15th March 2016
As promised, here’s the letter I’ve been wanting to write since Friday, when I watched St Elmo’s Fire for the first time. As you may know, St Elmo’s Fire is famous for having many actors from “The Brat Pack” and that is one of the reasons I watched it. The others being:
- I like movies for teenage audiences.
- I like contemporary films.
- I like old movies for teenage audiences.
- I think people underestimate their acting skills.
Like I said, I like films for a teenage audience because I am a teen and I can relate to being pretty old in kid-ages and not yet old enough in adult-ages. You may have noticed that there has been a revival in those movies in recent ages with The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars and how could we forget; Twilight. The thing I hate, hate, hate about these films is that:
- Most, if not all, dystopian films/books that have come out recently are shit. I get that The Hunger Games is interesting because of the way it parallels to the real world situation with people being misled and so on, but one good point does not a good story make. The first one was enjoyable, the rest – not so much. (If you’re looking for a dystopian book, I can’t recommend the Unwind Dystology enough.)
- Most teen movies/films are too romance-fuelled. I’m a complete romantic but I get tired and bored of all these books that have such an interesting premise (and apparently nothing to do with romance) and then you start reading, and it’s horrible to see the main characters falling for each other and becoming the main plot line. If I wanted a sweet romantic story, and I do quite a lot, then I’ll go to the romance shelf. (Recommendation for a sweet and romantic story: Anna and the French Kiss.)
- The thing that bothers me most, I think, is when it’s simplified because it’s got a teen audience. By that, I mean, the teens in most teen books or movies don’t ever swear. They don’t ever come across drugs and they most definitely don’t have sex. Reality check, they do! And it’s okay if your characters don’t have sex, or don’t do drugs or swear themselves but to completely eradicate it is ridiculous.
That last point is a major reason why I turn to 80’s teen films in particular. I love how dimensional these characters. It is amazing to see how crude some characters can be because modern filmmakers are just too afraid to put some swearing or vulgar language in their movies and it’s not realistic.
The other thing I think is important is that film makers in the 80’s seemed to respect their teen counterparts alot more than they do right now. And that comes across in their storylines too. I think if you go too far back (and also out of the teen genre), you can see that the plotlines are really, really simple, almost to a comedic effect. The 70’s-80’s is where the filmmakers have hit the sweet spot in creating really real storylines that we can relate to.
There’s not a particular reason why, but I honestly think the 80’s teen genre is so much more authentic to the real life experience of being a teen. And it really says something that someone who would not have fitted in, in those films or in that time, can still relate to it almost 40 years after they’ve created these films. Whenever I watch an old teen film, I feel so much. That’s what you really want, don’t you? To feel.