Friday, October 5, 2012

About Not For

Movies for teenagers are abundant enough (“teen sex comedy” is even a genre, as far as I can tell), and the case for greatness can be made for quite a few of them, but as I was watching a movie last night, it occurred to me that my precious about-not-for distinction in books applied to movies in interesting ways. Thus, my decidedly personal list of favorite movies about teenagers (none of which were conceived of as movies for teens):

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Poster
4. The Prime of Miss Jane Brodie: A more perfect portrayal of the gradual dissolution of the myth of adulthood I can hardly imagine. Fascinating things going on with POV, too.  (Full disclosure: I’ve never read the book.)

Brick Poster

3. Brick: OK, maybe this was marketed to teens. I don’t know; I heard about it first on Fresh Air, so probably not. Best portrayal of a high school ever. Also: most meaningful use of negative space where adults are concerned.

A Clockwork Orange Poster

2. A Clockwork Orange: Language. Adult fear of the teenage monster they’ve created. Language. Language. Language.

Margaret Poster

1. Margaret: The new sheriff in town. I just saw this movie last night and was blown away. Lisa is the most fully imagined and unflinchingly portrayed teenage character I’ve ever seen in a movie. The adult-teen relationships in this movie are brutal and painstakingly observed. Every thwarted attempt at meaningful connection is heartbreaking. Sublime.

So, suggestions? What have I missed?