Teenage

teenage documentary still 2

Yesterday I raved about a new documentary called Teenage, which I claim to be the best teen movie of the year so far. Today I can help you find out for yourself if that’s the truth. Teenage opens in Los Angeles this Friday, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the 7:40pm show at the Laemmle Noho 7 that evening. Actor Jason Schwartzman, who is a producer on this film, will also be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. It’s very likely that the now-classic teen movie Rushmore will be brought up, but I can’t guarantee it. But there might be a question worth asking there: which of the multiple subcultures highlighted (Wandering Birds, Swing Kids and Bright Young Things, among them) does Schwartzman think Max Fischer would have joined — the answer would probably just be “all of them,” though. It should be obvious, but to qualify for the tickets you have to live in the Los Angeles area — or be there Friday night in time for the show. The only other thing you need to do to enter is subscribe to The Weekly Edition of FSR and then let us know that you’re good to go.

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Teenage

This week sees the release of an extraordinary new teen movie, adapted from a book, involving social rebellion. I’m not talking about Divergent. And to be fair the film already opened last Friday but expands to Los Angeles this weekend followed by Austin, Atlanta, Boston and other major cities over the next two months. It’s titled Teenage, and it’s a documentary, and while it’s heavy on the archival footage, it’s very accessible, cleverly constructed and even quite entertaining. It’s produced by Jason Schwartzman, features character narration by Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw and features Alden Ehrenreich. And like any good teen movie should, it has a memorable soundtrack — albeit one totally in the form of an anachronistic electronic store by Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox. Although there were qualifiable entries here and there beforehand, the teen movie really was born in the 1950s, which is also around the time when we think of teen culture first beginning to emerge. The second part isn’t necessarily the case, though, even if it’s when the term “teenager” and the acknowledgement of adolescents’ pop culture finally caught on in the mainstream. Taking its basis from Jon Savage’s Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture 1875-1945, the documentary takes us back much further in time to the last quarter of the 19th century. Think of it as the prequel or back story to every teen movie of the last 60 years. Except maybe Swing Kids, which deals with a social group also included in Teenage. 

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johnhughesdocumentary

Within 24 hours, a little-known project became a hot commodity. It’s not pretty, but it’s the magic of Hollywood.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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