Reminiscent of early Peter Weir films, especially “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” Andre Burke’s “Odile and Yvette at the Edge of the World” is a provocative allegory about the innocence and yearnings of two teenage girls. It premiered at the 1993 Edinburgh Film Festival in advance of the Boston Intl. Festival of Women’s Cinema unspooling, and could have limited possibilities on the arthouse circuit.
Two sisters, Odile (Karen Skloss) and Yvette (Heather Roheim), escape from their father during a road trip in Texas, where film was shot. Yvette promises to take Odile someplace where her wishes will come true. Through unexplained magic using mundane novelty items, Yvette prevents their father from catching them.
Eventually they find — or conjure up — Johnny (Noah Fisher), a strapping young man who is at first taken by Odile but is soon drawn to Yvette. Feeling betrayed, Odile has to figure out how she will regain control of her own life.
Writer/director Andre Burke and his crew get the most from both their locations and their young talent. The settings are shot by Chris Squires to appear at once wholly natural and in some sort of twilight zone where the normal rules don’t apply. Skloss handles the more difficult role of Odile with aplomb, ably conveying the desires and resentments of a teenage girl. The find here is newcomer Roheim, who suggests depths of knowledge and power in Yvette with little more than an arched eyebrow or twisted smile.