An ultra-low-budget indulgence noteworthy for its central pair of unself-conscious child perfs.

Indie rocker/helmer Cory McAbee (“The American Astronaut”) casts his kids, 7-year-old Willa Vy and 2-year-old John Huck, as two apparently parentless urchins roaming the streets of New York in “Crazy and Thief,” an ultra-low-budget indulgence noteworthy for its central pair of unself-conscious child perfs. Not quite a musical, though accompanied by electric autoharp riffs like “I’m a Rocket” from McAbee’s band, the pic supplies its leads with roughly 30 minutes of material, padding the remainder with adorable improvisation. While it all must seem charming to Daddy, only festival and fan-screening attendees are likely to embrace this glorified homemovie as art.

Playing along with her offscreen father’s vaguely Homeric odyssey, big sis Crazy shepherds lemon-stealing younger brother Thief (whose cutesy ramblings require subtitles) to the town of Bethlehem, N.Y., where a splatter-painted star chart suggests they may find a time machine. Seen through youthful eyes, the journey sparkles with imagination and naive wonder, portraying well-meaning strangers as potentially menacing cyclops and giants, while inviting auds to embellish the film’s unaltered street sets with magical possibility in their minds. Parents, however, may view the characters as victims of reckless endangerment.

Crazy and Thief

Production

A Navigator production. Produced by Scott Holmgren, Scott Miller, Cory McAbee. Co-producer, Amy McAbee. Directed, written by Cory McAbee.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), McAbee, Scott Miller; editor, Matt Cowan; music, the Billy Nayer Show. Reviewed at Los Angeles Film Festival (competing), June 17, 2012. Running time: 51 MIN.

With

Willa Vy McAbee, John Huck McAbee, Gregory Russell Cook, Graham Stanford.
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