By Catherine Driscoll
What makes a movie a youngster movie? And why, while it represents such strong and enduring principles approximately early life and early life, is teenager movie often seen as culturally insignificant? Teen movie is mostly mentioned as a illustration of the altering American teen, highlighting the associations of highschool and the and experiments in sexual improvement and identification formation. yet now not each movie that includes those elements is a teenager movie, and never each teenager movie is American. Arguing that youngster movie is usually a narrative approximately turning into a citizen and a subject matter, teenager movie offers a brand new background of the style, surveys the present physique of scholarship, and introduces key severe instruments for discussing youngster movie. Surveying a variety of movies together with The Wild One, Heathers, Donnie Darko and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the book's principal concentration is on what sort of early life teenager movie represents, and on teenager film's capability to provide new and influential photographs of formative years.
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Extra resources for Teen Film. A Critical Introduction (Berg Film Genres)
7 Rooney made a successful transition to adolescent star that was unavailable to Pickford and that Temple failed to make. ’ But Garland’s role in the Hardy series makes it clear that a girl could parallel Andy’s always abortive development – making the same tentative moves towards adulthood without ever being entirely transformed. ’ But Temple did become a moderately successful actor in ‘bobby-soxer’ movies like Kiss and Tell (1945) and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. These films contain highly recognizable teen characterization and plot devices, including misrepresentation of sexual reputation, the new kid at high school, and the teenager’s endeavours to construct an image of maturity through both sex and personal style.
But as Whitney points out, sex in Gidget is a complex arrangement of social strictures and dangerous quantities. Sex is, first of all, for girls, a presentation of the body; and Gidget, her friends, and the boys all agree, has nothing to display in that sense (Whitney 2002: 60–1). But Gidget has a well-crafted sense of self, which is in fact on display, when she means it to be and when she doesn’t, and her romantic victory rests on the fact that she is the right kind of girl. Gidget’s mother notoriously tells her not to be anxious because, whatever she does or wants, the boy must choose.
But Flaming Youth was based on a Warner Fabian novel that itself drew on media panic over ‘flappers’, tying it to both longstanding social debates and what were represented as new challenges to gender norms. The heroine of flapper films often first appears to be a rebel and is discovered to be an ingénue; or else she understands herself as a rebel only to discover her desire to conform. The ambivalent relationship between rebellion and conformity so important to teen film is clearly established as a youthful characteristic in these films, and one which is so predictable as to form an implicitly necessary stage of psycho-social development.