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Smells like Teen Spirit

Sometimes you’ll feel just like a teenager: a bit confused, and lost. These angsty films and TV shows will make you realise that you’re not alone in your problems and that most teenagers feel the way that you do sometimes. Through the characters, you’ll find people that make you laugh, make you cry, and even remind you of yourself. 

+ Palo Alto

This film by Gia Coppola is one that explores school life from a teenager’s perspective. It is unapologetic with it’s presentation and expresses very raw moments through its characters. Unlike other films targeted at teens, it isn’t sugarcoated. We all know that high-school isn’t filled with parties and prom, but that’s what Hollywood seems to tell us about being a teenager. In this film there are plenty of scenes where the characters simply dance around in their bedrooms by themselves, or drive around aimlessly with their friends. Somehow the shots in this film have a “The Virgin Suicides” feel to it, giving the scenes and air of mystery and the characters a dreamy feel. 

+ Ginger & Rosa

Set in the 60s, this film is set in a time of change: not only within the political landscape of the country, but also the protagonists life. You’ll fall in love with Ginger’s passion for the world, and desire to make the world better; a feeling that most of us might have. But while she’s stuck within problems from the people around her, she feels restricted from doing anything special. After all the problems she experienced, she becomes wiser and more intelligent. The movie feels ethereal with its soft hues, and the 60s fashion featuring turtlenecks and skirts is to die for. 

+ The Breakfast Club 

This classic John Hughes movie is one recommended by most. Featuring some members of the ‘Brat Pack’, this movie is all about teenagers. It takes place in the library during detention. During this time, the characters, who would have never talked to each other in normal circumstances, were brought together. The characters are definitely the reason to watch this movie. Their dance moves will make you laugh, and their brutally honest confessions will make you cry. Although it was made in the 80s, many statements that the characters make in the movie are still relevant today. To this day, the iconic “Don’t you forget about me” ending will never stop making people smile. 

+ Freaks and Geeks

Starring famous actors such as James Franco, and Seth Rogen, this TV show presents the struggles of being in high school in a comedic manner. We are presented with characters that have a lot more dimensions than normal characters in TV shows for teens. They, just like us, have legitimate concerns about their future and the world. But their “i don’t care” attitudes are also the epitome of teenage angst. The show seems like its mocking a large part of the system we see in our society. It is because of this that makes it seem like it’s made through a teenager’s eyes. Also, if you’re into 80s rock music, this show would totally be for you.

+ Skins

This British show filled with sex and drugs, might offend or astonish some. While it might get you thinking, “do some teenagers actually act like that?” It’ll also make you think a lot about friendships. The characters are unique and edgy and before long you’ll become emotionally attached to them all and all the drama within it. Despite all the drama, we see each character as a complex one with family issues or school issues that can cause them to act in a certain way. This makes the story relatable to a certain extent. In addition, the music in this TV show is literally perfect. 

(Featuring movie stills from Hirxeth and Anamorphosis and Isolate)

Article by Yuk-Ting | Photo by Brydie Mack