Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Project)

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domino harvey
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Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Project)

#1 Post by domino harvey » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:02 am

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LIST PROJECT: YOUTH
December 20 2015 - June 20 2016


This list is centered on films of, about, and/or for youth. For our purposes, “youth” constitutes characters college-age and under (~22, for non-Americans). Any film wherein a young person is one of the primary characters is eligible for this list. Use common sense here: Love Actually may have a memorable screen moppet romancing some little girl, but to call it a film about youth is grossly misrepresentative. The age restriction is not hard and fast and I will not reject a submission with, say, a 23-year-old protagonist, but keeping it at or under an arbitrary number gives us all at least some sense of stability in culling. If you feel a youth-centered list should be aimed at lower ages, then by all means populate your list with those films.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Submit a list of no more and no less than fifty films in ranked order to me, domino harvey, via PM, by June 20th 2016. No lists will be accepted prior to December 20th.

FORUM RESOURCES

C R I T E R I O N
3 Films by Louis Malle / the Adventures of Antoine Doinel / Amarcord / America Lost and Found: the BBS Story / ...And God Created Woman / Andrzej Wadjda: Three War Films / An Angel at My Table / the Apu Trilogy / Badlands / Le beau Serge / Bicycle Thieves / Billy Liar / Black Orpheus / the Black Stallion / Blue is the Warmest Color / Boyhood / Breathless / the Bridge / the Children Are Watching Us / Chronicle of a Summer / Chungking Express / Les cousins / the Cranes Are Flying / Crazed Fruit / Cria cuervos / the Curious Case of Benjamin Button / Dazed and Confused / Do the Right Thing / Easy Rider / L'enfance neu / Les Enfants Terribles / the Essential Jacques Demy / the Fallen Idol / Fanny and Alexander / Fat Girl / I Fidanzati / A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman / Fish Tank / Fists in the Pocket / the Freshman / George Washington / Great Expectations / La haine / Harold and Maude / the Ice Storm / If... / Il Sorpasso / In Cold Blood / Ivan's Childhood / Jellyfish Eyes / Jules et Jim / Kapo / Kes / Kicking and Screaming / the Kid / Kid on a Bike / King of the Hill / the Last Days of Disco / the Last Emperor / Lord of the Flies / Loves of a Blonde / Masculin Feminin / Metropolitan / Mon Oncle Antoine / Moonrise Kingdom / Mouchette / My Beautiful Launderette / My Life as a Dog / My Own Private Idaho / Night of the Hunter / Oliver Twist / Paddle to the Sea / Ratcatcher / Rebecca / the Red Balloon / the River / Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy / Rushmore / Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom / Seduced and Abandoned / Shadows / Six Moral Tales / Slacker / Solo con tu pareja / the Spirit of the Beehive / Summer Interlude / Summer With Monika / Sundays and Cybele / Tess / the Tin Drum / Tiny Furniture / Twenty-Four Eyes / the Two of Us / Two-Lane Blacktop / Valerie and Her Week of Wonders / the Virgin Spring / I Vitelloni / Walkabout / White Mane / Y Tu Mama Tambien / Yi Yi / Young Torless / Youth of the Beast / Zazie dans le metro

E C L I P S E
Eclipse 01: Early Bergman / Eclipse 21: Oshima's Outlaw Sixties / Eclipse 30: Sabu! / Eclipse 31: Thre Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin / Eclpise 32: Pearls of the New Wave / Eclipse 39: Early Fassbinder / Eclipse 44: Julien Duvivier in the Thirties

N E W . F I L M S
A Story of Children and Film / Across the Universe / Adventureland / the Adventures of Tintin / Alice in Wonderland (2010) / An American Crime / An Education / Art School Confidential / Attack the Block / the Babadook / Babel / Ballast / Beasts of the Southern Wild / Birth / the Bling Ring / Brave / Brick / Bridge to Terabithia / Chronicle / Coraline / Damsels in Distress / the Descendants / Detention / Devil's Knot / Dogtooth / Ender's Game / Fast Food Nation / (500) Days of Summer / Fruitvale Station / Ghost World / the Giver / God Bless America / God Help the Girl / the Grand Budapest Hotel / Gus Van Sant's Death Trilogy: Gerry, Elephant, Last Days / Hairspray: the Musical / Half Nelson / Hanna / Hard Candy / the Hole (2010) / the House of the Devil / Hugo / the Hunger Games / Innocence / Inside Out / It Follows / Jennifer's Body / Joe (2014) / John Green adaptations / Juno / Jurassic Parks / Kick-Ass / the Kids Are All Right / Let Me In / Let the Right One In / Linda Linda Linda / Little Miss Sunshine / Live Free or Die Hard / Lost River / the Lovely Bones / M Night Shyamalan / Margaret / Marie Antoinette / Martha Marcy May Marlene / Me and Earl and the Dying Girl / Me and You and Everyone We Know / Mildred Pierce (2011) / Mistress America / Mommy / Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium / Mud / the Myth of the American Sleepover / Nymp()maniac / P'tit Quinquin / Paddington / Pan's Labyrinth / Persepolis / the Place Beyond the Pines / Precious / Rabbit Hole / Red Hook Summer / Rocket Science / Room / the Rules of Attraction / Running With Scissors / S Darko / Scott Pilgrim vs the World / Sleeping Beauty (2011) / Snow Angels / the Social Network / Somewhere / the Spectacular Now / Spiderman 3 / Spring Breakers / Starlet / Stephen Daldry / Stoker / Submarine / Sugar / Super 8 / Superbad / Tideland / Tomorrowland / the Tracey Fragments / the Tree of Life / True Grit (2010) / Tu dors Nicole / 25th Hour / 21 Jump Street / Twixt / Up / Upside Down / Violet and Daisy / the Wackness / Wassup Rockers / We Are the Best! / We Need to Talk About Kevin / Where the Wild Things Are / White God / Whip It! / Winter's Bone / World's Greatest Dad / Wristcutters: A Love Story / Wuthering Heights (2011)

O L D . F I L M S
A Perfect World / Alice in Wonderland (1933) / the Annunciation / Back to the Future Trilogy / the Best of Everything / Chelsea Girls / Czech New Wave / Disney Classics / Election / Eric Rohmer 1920-2010 / Films for Children / Fond Remembrances of Cinematic Child Abuse / Friends & Lovers / Lord Love a Duck / Mickey Rooney 1920-2014 / My Son John / Next Stop, Greenwich Village / Rebel Without a Cause / the Red Pony / Redesigning an Intro to Film Class / the Secret of My $ucce$s / Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song / Tall Story / War Party / the Wizard / the Young Savages

FORUM MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS

In which forum members highlight some films they'd like to see receive special/some/any consideration from others while voting

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Hall 1968) bottled spider R1 Water Bearer
Detention (Joseph Kahn 2012) domino harvey R1/A Sony
800 balas / 800 Bullets (Álex de la Iglesia 2004) movielocke R1 TLA
the Key (Ebrahim Forouzesh 1987) zedz R2 France
Manoël on the Island of Marvels (Raúl Ruiz 1984) swo17 No commercial release
Starlet (Sean Baker 2012) domino harvey R1/A Music Box

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#2 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:46 am

Thread and list open! I'll be adding links to the first post over the next few days, feel free to PM me any board resources you feel should be included in the meantime, though. Two spotlight titles max per person, use your allowance wisely.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#3 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:43 pm

I have more unwatched films for this project than any other I've tackled, so I'm looking forward to diving in to this project once the holidays are behind us. Picking my spotlights was tough, but I decided on the two other great films about youth from 2012, Detention and Starlet. Both are locks for my top ten.

I know it's not an official spotlight and I also suspect almost everyone here will hate it, but I'd be remiss if I didn't try again to get people to see the brilliant Barely Lethal, one of my favorite films from this year and the cleverest teen satire since the aforementioned Detention. What it says about how teens digest and process many of the very films that will be under discussion in this thread makes it even more relevant for anyone reading this.

EDIT: As of this posting, you can watch Barely Lethal streaming for free if you have Amazon Prime

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#4 Post by bottled spider » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:38 pm

I'm really excited about this list project. There are about twenty-five films I want to accord Top Ten status, and a hundred I want to squeeze into my list of fifty. My New Year's resolution is to watch at least a dozen of other people's recommendations before the June deadline, and to try rewatch those of my own recommendations that I haven't already seen more than once.

My current top fifteen:
1. Cria Cuervos (Saura)
2. Spirit of the Beehive (Erice)
3. A Nos Amour (Pialat)
4. Boyhood (Linklater)
5. Deprisa, Deprisa (Saura)
6. The 400 Blows (Truffaut)
7. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jires)
8. The Little Fugitive (Orkin/Engel)
9. The White Balloon (Panahi)
10. Susanna (Bunuel)
11. Offside (Panahi)
12. A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf)
13. Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli)
14. Mouchette (Bresson)
15. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Hall)

At some point I'll write some capsule reviews of films I like that appear to be either less well known or less popular: Littlerock (Mike Ott), Drama/Mex (Naranjo), Putty Hill (Porterfield), Dance Party USA (Katz), Dogtown and Z-Boys (Peralta), Jacquot de Nance (Varda).

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#5 Post by swo17 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:33 pm

Well there's no question that one of my spotlight titles will have to be Manoël on the Island of Marvels (Raúl Ruiz, 1984), which has tragically not yet been released by Arrow Academy or Criterion or anyone for that matter. I defy anyone here to find a film that more vividly captures the whimsy, mystery, adventure, and endless imaginative possibilities of being a child. There's an old TV airing kicking around the backchannels. If anyone would like me to point them in the right direction, send me a PM.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#6 Post by mizo » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:25 pm

bottled spider wrote:2. Spirit of the Beehive (Erice)
Am I the only person who finds El sur to be a vastly better film than this? All of the tentativeness in Erice's approach to narrative and the endless, rather tone-deaf reiteration of symbols and motifs ("No, please, remind me again of the dangerous impulses underneath children's games. The kitten-choking didn't do it for me") are corrected and, while the film loses the sense of all-consuming mystery inherent in Spirit's construction and presentation, it gains so much more in how the less oblique plot and characterizations allow for much deeper insight into the characters' inner lives. The cast is uniformly perfect (if Erice's low productivity is because of his demand for the absolute perfect actor in each role, I can only applaud the results it gets) and it's one of the few films in which two actors play a single character at different ages and I totally believe they could be the same person.
Only a spoiler because I wouldn't want to ruin this feeling for…Show
I felt a tinge of pure joy to see how the kind of awkward half-smile of the younger Estrella had blossomed into the shy, self-deprecating grin of her older counterpart.
Granted, neither girl is Ana Torent, but here it's the father who's the enigma, and the way the profoundly strange father-daughter relationship at the center of this film plays out is fascinating, moving, and several other banal adjectives that can't begin to describe how emotionally compelling I find it. Also, the film carries Erice's obsession with the mysterious, sinister power of cinema to much more logical and, by extension, upsetting ends than in the earlier film.

Anybody turned off by Spirit's obscurantism shouldn't hesitate to at least give this one a try.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#7 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:50 pm

I don't care for Spirit of the Beehive either, you're not alone. Of the films name-checked by bottled spider that I've seen, only Valerie and Mouchette have a shot of making my list, though I quite enjoy several others he listed

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#8 Post by bottled spider » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:58 pm

It's difficult to disagree that Spirit of the Beehive is ponderous, but I also find it funny, and many scenes in it have retained their magic over several viewings -- Anna watching Frankenstein, the girls' whispered conversation about Frankenstein, their giggling at the breakfast table, the bizarre ending. I don't see it being displaced from my top five.

Having said that, I'll definitely watch El Sur if I can.

Regarding debatable entries:
I Fidanzati is one of my favourite films, but aren't the characters a little too old? Il Posto on the other hand unequivocally fits the category. If I Fidanzati isn't pushing the age range, then it will be on my list toward the top, and then I'd also include Laws of Gravity (Nick Gomez) also toward the top, and probably somewhere on the list Closely Observed Trains and Drugstore Cowboy. Any opinions on the inclusion of Yi Yi and Au Hazard Balthazar?

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#9 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:27 pm

This should be intriguing. I did a quick cull from my existing decades lists and ended up with seventy-something clearly child-focussed films. Here are some of the more obscure or overlookable ones that popped up, for your consideration:

L'Enfant de Paris (Leonce Perret, 1913) - To be honest, I can't remember exactly what impressed me so much about this when I saw it, but it made my top twenty for pre-1920s cinema, so i'll try to revisit it!

Faces of Children (Jacques Feyder, 1925) - Great alpine melodrama.

Four Seasons of Children (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1939) - A breathtaking masterpiece and must-see for this project (along with the obvious Ozus).

Children's Party (Joseph Cornell, 1938 - maybe) - Found footage of kids doing the darnedest things, collaged to become eerie, sad, ridiculous and profound.

Curse of the Cat People (Robert Wise, 1944) - Don't overlook this: one of Hollywood's sharpest explorations of a child's point-of-view. (The forties - at least from my list - were really rich in child-focussed Hollywood films: Shadow of a Doubt, Pinocchio, Meet Me in St Louis, The Window.)

The Singing Street (Norton Park Group, 1952) - Fantastic Free Cinema document of children's games and songs.

Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) - See above. Another classic film that could easily be overlooked.

Rentree des classes (Jacques Rozier, 1955) - The second half isn't up to the evocativeness of the first, but this is a great schooldays film.

The House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzad, 1963) - Anybody who's seen this film will never forget it, but they might forget it's eligible for this list project.

Inferno of First Love (Susumu Hani, 1968) - There are a lot of great Japanese New Wave films that deal with 'Youth', but few are as troubling and complex as this one, which deals with both adolescent sexuality and child abuse (without confusing the two, but you still get a kind of queasy vertigo from their proximity). Oshima's Boy is a brilliant examination of a completely different kind of child abuse.

The Night of Counting the Years (Shadi Abdelsalam, 1969) - Remember the World Cinema Foundation? No, nor do I.

A Swedish Love Story (Roy Andersson, 1970) - One of the greatest films ever made about young love, and nothing like his later films (which is neither for better or worse: it just establishes that he can make masterpieces in diametrically opposed modes.)

La Maison des bois (Maurice Pialat, 1971) - L'enfance nue is a no-brainer for this project, but Pialat made a bunch of great films about children and adolescents, including this one, Passe ton bac d'abord, A nos amours and sort of Le Garcu.

Melody (Jean-Christophe Averty, 1971) - Well, technically, Melody Nelson is a minor.

My Ain Folk (Bill Douglas, 1973) - The whole trilogy, actually, but this is the one that will be getting my vote.

Du cote d'Orouet (Jacques Rozier, 1973) - I'm surprised and amazed that domino didn't make this his spotlight film. But if he tries to tell you it's the best film ever made about teenage girls, he's probably right.

Summer at Grandpa's (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1984) - One of Hou's sweetest and most straightforward films, and an all-time-great evocation of childhood holidays.

City of Pirates (Raul Ruiz, 1984) - Because I vote for this in every genre project! But really, it's a brilliant child's-eye-view horror film. swo's Manoel recommendation is heartily seconded as well.

The Key (Ebrahim Forouzesh, 1987) - So many fantastic children's films from Iran (including a number of heavy-hitter Kiarostamis), but this agonizing Hitchcockian exercise in suspense deserves your attention. What the heck, I'll make it my spotlight title.

Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988) - The 300-pound gorilla of child's-eye-view films.

Sink or Swim (Su Friedrich, 1990) - Aha! Another opportunity to pimp this devilishly clever structuralist essay film.

A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991) - Don't forget this and Yi Yi! This will have to be my number one, of course.

Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata, 1991) - All the Ghibli films are in contention for this list, but don't overlook this delicate gem.

L'eau froid (Olivier Assayas, 1994) - All of the 'tous les garcons et les filles de leur age' films are naturally eligible. I'll be surely including this and Claire Denis' US Go Home on my list.

L'age des possibles (Pascale Ferran, 1995) - Really great, pretty much unknown nowadays, coming-of-age film in the vein of Pialat's Passe ton bac d'abord.

Alone: Life Wastes Andy Hardy (Martin Arnold, 1998) - I'm not really going to vote for this, but how could I annoy domino if I didn't mention it?

Sound Barrier (Amir Naderi, 2005) - This terrifyingly intense kid was just about the first thing that sprang to mind when I thought about this project.

A Gentle Breeze in the Village (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2007) - You'll want to see both this and Nobuhiro's terrific Linda Linda Linda, two of the great school films of this century.

Lake Tahoe (Fernando Eimbcke, 2008) - Brilliantly deadpan, melancholy, absurdist widescreen comedy. Eimbcke's wonderful Duck Season is also a must-see for this project.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#10 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:32 pm

bottled spider wrote:Any opinions on the inclusion of Yi Yi and Au Hazard Balthazar?
Yi Yi is definitely in the ballpark, since two of its three main characters (considering the mother is absent and the grandmother is comatose for most of the film) are children, and it's also intensely concerned with the way those children experience and perceive their world (to a much greater extent than most films with child protagonists, I'd argue). I thought about Balthazar and decided against including it. Although there are important adolescent characters in the film, they're secondary to the (non-child) protagonist and don't really impinge on the film's viewpoint or psychology (i.e. we don't view Balthazar's story through the eyes of Anne Wiazemsky).

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#11 Post by bottled spider » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:47 am

zedz wrote:A Swedish Love Story (Roy Andersson, 1970) - One of the greatest films ever made about young love, and nothing like his later films (which is neither for better or worse: it just establishes that he can make masterpieces in diametrically opposed modes.).
Was this was one of the films covered by Mark Cousins in A Story of Children and Film? I'm not seeing a bibliography on IMDb. The title rings a bell.
zedz wrote:Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988) - The 300-pound gorilla of child's-eye-view films.
And that suddenly reminds me, just because it's also Czech, of Three Wishes for Cinderella. Both films are worth watching, but I'm not sure either will make my final list. Alice is certainly the stronger contender.
zedz wrote:Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata, 1991) - All the Ghibli films are in contention for this list, but don't overlook this delicate gem.
Shout out to Michael Kerpan for championing this, I bought it blind on that basis. I thought it was just OK the first time I watched it, but on rewatching it a couple times the organic relationship between the story in the present and the protagonist's childhood reminiscences became more apparent, and I liked it more and more. I'm debating how many animated films to include, there are so many, but this will be one of them.
zedz wrote:Lake Tahoe (Fernando Eimbcke, 2008) - Brilliantly deadpan, melancholy, absurdist widescreen comedy. Eimbcke's wonderful Duck Season is also a must-see for this project.
Duck Season added to my list of movies to watch.
Last edited by bottled spider on Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#12 Post by bottled spider » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:49 am

zedz wrote:
bottled spider wrote:Any opinions on the inclusion of Yi Yi and Au Hazard Balthazar?
Yi Yi is definitely in the ballpark, since two of its three main characters (considering the mother is absent and the grandmother is comatose for most of the film) are children, and it's also intensely concerned with the way those children experience and perceive their world (to a much greater extent than most films with child protagonists, I'd argue). I thought about Balthazar and decided against including it. Although there are important adolescent characters in the film, they're secondary to the (non-child) protagonist and don't really impinge on the film's viewpoint or psychology (i.e. we don't view Balthazar's story through the eyes of Anne Wiazemsky).
That's how I was leaning too.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#13 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:25 am

Don't forget Kes in the Criterion releases section!

As you might expect there are tons of French films that are eligible for this list, and I'll back zedz up on L'eau froide of course! Off the top of my head (and I'll try and look out YouTube links when I get home from work) and just keeping to the 1990s there is The Dreamlife of Angels, Ponette, Elisa (which provides a great tip for scamming shopkeepers!), Clubbed To Death (which provides the origin of the title tune used in The Matrix a couple of years later!) and I guess we should throw in My Father, The Hero!

I cannot vouch for the absence of Gerard Depardieu in any of the above films! Although it kind of makes sense, as he was sort of a key 'irresponsible youth' figure of an earlier generation with his Bertrand Blier films such as Les Valseuses.

Also Class Trip provides a great take on child psychology, along with being a veiled adaptation of The Monkey's Paw, and works extremely well in a double bill with Fat Girl!

The Dardennes have a Rosetta stone film for this genre too, but the name escapes me for the moment!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#14 Post by bottled spider » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:06 am

I have insomnia, so to hell with it, I'll make a couple more posts, and then leave off for a while.

Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli). For the most part this is sensibly abridged, up until around the last two acts, which are almost comically perfunctory in their abridgment. Certainly this is a shortcoming, but on repeat viewings it matters less that the film falls apart toward the end. The performances of the nurse, Tybalt, Mercutio, and Lady Capulet -- in addition to the two leads of course -- and inventive staging are what make this. The Queen Mab speech, the Capulet's feast, the kissing hands, the balcony scene, are all intoxicating. Sword fighting, for the first time ever in the history of cinema, is made fun to watch by Tybalt and Mercutio. This is the only movie version of Romeo and Juliet that's any good.

Except Romeo and Juliet (Czinner), starring Nureyev and Fonteyn. Considered as a film to be sat through from start to finish, this is a bit much, but as something to come back to again and again, watching as much or as little as I please, this is one of my most treasured DVDs. Sublime.

Speaking of ballet, there's the completely demented The Tales of Beatrix Potter (Reginald Mills). I could probably compile a list of fifty films I honestly like that no one else will vote for.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Hall). At the risk of persuading precisely nobody, this is one of my spotlights. What a cast! Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Ian Richardson, Helen Mirren, Michael Jayston, Diana Rigg, David Warner. It has this sort of Pinteresque vibe to it (Peter Hall directed the excellent Homecoming), and it's just so strange and funny. The faeries, played by little children, are to die for. Good donkey.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#15 Post by YnEoS » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:07 am

At the moment I have no clue what a preliminary list of mine would look like, because there are so many different types of films that might initially qualify. So I'm going to start out by posting a bunch of films that initially spring to mind. At the moment these are sort of my favorite films with young characters, but when I get more into watching and re-watching films for the project I may decide some of these don't explore issues of youth quite as well as others.

Looking back on our recent noir project the most obvious crossovers are my personal favorite noir They Live By Night (Nicholas Ray, 1948) and the most terrifying adaptation of the boy who cried wolf, The Window (Ted Tetzlaff, 1949). Talk About a Stranger (David Bradley, 1952) didn't make my noir list because I had some doubts about its noir credentials, but it definitely will be up for consideration again on this list.

Thinking broadly in the youth and neorealism category Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1950) is assuredly the top contender for my list, and I'm long overdue to re-watch Shoeshine (Vittorio De Sica, 1946).

Overlapping with the above category, is what I'll call the youth during and after the war category. In which I'm mostly thinking about Ivan's Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962), Forbidden Games (René Clément, 1952), and Closely Watched Trains (Jirí Menzel, 1966). Also pending a re-watch I'm strongly considering picking as my spotlight I am Twenty (Marlen Khutsiev, 1965), which I think is the best of the thaw era films from the Soviet Union.

Since Ana Torrent deserves her own category, I'll mention Cria Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976) is definitely going to be placing high on my list. Since everyone is using this thread to out their lack of enthusiasm for The Spirit of the Beehive (Víctor Erice, 1973), I'll say the first time I watched it I couldn't get into the whole film, but a few moments resonated very strongly with me. The second time it had less of an effect, so at the moment its not on my list, but I'll probably give it another shot for this project.

Ozu seems like a tricky category, since so many of his films deal with family, but might not focused solely on children. I Was Born But... (1932) is my immediate highest contender, but I'll probably have to re-watch it to see if its as youth focused as I remember, or if a significant portion is dedicated to the parents.

For Anime, the two Studio Ghibli films that will undoubtedly make my list are My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988), and Kiki's Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989), though I have yet to watch my DVD of Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata, 1991). Also up for consideration would be the miniseries FLCL (2000), which is the most explicit and surreal rendition of the giant robot as metaphor for puberty theme.

There's also tons of horror films that theoretically qualify for this list, though I'll probably be pretty strict about them dealing with youth issues and not just having young protagonists. The two that spring to mind as definitely dealing with youth themes and have a good shot of being on my list are Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976) and It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014) (along with Mitchell's non-horror The Myth of the American Sleepover (2010)). Other horror films with young protagonists that I'd consider but need to re-watch in the context of this list are Fright Night (Tom Holland, 1985), The Gate (Tibor Takács, 1987), Matinee (Joe Dante, 1993), The Faculty (Robert Rodriguez, 1998), the Nightmare on Elm Street films, and I'm sure countless more that haven't immediately sprung to mind.

Overlapping a lot with horror films, is films set in high school or dealing with high school aged characters. This is another gigantic category that I'm only going to scratch the surface of in this post, but some that immediately come to mind would be Heathers (Michael Lehmann, 1988), Trust (Hal Hartley, 1990), Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004), Brick (Rian Johnson, 2005), and The Fault in Our Stars (Josh Boone, 2014). An interesting borderline case here would be Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (David Mirkin, 1997), which has adult characters, but deals specifically with memories of high school. Does anyone think films about adult characters looking back at their youth fits with the spirit of the list?

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domino harvey
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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#16 Post by domino harvey » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:40 am

Considering many of the films on my All Time Top 10 List are eligible here, making this list is really more of a question of boiling down favorites into some kind of order! Certainly Fucking Åmål seems unbeatable for Number One on my list, with Dick, Du cote d'Orouet, Lili, Moonrise Kingdom, and Rebel Without a Cause other all time favs sure to make my Top 10 here alongside the aforementioned Detention and Starlet. Kicking and Screaming straddles the line here on “Youth,” I suppose, but I imagine I’ll talk myself into listing it by the time submissions are due.

As far as films already mentioned above, I can second the wonderful the Myth of the American Sleepover and its obvious film debt, American Graffiti too is a lock for my list. It does my heart good to see a kind word for Matinee and the Faculty, as both too will be making my list, with the latter my favorite film variation of the tried and true bodysnatching aliens story.

The Window is of course the great child-centered noir, and a good call for this list as well. Ann Blyth gives the best defense for birth control in film history in Curtiz’ Mildred Pierce, and her presence is memorable enough to justify its placement on this list. Other somewhat darker takes on youth worth looking at include the original Where the Boys Are, with its turn from happy-go-lucky beach-type pic to darker territory, and Moodysson’s Lilja 4-Ever, which will make you want to just right click delete the whole world after watching. Get back into a happy place after watching it by seeing Moodysson’s rave return to form, We Are the Best!, also list-worthy.

Despite her uneven adult career, Natalie Portman gives the single best child performance I've ever seen in Leon: the Professional, a lock for the higher reaches of my list. Be sure to watch the extended "Leon" version to see what I'm talking about. Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon is a close second, and certainly none of the little moppets nominated by the Academy ever came close to her perf here. If you have access to back channels and can see the widescreen version of her Little Darlings, it's a fun teen comedy worth a look for this list as well.

Childhood favorites the Goonies and the Sandlot will fare well on my list, as will new childhood classics like Super 8 (where was this movie when I was a kid?) and the Perks of Being a Wallflower. I did finally get around to seeing the Fault in Our Stars and liked it a lot, despite thinking Woodley was miscast. Ansel Elgort was spot-on perfect as Augustus though. I actually liked this year’s Paper Towns even more, I think it’s worth a look for this list for those perceptive to these kind of movies.

I agree that Zeffitelli’s take on R+J is my favorite filmed version, and I like it a lot, but it won’t make my list. I do plan to revisit the 90s update for this list.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#17 Post by Feego » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:55 pm

domino harvey wrote:If you have access to back channels and can see the widescreen version of her Little Darlings, it's a fun teen comedy worth a look for this list as well.
For those in the U.S., TCM will be airing Little Darlings next Monday (December 28) at 11:45 pm eastern. They've aired it before and always in widescreen, and I believe with the original soundtrack (music rights have apparently kept it out of home video circulation for years).

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#18 Post by Altair » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:09 pm

I seldom have time enough to participate in these lists project even though I read their threads vociferously; however, here are few candidates that undoubtedly should be in the conversation:

The Tree of Life - probably as great an exploration of growing up as I've ever seen. It's both entirely rooted in the Texas of the 1950s and completely universal, to the point that I could fully identify with it. A wondrous performance from Hunter McCracken surely has to rank amongst the very finest pieces of child acting in the cinema.

Spielberg has a number of potential entries in this category: obviously, E.T., but more provocatively, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which is perhaps most fundamentally, about the dangers of never growing up (a charge hurled at Spielberg in his time as well, it's intriguing to note). Empire of the Sun would round out this very interesting 'trilogy of youth', each about as different from the other in terms of tone and content as is possible within his filmography.

John Hughes is another key figure in terms of 'youth cinema' (what a very old-fashioned phrase!). Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off are about as good as it gets in 1980s American cinema, perhaps as he has a genuine warmth for his characters and not just prurient condescension. This is what makes his films superior to Bob Clark's Porkey's and its ilk, although even that has its moment (this entire youth list could be restricted to the eighties and you'd still have more than enough to view). In a similar vein, combining both Hughes, George Lucas and Roger Zemeckis' Back to the Future, is Francis Ford Coppola's Peggy Sue Got Married which is genuinely funny, moving and with a fantastic performance Kathleen Turner (and Nicholas Cage, who seems astonishingly young, is in his full-on goofball mode which we'd see again in Raising Arizona).

Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon, which just scored so highly in the Road Movies list, is another contender, but I prefer The Last Picture Show, which is simply great; I write about it at much greater length here.

Enough for now, and that's without even considering the whole host of YA adaptations made in the last 15 years, from Harry Potter onwards!

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#19 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:57 pm

I'd heartily second the recommendations of The Faculty, especially as the friend who insisted on going to see it at the cinema (she had already been to see it the once!) mentioned at the time that all the characters bascially follow the Breakfast Club archetypes! And The Curse of the Cat People is definitely going to be on my list too. A.I. as well, if it is allowed!

I also remember really enjoying The Gate as a teen, but am a little worried about revisiting all these years later! It is a little like a horror film version of those house party films like Weird Science, in which the kids proceed to trash the place whilst the parents are away! Only in this case it is less down to reckless hedonism than fighting off malevolent little killer trolls!

In terms of classic British films, there is always the first Ealing comedy (and the film that anticipates the St Trinian's ones) Hue and Cry about a kids foiling a bank robbery. Spoilers: here's a clip from the big finale!. Or there's that old standby of Whistle Down The Wind.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#20 Post by zedz » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:04 pm

colinr0380 wrote:In terms of classic British films, there is always the first Ealing comedy (and the film that anticipates the St Trinian's ones) Hue and Cry about a kids foiling a bank robbery. Spoilers: here's a clip from the big finale!. Or there's that old standby of Whistle Down The Wind.
Also: The Fallen Idol, If. . ., cautionary gorefests Apaches and The Finishing Line, Alan Clarke's Penda's Fen and Scum, and the Dennis Potter-scripted Blue Remembered Hills.

The latter is a particularly interesting take on this subject, as the children characters are played by adults, but the film is otherwise quite naturalistic.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#21 Post by bottled spider » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:49 pm

Yeah, the all adult cast of Blue Remembered Hills has a strange, queasy effect. Definitely worth checking out.

Other British: Lean's Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, Forsyth's Gregory's Girl and his American-made Housekeeping, and I suppose also Alan Clarke's Rita, Sue and Bob Too!

More recent British: Kisses (well, Ireland) and My Summer of Love.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#22 Post by dustybooks » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:48 am

It's of course hardly a film that needs extra championship (and Dom's already mentioned it), but Rebel Without a Cause is the most sympathetic treatment of adolescence offered on film that I have seen. What's most telling about it is that despite its age, when I saw it as a sixteen year-old it moved me to tears because it seemed like such a direct, passionate communication and expressed every kind of yearning I found impossible to articulate. For years I assumed it would lose much of this power for any adult, but each time I see the film I am effortlessly returned to the illogical hugeness of those emotions. It seems to have lost some of its critical favor over the years but as far as I'm concerned it is a masterpiece.

Though I rather disliked Cameron Crowe's book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a wonderful film that gains a lot of resonance by being clearly modeled on the real lives of the teenagers Crowe met during his undercover high school experience. I enjoy John Hughes' teen movies but for me they lack the startling moments of genuine pathos in this film, maybe most notably the abortion sequence (which is still one of the most sympathetic portrayals of a girl coping with an unwanted pregnancy that I have seen), a handy reminder along with a lot of the other vignettes in the film that the lightness of the teen experience as we remember and romanticize it has an undercurrent of dread, expectation and despair that becomes easier and easier to forget as we get older. Of course it's also very funny, but at its best it's like the cinematic equivalent of the Replacements' song "Sixteen Blue" -- sheer confusion, crying out to be understood.

Lastly, I want to mention a film I've talked up here before; I'm not sure how well-known it is at this point but Keith Gordon's The Chocolate War, whatever one thinks of Robert Cormier's relentlessly pessimistic YA novel, is among the few films to capture high school -- Catholic school specifically, but really in general -- as the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-like horror show it seems to be while it's happening to you. Gordon seems aware of the sheer absurdity of a mere chocolate sale causing such emotional destruction and runs with it, eloquently returning to the thesis that unites all three of these films: that the pettiness of a problem doesn't stop it from attaining enormity in one's life, especially when you're 16 or so.

This is not eligible for the thread by any stretch, but because I'm on the subject of accurate portrayals of adolescence, I would feel disappointed if I neglected to mention the British TV series My Mad Fat Diary, which just finished its 16-episode run earlier this year. I'm not exaggerating when I say this show put me through an emotional wringer in each and every episode, and examines the trials of trying and often failing to fit in as a big, anxious young girl -- Rae Earl, played with vividness by Sharon Rooney -- with invariably impressive wit and good judgment. It's harrowing at times but just as often hysterically funny; I'd actually place it above the great Freaks and Geeks as my favorite television show of its kind. (Unfortunately it's quite difficult to see in America, but most episodes are posted on Youtube.) And if you're a '90s kid slash Anglophile, you will lurve the soundtrack, as it's tapped squarely into alt-rock circa 1996. Apologies to everyone for the non-relevant interlude, but think of this as, I dunno, supplemental material?

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#23 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:48 am

Top picks offhand --

Ozu's Tokyo Inn. Granted two single parents share the spotlight with the kids here, but the kids (including the great Tomio Aoki as the big brother here) are really wonderful -- and central.

Naruse's Apart From You and Spring Awakens. The youths in these two films are almost the same ages -- but are worlds apart. In Apart From You, the focus in on the teen-aged son of an aging geisha and a young colleague of the mother. who in a kind world could fall in love (and perhaps someday get married). Instead, they face family poverty and deprivation. One of Naruse's most visually compelling films. Spring Awakens focuses on a teen-aged girl in a prosperous provincial town and her school friends -- and their main problem is less dire, but not important. Adults will tell them nothing about sex, and they are old enough to need to know about it. A really remarkable teen-girl-centered film -- that looks forward to Naruse's later, adult female-centered films.

Somai's Ohikkoshi/Moving -- Possibly the best film ever about a girl (in the last year of elementary school) having to cope with the divorce of parents (both decent people, but just no longer compatible). For all intents, a live-action Ghibli film (of the Takahata variety). One of the key sections is a very long (30 minutes or so) sequence with virtually no dialog.

Shiota's Gaichu/Harmful Insect -- An utterly harrowing film about a bright and talented middle-school girl let down by every adult she has to depend on and deal with. Reminds me more than a little of Mouchette (though I like this even more).

Kore'eda's -- Nobody Knows -- An amiable, but utterly irresponsible, single mother leaves her young children to their own devices as she searches for love. Only the oldest is even "legal" -- and able to go to school (she never even had the births of her younger children officially recorded). Needless to say, all does not go well. Made over a very extended period of time -- so the children grow significantly during the course of the film.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#24 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:45 am

First round of viewings for the project:

Jeune et Jolie (Francois Ozon 2014) I do not share the preoccupation with prostitution so many French directors seem indebted towards, and films like this aren’t helping anything. Our teenage protagonist is indeed absurdly attractive, as promised by the title, but I do not buy for one minute any aspect of her motivations to prostitute herself to older men via an escort website. To be fair, I believe the response of her parents even less, which seems so comically wrong and misguided that I began to suspect Ozon literally had no idea how families even function. The film is handsomely made and “classy,” but also a crock of phony ideas of youth and sexuality promulgated with carelessness and falsity. Makes for a “great” double feature with the David Hamilton film of your choosing.

the Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (Nicolas Gessner 1976) Jodie Foster plays something of a dark Pippi Longstocking figure here as the titular thirteen year old who tries in vain to live by herself in a small coastal cottage only to be besieged by the nosy landlord and her son, a man with an unhealthy interest in the activities of a child. Martin Sheen is quite good as the bombastic pervert, but the film is just too silly to take very seriously, though the film seems to meet the viewer halfway on this point.

Peter Pan (1953) / Hook (Steven Spielberg 1991) / Pan (Joe Wright 2015) I’ve never understood the endurance of the Peter Pan mythos, but I gave these three takes— faithful, sequel, and prequel— a shot regardless. I know I enjoyed the Disney take on this story as a kid, but watching it now, it’s never been clearer that Peter is a total dick and the film, like the source material, is in love with him regardless. The songs are pretty weak, save the non-PC “What Made the Red Man Red?”, which is a catchy showstopper with an entire Wikipedia page devoted to people in the internet age talking about how “problematic” it is— though for a change, they’re pretty much right! Honestly, the most interesting thing here is that Wendy appears to be modeled on Jeanne Crain.

Likewise to the Disney adaptation, I know I once loved Hook, Spielberg’s updating of the Pan story, too, but watching it now is like seeing one’s nostalgia stretched over the hot coals and burned alive. Yes, everyone was right, this film is appallingly bad. And long. Holy shit, this movie takes forever to get nowhere. Looking like an expensive afterschool play, the adventures in Neverland are stagebound and uninteresting, and none of the cast even appears to be trying, though Julia Roberts does make for a qt Tinkerbell. Everything looks cheap, and none of the (often embarrassing) action/fight scenes even register.

Joe Wright’s sci-fi reimagining of the Pan myth, Pan, received similarly toxic critical notices, but here I think the naysayers are off base. This is one of the most bizarre big budget films I’ve ever seen, and while not everything works (As Moulin Rouge! and Easy Virtue have already proven, nothing stops a film deader in its tracks than period reimaginings of present day pop songs), more than enough does to make it worthwhile. The film is heavily CGIed, but as in Life of Pi, the reliance on computer graphics gives us some truly original and strange worlds and uses: Taking the opening of the Meaning of Life to the extreme, the pirate ships here fly through space and sky; A battle scene midway through the film turns into a color run, with victims of gunshots exploding into brightly-shaded powder; And a trip to the fairy kingdom in the finale looks like it takes place in a microscopic view of a snowflake. Unlike in other Pan adaptations, Peter is now a reluctant hero who insists he’s not special or important for most of the running time, and the modesty helped the character finally attain some level of sympathy from me. I enjoyed Garrett Hedlund’s feature length Howard Keel impression, and internet bellyaching over Rooney Mara’s Tiger Lily is proven rather eyerollingly overblown, to the surprise of no one.

Pan gets a hearty recommendation for the adventurous, Peter Pan can be skipped or tolerated at one’s leisure, and Hook should be boiled in oil.

Trash (Stephen Daldry 2015) Clearly hoping for some sort of Slumdog Millionaire feel-goodery, Daldry gives us the allegedly unglamorous adventures of three Brazilian street kids who find a wallet belonging to a political murder victim and set about solving the mystery of its importance. Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen (hey, those two again!) pop up in supporting roles as missionaries in order to have some names on the marquee, but this is really the story of the boys, and to my surprise the film rises to the level of mediocrity— a career best for Daldry! With Richard Curtis scripting, this was never going to be a gritty anything, and Trash is just an R-rated updating of the kind of film Disney studios have been cranking out for decades. The political tones are unearned and laughably inept, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained all the same.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#25 Post by knives » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:21 am

Naturally Trash had to be Daldry's best. It is the only one not to get any Oscar noms. Very glad to hear Wright did well also. While not every one of his films have won me over fully he remains one of the more interesting and formally unique filmmakers working in english language pictures today.

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