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What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

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What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri May 18, 2012 5:04 pm

And do they hold up?

I'm a child of the 1980s, and when I was 14, I saw "The Breakfast Club" in the theater with friends. I was really moved, energized. It hasn't aged all that well, but there are many memorable lines and a vitality that's undeniable. It's probably the sharpest of John Hughes' 80s teenfests.

At around the same age, I thrilled to the moody "Reckless" on cable. Daryl Hannah and a smoldering, disaffected Aidan Quinn. Love when he dances to Romeo Void's "Never Say Never." What happened to that guy's career? Coulda been a superstar, I think.

As a lad I thought "The River's Edge" was quite profound. But it's actually kind of awful, right?
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Helen Zimmerman » Fri May 18, 2012 5:53 pm

I'm old. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" -- class and borstal boys in early 1960's England. Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, directed by Tony Richardson. Talk about alienation..
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Bwis53 » Fri May 18, 2012 8:46 pm

I'll pitch the first and second that come to mind. "The Graduate" and "Alfie" 1968 & 1967. Need I say more?
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Detritus » Fri May 18, 2012 9:23 pm

Liquid Sky. Dunno if it holds up--haven't seen it since.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Igor » Fri May 18, 2012 9:36 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:And do they hold up?

I'm a child of the 1980s, and when I was 14, I saw "The Breakfast Club" in the theater with friends. I was really moved, energized. It hasn't aged all that well, but there are many memorable lines and a vitality that's undeniable. It's probably the sharpest of John Hughes' 80s teenfests.


You are right, it hasn't aged well. Always thought that Sixteen Candles was the best, with probably Mr. Mom, Ferris Bueller and Uncle Buck in no particular order after that. (as far as John Hughes films go)

Didn't really feel too alienated as a teenager, but if I was, music was more my thing anyway. Mostly bands that people on here would think are lousy. Besides, our town never got recent movies until the 3 screen theater got built in the 90s. Fail Safe scared the crap out of me when I saw it on the late night theater tho...
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Bwis53 » Sat May 19, 2012 12:17 am

"To Sir, With Love" with Sidney Poitier and Lulu!
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat May 19, 2012 7:24 am

Igor wrote:You are right, it hasn't aged well. Always thought that Sixteen Candles was the best, with probably Mr. Mom, Ferris Bueller and Uncle Buck in no particular order after that. (as far as John Hughes films go)


"Sixteen Candles" is probably the finest pure comedy of the bunch, the best written and acted. The racial humor has definitely not aged well. What I like about "The Breakfast Club" is that it's kind of fearless in the way it mixes comedy and drama, the way it's perceptive about teenagers. It takes them seriously and lets them air teenage grievances and anxieties. Those can seem silly and hackneyed to people who aren't teenagers anymore, but that doesn't make them any less deeply felt. I think this is what had such a powerful effect on 14-year-old me. That "Breakfast Club" screening with friends that I mentioned was followed by a long, serious discussion. It was really a very important night.
Last edited by Kenneth Burns on Sat May 19, 2012 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby bdog » Sat May 19, 2012 7:32 am

I guess I was never alienated, but TBC is an entertaining movie. The only really bad thing that stands out is Ally Sheedy's "They ignore me" line which has always made me want to throw something at her.

TRE - I remember very little except for the MF Food eater line.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Remember_Me » Sat May 19, 2012 11:22 am

I always liked Revenge Of The Nerds.

Betty: Are all nerds as good as you?
Lewis: Yes.
Betty: How come?
Lewis: 'Cause all Jocks ever think about is sports, all we ever think about is sex.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat May 19, 2012 11:45 am

In "The Breakfast Club," I appreciate the gag about the Ally Sheedy alternakid character intently studying the cover of Prince's "1999." It was an old joke -- album art brings on "oh wow" moment -- but I like that it's updated for the 1980s with Prince. He really did inspire a remarkable cultish interest before his superstar breakthrough with "Purple Rain."

"Purple Rain" came out about six months before "The Breakfast Club," so a joke about Prince's underground appeal didn't quite make sense anymore. But that's movie lag time for you.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat May 19, 2012 11:54 am

The El train scene in "Risky Business" more or less defined this suburban Nashville kid's understanding of what big city living is like.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat May 19, 2012 12:27 pm

I was too young to identify with "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Blackboard Jungle" and too old when the Hughes teen flicks came out. The music of my era spoke more to me.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Galoot » Sat May 19, 2012 12:48 pm

As a skinny kid from a working-class family, who was obsessed with bicycling in the late 1970's, "Breaking Away" was perfect for me. It was also my first date movie. I was fortunate to find an attractive girl who liked skinny bicyclists.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat May 19, 2012 1:02 pm

That's a good one. It captures something important about what happens when kids develop tastes and interests that confuse their parents.
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Re: What movies spoke to your alienated teenage self?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat May 19, 2012 1:09 pm

There's a fine line between stirring youth film and exploitative youth film. In the case of the latter, it's easy to tell that the filmmakers are trying too hard. "Reality Bites" was a movie like that, as was "Pump Up the Volume."
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