My favourite coming of age movies:
These are probably my favourite movies in general but oh well let's make a list in this specific genre, and because classing them from 1 to 10 is funner then not to do so (who doesn't like a proper list?) . These are not classed by greatness but by my personal preference.
10. The Garden State
At twelve years old, this was probably my first "indie movie" and to say the least I was blown away. Ignorant of what other movies there could be out there, this was my favourite for a long time. I fell in love with all the characters and their quirks, especially Sam who in my opinion is not your typical "manic pixie dream girl". I would laugh and cry, and all its themes seemed to me so complicated and "deep". At that age I had never seen anything like it. And even though its at number ten, the images and quotes are still imprinted in my brain. I mean who can forget the scene when Sam ( Natalie Portman) makes Andrew (Zach Braff) make weird and "original" noises in her room? https://youtu.be/MBopFmu3yAg
This is a masterpiece. Honestly, it's already a classic, I'm not going to wait twenty years to say so. The fact that it lost the Oscar to Birdman is as much a travesty as was Citizen Kane losing out to How Green is my valley ( not that Boyhood is at the same level as Citizen Kane but I'm just explaining how terrible Birdman was) Why is it only at nine, because it's not only about the boy, it's about his mom, his sister, his dad, about family life in general. I'm not a Linklater fan ( Bernie wasn't very well made and neither was Fast Food Nation) and this movie didn't tug any emotional chord inside me like the other movies in this list did. Anyway this is just some stupid list I'm doing on my summer holiday. ( And the ending is just... beautiful, one of the best. https://youtu.be/QcKOYLmr5TE)
8.The virgin suicide
The book is one of my favourites ( I might write my personal analysis of it for the hell of it), if I ever wrote a book this would be it. Its everything that I love, death, youth and america ( I don't love death, I like the theme in books). It's so complex and layered, it's about the warped american male vision of woman, it's this morbid suburban dream, America's obsession with happiness, its the end of a decade, its an obvious allegory of of the fragility of youth represented by the death of the girls, but not only, its also about the death of the narrators, as they grow older and remember. This is one of the few contemporary novels that I feel will last, despite being set in the seventies it had a timeless feel to it, because it deals with timeless themes. Its should have been hard to convey all of this in movie, and even though I don't think Sofia Coppola entirely succeeded, she did a brilliant job to capture that morbid dreamlike suburbia, making it her best film. I don't know another movie that portrays so well that mystification of teenage girls.
7. Girl, interrupted
This is pretty much only in the list because it introduced me to Jared Leto whose eyes have been tormenting me ever since. Kidding( kind of) This is a beautifully shot movie whose atmosphere and direction drown you in the claustrophobia . The characters are brilliantly portrayed that they become real, no one is acting, its as though you were really in that asylum with them (making some tragic scenes unwatchable) Wyona Ryder (probably my favourite actress as you will see as we go along the list) is relatable and perplexing, we understand her and yet we feel frustrated by her . Why is this a coming of age movie? Just look at the picture above. As we grow up we question our sanity and that of the world around us, we believe that we are monsters and that everyone else are also monsters, how do we adapt when everything seems absurd? This movie underlines that by placing our heroine in a asylum. ( Yes I know that this was originally a memoir)
6. The breakfast club
I can't believe this is only at number six when I've probably watched it more than five times already. Do I need to explain why this movie is the best? I love all John Hughes movies: Sixteen candles ( the cinematography is astounding, it's absurd and surrealist, that wedding scene is iconic, honestly if you don't believe me and can't remember, re- watch it) Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bullers Day Off, but this one is the one to rule them all. Its a great set piece? Teenagers on detention. I'm embarrassed to say that I cry every time when "The Brain" recounts why he was given detention. I absolutely understand what he means.
5. America, Graffiti
Who can forget this car? If there is one coming of age movie this is the one. Nostalgic, mesmerising, hopeful and yet not so much... The Wolfman Jack will always be here.
Yet another classic, this movie's cinematography is just... exactly how I would shoot a film. Its perfect, the story, the humour, the characters, basically everything. Watch it.
Why am I writing less? Tired and no one will read this so...
3.Dead Poets Society
I have one dream, one dream, to stand up on my desk to say "oh, captain, my captain" to a fired teacher who was just too out there and amazing for the school, while emotional music plays in the background. Honestly, I don't know another movie that has influences my "teenage hood" as much as this one has. Oh and Robin Williams was also amazing in Good Will Hunting.
Its unfortunate that the best line of this movie is highly inappropriate (You know which one I'm talking about. To whoever is reading this) Even though I've probably watched The Breakfast Club more then five times, there was always a part of me who wanted to laugh at it, mock at its sincerity. Well, this movie was basically made for me. Its all that I love being ridiculed ( intellectual emo's, dark boyfriend, angst and high school movies in general), it turns them upside down and shows how ridiculous they can be. It's dark, inappropriate , violent and yet the more enjoyable because of it. However, I would like to point out that even though this is a parody of adolescence it always mocks it with love and understanding. The filmmakers don't consider to be superior to their audience. They're laughing with you not at you.
1 . Les 400 coups.
Now, if The Catcher in the Rye is THE coming of age story ( in my humble opinion) well this is it's cinematic equivalent. The other movies on this list could be in any order ( except Heathers) but this is the number one, not only in coming of age , but in movies in general ( I would like to add to add that most movies are coming of age stories anyway). In my opinion there is no point for a movie existing if the cinematography is simply decent. It has to be striking, vibrant, iconic. Showing the world with a different perspective, a different lense. This movie does that. You just stare at the screen sometimes and ask yourself: How did he get the camera there? This movie is so memorable, I could replay it in my mind any moment. And lets admit it, that last shot is the Mona Lisa of cinema: his look is iconic, what is he thinking? And as he is confronted by the dead end of the sea, we wonder what will happen to him. Happily enough Truffaut has given us three more movies to complete this sympathetic kid's life ( Stoles Kisses, Bed and Board and Love on the Run. The fist two are enjoyable but the later is disappointing)
I am sorry that there is not much analysis of the movies, but I wrote this quickly just for the fun of it.