From Anime to Zoolander: Taking Teens and Teen Films Seriously
March 23, 2006
Jane Halsall Reviewer for Video Librarian
(check out handouts for email addresses)
When we walk in the last ten minutes of “Mean Girls” is playing. A very funny satire on the issue of girls. Tina Fey from SNL wrote the screenplay after reading Queen Bees and Wanna Bees. It stars SNL actors, and young stars.
I am having conversations about the generation gap. My in laws once bought Grave of the Fireflies for my sister in law because she loved Princess Mononoko. On the back it said it was a spiriting uplifting film. …. This is the kind of parents I assume we deal with.
We also discussed the anticipation of EarthSea.
When librarians started collecting they tagged it Young Adults.
VOYA interviewed teens on what they should be called, and they said Teens
In addition to teens 20 something (ME!) use these materials.
Now we should call them Young Adults, because that incorporates the twenty somethings
A large part of being a teen is learning what others know and didn’t know they know
Teens talk to their friends about music, movies, games, and everything, and they are more willing to take friends suggestions
Teens social networks let them spread information quickly and broadly.
Teen interest is broad in both time periods, and cultural.
Everything is new to them so Frank Lang’s Metropolis, Casablanca, and Princess Mononoko are all equal to them.
teens can access practically infinite topics instantly.
Teens were incorporated in selections. Old TV Shows, Anime, Martial Arts Films, Japanese films.
They had to find sources and reviews that were off the grid.
Cataloging was another problem. Turns the catalogers in to fans so its alright now
(Wow this sounds like video games)
Teen films are not a genre. Any movie aimed at teens was a right of passage.
I love the handout-it does not include everything but it has Classic Cult and Watershed movies, with newer movies are listed on a variety of teen issues, cultures and eras.
We found Anime extremely popular, sometimes dressed as characters
Teens to day are much more open to the world
Tell wonderful stories with dialogue and beautiful artwork
Don’t care where or when film was made as long as its good
(for me Anime is weird because the culture/storytelling is so different, but my sister in law loves it as does so many teens and twenty somethings. The more I watch and read about Japanese culture the more I understand the Anime and can enjoy it)
Clip from Princess Mononoko
Not like a traditional Disney movie would be
Villians not clearly defined.
Woman in role of Man
How art and dialogue convey a compelling story
Have natural audience.
From Comic books and graphic novels that really are just much longer than comic books.
Comics are as culturally significant as Video games, for a different generation.
People who see these movies know the basic stories even if they have never read the comic books.
Clip from Super Man 2 By the burning building
Implies Hero instinct in all of us. (Video game…)
Comic books make a good implementation into movies because you don’t have to visualize all of the movie sciences
Teens are staring or audience
Japanese popular culture coming through. J-horror is Japanese. K-horror is Korean.
First experience was the Ring. In Japan it was Ringu
Clip from the Ring When the girl gets the guy near the end (you know what I’m talking about)
Wikipedia defines J-horror
Alfred Hitchcock type.
Growing rise of dark in teen media (eternal Darkness, Resident evil, Buffy the Vampire Slayer…)
outside of school, many teens spend a large portion of time playing sports.
Many sports films are based on real events.
Contemporary films last as period pieces.
They revolve around real lives, sometimes the idea that Sports are life.
Most don’t focus on films, but Bend it Like Becham is a wonderful girl soccer movie
Television and Teens
Video and DVD lets you schedule your time.
TiVo lets you schedule even more
Downloading is close to be in libraries
Vidcasting is just around the corner (I think its here with Red vs Blue, Machinama, and others)
Exposure to Satire helps to teach teens to question the world around them
You have to understand what going on and separate it from the context
Hero in these movies is the anti-hero
earthy humor is a great way to communicate with teens
Clip from Waynes World where they are talking on the car
Do it yourself coming of age
A movie with teens as main characters are just going to be coming of age films.
It will be on the PLA website
Dead Poets Society
A Separate Piece
Brother from another planet
run Lola run
Teen years are a time for deep philosophical questions.
Every activity is more intense because it’s the first time.
Clip from Donnie Darkco
Other Cultures other times
Teens have traveled more
More comfortable going places learning things no matter one
The internet does not discriminate. Get taken seriously
Part of cultural literacy
Talk across the world, and don’t hesitate this.
Few Hollywood movies, and many independents are making movies with more cultural background
The characters reflect lives
The Hollywood ending fits the characters.
Clip from My Life
(I discovered Foreign films in college and watched many Spanish for my class. I loved it. Like water for chocolate is my favorite)
Who are you, discovering who they are in
Clip from The Breakfast Club. The creator only made five films
Addressed teens as individuals.
Napoleon dynamite is spectacularly out of the ordinary, but that is ok.
Power of Music
Shorthand for who you are.
Cable and Satelite TV, The abilitiy to download, and the internet has made the pool of movies huge
Teens are the best people to ask about movies.
DON”T ask what teen movie you like
ASK what is your favorite movie
Treat them equal
Take them seriously
Give them respect
Clip from 10 things I hate about you (I love this movie soooooooo much)
(comments via Jami Schwarzwalder)