City Paper is not for tourists
The Kids Grow Up is an ode from director Doug Block to his daughter. Which makes it a fitting sequel to his engrossing 2005 film, 51 Birch Street, which examined his parents’ 54-year marriage and the turmoil that lurked beneath its seeming tranquility. From the time Lucy, the only child of Block and his wife, Marjorie, was a toddler, he trained his camera on her, at first to her delight but increasingly to her dismay as she grew older. Now 17 and about to go to college on the West Coast—Block is based in New York—Lucy is a source of fascination to Block in a new way: How the hell is he going to deal with it when she leaves? Marjorie is, initially, the reasonable one, talking about Buddhists’ belief in the difference between love and attachment. (She even lets Lucy and her boyfriend sleep in the same bed at home.) But as the date nears, both struggle. Far from being akin to someone else’s random vacation slides, Block’s chronicle of his time with Lucy is charming, compelling, and quite natural, with plenty of unhappy moments captured. At times, you’re just as pissed as Lucy for Dad’s seemingly constant invasion—though by the film’s end, you’ll be grateful for it.
At 7 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 2; also on Thursday, June 24, at 2:30 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 1.