimya Dawson) with humor and humanity.

— MORDECAI STAYTON

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