Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why We Love: Teenage Fuck Ups

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sometimes coming-of-age films can be a little too soppy for our liking, it's all too Hollywood and it takes you completely out of the story. But there are some stories that are so down to earth that you cannot help to find yourself completely absorbed by the income.

This season the BFI will be celebrating teenagers with their series "Teenage Kicks" but let's be honest, the films we will be queuing up for will be the teenagers that got a little bit lost along the way...and here's why.

Let's look at the origins of the teenage fuck ups, and for us it all started with the book, Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero to be exact. Clay and the gang were at the forefront of fuck ups - parents who did not care, sleep walking through life, type of middle class kids. After that we saw more of them coming to our screens, even with its own adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr and James Spader but while Downey's performance in the film is incredible, they weren't exactly Less Than Zero levels of original movies.

But then like all good trends the 90s kicked in and the angst level went up 10,000 points. Films like Larry Clark's Kids caused complete controversy, for what? Telling a teenager's story, casted teenagers in the roles, and generally showing the teenagers of the world that not all people their age was blonde, bright eyed Hollywood starlets. It was real - kids were making bad decisions and destroying their futures. Believe it or not, it happens.

But what are some of our favourites? If you are heading to BFI for the Teenage Kicks season, you have to check out Thirteen. Written by Nikki Reed and Catherine Hardwicke, the film is loosely based on Reed's early year, and follows a teenage girl's spiral out of control as she gets thrown into a life of drugs and drink by a cool girl from her school.

But there is one thing we have to stress - we're not saying we're going to go out and do drugs and destroy our lives, in fact these are horror stories. We need to proud of the fact that these movies are so raw and unapologetic because if we do, we could educate as well as entertain.


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