Not Another Teen Movie: the review is in the title
Teen movies used to be full of revolutionary zeal. So why have they become the most reactionary genre of all? Words: Laura Jane Macbeth
he title of teen-spoof offering Not Another Teen Movie could act as a
collective sigh for the movie-going public: even as it proves itself
otherwise. The genre might seem spent. but with each new release marking a triumph of commerce over creativity. the cinemas are still sticky with the emissions of over-excited teens . . . or should that be producers?
Teen movies used to be all about rebellion: anguished. alienated rebels and wild ones challenging social values and reacting against parental control. Even in gentler. coming—of—age movies such as American Graffiti and its 90s counterpart Dazed and C (utilised the kids contemplated the direction of their lives. against a backdrop of liquor drinking and soft drugs. And 80s teen-satire Heathers made for a pleasantly spiteful counterpoint to the John Hughes- inspired drive] that had begun to clog up the video shelves. As to the brat pack originals — Break/as! Club. Say Anything.
Pretty in Pink et al — they may have overplayed the angst factor. but they at
least conveyed something of the scant
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Film Tobey Magulre fires webs from his wrists and scales scary walls in Sam Fiaimi’s vision of the classic Marvel superhero. See review, page 23 and Comics, page 103. General release.
2 Slx Feet Under
TV Putting the fun back into funeral are the Fisher family, in the latest addictiver quirky American drama series. See feature, page 18. Channel 4.
Music Family, friends and foes all get a bad rap on the heavily anticipated The Eminem Show. See review, page 99. lnterscope.
Dance The youngest set of the legendary dance team perform a trio of works from the company’s repertoire. See preview, page 57. Theatre Royal, Glasgow.
Theatre Watch in perspired amazement as 'ﬁnse/ Town’s Kate Dickie runs six miles a night for her art. See feature, page 12. Tramway, Glasgow.
6 DJ Shadow
Music The Private Press is yet more cut’n’paste hip hop madness from the DJ formerly known as Josh Davis. See review, page 99. Universal.
awkwardness of adolescent relationships. All seem grades above the airheads of I I recent ventures that engage none of our c a non-r0 es
intellect andlittle of our attention. as ObJGCtS Of
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h k ‘j‘ 7' Music They played a major part in the ‘ ' amazing batch of US new wave acts of
the iate 703. Now they're playing the
Liquid Room. Funny old world. See
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The old stereotypes of jock and geek.
stud and babe. prom queen and goth are
still with us. but are simplified further.
Resurrecting a war of the sexes. the American Pie series. Dude Where ’s My Car and co reduce the relationship between the two sexes down to. well. sex. This schoolboy — or should that be freshman“? — humour relies on the sort of crude. gross-out comedy that has been relentlessly regurgitated since the l"ttt‘i‘e|ly' Brothers’ Dumb and Dumber eight years ago.
Following in the footsteps (trotters‘?) of lamentable jock-fest Porky 's. these movies exploit a lowest common denominator appeal from a male perspective. Meanwhile. girls are afforded scant (or scantily clad) non-roles as objects of masturbation. manipulation and betting fodder. Pie. like Porky 's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. based its premise on the adolescent male’s desperation to lose his virginity. while in time—honoured tradition the girls debate how to hang onto theirs. Even the sexualised females are latex-thin: the foreign exchange student exists as every schoolboy"s fantasy. but little else.
We can only hope producers take the ‘risky‘ route of presenting quirky stories and fully—fledged characters. as in Ghost World. The Virgin .S'aieides and Rushmore. The forthcoming Orange County features a boy whose dreams of becoming a writer are scttppered by a teacher‘s ineptitude: not exactly revolutionary. but at least life for him has a significance beyond the next keg party. We'll have to see if the same can be said for the teen movie.
preview, page 44. Liquid Room, Edinburgh.
8 Art Degree Shows
Art See the future stars of painting, photography, sculpture and such today. See feature, page 14. Various venues.
Music A welcome return from the all- conquering quartet. no doubt showcasing new tracks from forthcoming album A Rush of Blood to the Head. Queen ’3 Hall, Edinburgh.
1 0 Rubens
Art Discover how the old master adapted/copied (up to you that one) the work of Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Raphael. See preview, page 82. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.
6—20 Jtir‘. 2002 THE LIST 9