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The Family Fang
by Kathryn Loggins

Narrative by Jason Bateman

The Family Fang is a quirky story that thoughtfully  touches on the themes of family, art and love. Jason Bateman, who directs and stars in the film, proves himself a  double-threat by successfully bringing this imaginative story to  life. Bateman is known for his comedies such as Horrible Bosses or Arrested  Development, and while this film is funny it presents a much darker side of  comedy.

Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman play a brother and sister, who grew up in the shadow  of their parent’s provocative performance art. When their parents go missing, the  siblings come together to figure out if they’re really gone, or if this is yet  again just another performance meant to invoke a reaction. Throughout the  course of solving the mystery we get glimpses into the actual performances the  Fang family created and how it shaped the lives of these two deeply troubled siblings.

What makes art? How does art affect social  change? Should this art be seen as good or bad? What are you willing to  sacrifice for the sake of art? These are all questions this film raises and  really doesn’t seek to answer, but rather it tries to invoke the audience to decide  for themselves. In a statement about the film, Bateman says this, “Determining  the quality of the art is not as important as understanding how it demonstrates  what kind of parents Caleb and Camille are, and the effect the art has on their  children. What is important all the way through the story is to have a sense of  the children’s melancholy and their unsettled feeling. The performance pieces  are meant to be more revealing about the children -- what they went through,  and the damage that was done to them -- than determining the validity of the  art or the audience’s reaction to it.”