Before you could dial up a customized high school reunion on facebook (all the cool kids, none of the jocks), there was the phenomenon of the Kid Who Moved Away. If you were unlucky enough to have a 6th-grade bestie relocate out of state, you’d have to make do as pen pals, or occasional AOL chat buddies. In the event of total communication breakdown, you might have to rely on your imagination (dulling with the onset of adolescence) to fill in the patchy new life of your runaway friend.
Shot in Louisiana and New Jersey, Haley Elizabeth Anderson’s Get Out Fast builds up just such a ghostly companionship, but it’s far from a sentimental journey. Alex, in an old-young-man voiceover, narrates the misfortune and disappearance of his train-hopping friend Coyote Boy, a dirt-lipped antihero whose name dredges up memories of the works of American High School Laureate S.E. Hinton. The hobo sign on the opening graphic echoes the title’s command: abandon this shittown and don’t look back.
In its mix of grain-forward 16mm cinematography and outlaw adolescence, Get Out Fast reminds me a bit of Cam Archer’s Bobbycrush, albeit in a Platonic reincarnation. With the voice of Alex as our guide, we seem to be skipping across grooves in the record, flipping through his recollection at an alarming rate. For Coyote Boy, time is constantly both speeding up and running out, and shielded within Get Out Fast’s wild elegy lie the grimmer facts of a kid growing up all at once. (14 minutes). Writer/Director: Haley Elizabeth Anderson. Director of Photography: Jomo Fray. Starring: Hale Lytle, Tre’ Marquis Frazier.