THE PAINFUL BEAUTY OF ADOLESCENCE
5 TIMELESS TEENAGE JOURNEY FILMS
PUBLISHED 17 MAR 2017
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
NICHOLAS RAY / 1955
"If I had one day when I didn't have to be all confused and I didn't have to feel that I was ashamed of everything. If I felt that I belonged someplace. You know?"
Jim (James Dean) is a troubled teen, struggling to find his way in a new town. He contemplates what it means to be a man and how to fit in. The lack of a male role model forces Jim to act out, from violent outbursts to rebellious behaviour. However, it is the loss of his friend and the gaining of a new love that send him on his own journey of self-discovery. Jim realises he must make the most of the life he has and try to find his feet in the world set out in front of him. The story is one that every teenager can relate to. Whether they are misunderstood by their parents or looking to fit in with their peers.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
JOHN HUGHES / 1985
"You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions."
THE BREAKFAST CLUB puts a group of High School clichés - a Nerd, a Bully, a Jock, a Weirdo and a Beauty - all together for one Saturday detention. They each, in their own way, go on a journey of accepting each other and themselves, finding out the secrets, dreams and desires of their classmates. The initial strangers realise they share the unenviable but mutual task of growing up. Not only does the film highlight that everyone has their own problems but it also reminds us to never judge a book by its cover.
STAND BY ME
ROB REINER / 1986
"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"
STAND BY ME tells the story of four friends seeking an adventure. Yet the physical excursion is just a front, behind which the real journey is hidden. It is the discovery of their friendship and why it is so special that defines each one of them. The film encapsulates the message that no matter what challenges you face, you can get through them with friendship. In doing so, the film creates a timeless classic that all can relate to.
GREG MOTTOLA / 2009
"My theory is you can't just avoid everybody you screw up with."
James (Jesse Eisenburg) is lost. He finds himself without work, and going nowhere in life. So, when he takes a seemingly dead end job at an amusement park, these feelings are not expected to change. However, James is suddenly introduced to the real world where he learns some valuable lessons; from knowing who to trust, to dealing with heartbreak. We witness his journey from boy to man, watching as he loses his naivety and innocence and gains some much-needed life experience.
THE WAY WAY BACK
NAT FAXTON & JIM RASH / 2013
"You gotta go your own way. And you, my friend, are going your own way."
Duncan (Liam James) is a shy, unassuming teen who is taken on a summer holiday to his step-dad's beach home. Throughout the summer, we see a boy growing up and finding himself. With the help of a strong supporting cast that includes Sam Rockwell as Duncan's mentor and best friend, we are invited to watch as he begins his discovery of self-worth. He starts to not only stand up for himself but also for the people around him that he cares about. Many will empathise with the struggle of finding your voice and this film offers hope to those teenagers embarking on a similar journey.
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