Saturday, January 23, 2016

Teenage (2013)

Director: Matt Wolf

Writers: Jon Savage, Matt Wolf

Composer: Bradford Cox

Starring: Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hummer, Jessie Usher, Leah Hennessey, Ivy Blackshire, Daniela Leder, Ben Rosenfield, Malik Peters, Richie Coterelle, Julia Cumming

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Rebellion never gets old.

Plot: Teenagers did not always exist. In this living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and voices lifted from early 20th Century diary entries, a struggle erupts between adults and adolescents to define a new idea of youth.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Told through vintage photographs, film and voiceovers from vintage recordings and current voice actors reading letters and such, this documentary doesn't give a traditional history of its subject, teenagers, but letting the viewer experience the experiences from the turn of the last century through the burgeoning 1950s.  It's very entertaining unless you don't like looking at old shit.  It's really neat seeing how far teens have come and how little they've often changed.  The bulk of the picture is spent during WWII between the US, England and, better still, Germany. The German portion was the best part of the film.  We learn a lot about something I'd never really thought about.  The only thing I thought was a little odd was the score which wasn't period but it felt more at home in a modern film.  You'll know what I'm talking about.  I really wanted to hear some great 20s jazz and so on.  That would've made the picture better for me.  I didn't need it to always stay period but all too often there were cues that didn't work all that well. Still, it's the other content that mattered.  The Oscilloscope DVD comes with some extras including a commentary track, a making of featurette (16 minutes), a 6 minute featurette on filming the recreation scenes for the film, some extended footage from 4 of the archival films used in the picture, the theatrical trailer and trailers for 4 other Oscilloscope films.

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