In this episode Gabriel and Tom discuss Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest meandering opus, Licorice Pizza (2021). A tale of love, lust, ambition and pinball with two stellar central performances by newcomers Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman as an unlikely couple struck by cupid’s bent arrow. A sweeping, fast-paced romp through a sun-drenched and pot-infused San […]
The year was 1982. I’d recently moved to Los Angeles from London and had settled into a seemingly idyllic sun-kissed life by the coast. I was however branded the ‘new kid’ at school; a tag that comes with a certain amount of anxiety, and so one of my favourite activities was to head off on […]
Life is not a stroll across a field – Boris Pasternak Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show (1971) reveals, in a poignant and compassionate tenor, the evolution of youthful expectations as they are molded, corrupted, and realigned by the passage of time. When youthful ambitions are seen through the prism of adulthood they refract strange […]
Fierce, funny, and willfully independent, Lady Bird (2017) diverges from traditional coming-of-age narratives to feature a mother and daughter relationship major movies often ignore. Delightful and sincere, with bursts of teenage angst, this film sings with youthful energy. Christine (Saoirse Ronan), a theater kid with a rebellious air, starts off the movie by dropping out of […]
In Sion Sono’s Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi, 2008), 17-year-old Yu (Takahiro Nishijima) struggles with his sexual awakening. Sono turns the basic “boy meets girl” plot into a narratively and aesthetically rich film in which Yu encounters violence and madness but also discovers love and responsibility. Sono’s four-hour film explores what it means to be young. […]
Artistic cinematography and a devoted biographical approach characterize Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight (2016). With plot-driven tri-part divisions, Moonlight poetically chronicles the growth and maturity of identity searching as a boy matures into a man. It is a memorable film with few words, a collage of characters scarred by social misfortunes, and a message of hope that is […]
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018), a coming-of-age film with a focus on queer identity, offers a new perspective of teenage sexuality with a religious undertone. In a realistic style, director Desiree Akhavan explores the intricacies of growing up in the cruelty of a conformist reality. It is a narrative and a victory song as […]
Murmur of the Heart consists of two halves: the first a celebration of youth, and the second an awakening to adulthood’s messy realities.