Wednesday, September 3, 2014

THEY HAVE ESCAPED: "Troubled Youth" Films

"Are we troubled?"
"You are naked and wearing an animal head."

We're extremely excited about They Have Escaped, as its portrayal of the pains and troubles of adolescence seems sincere and explosive. We remember what it was like to grow up and appreciate the films that take a look at the darker side of being a young person. Here's five more films that we hold dear for those same reasons. 

Nothing says troubled like sitting on the floor, right? 
1. Short Term 12 is a raw and intimate look at the employees and wards of a short-term care facility for troubled teens. The film is technically more of a story of one of the employees (a jaw-dropping performance from Brie Larson) but the teens that are highlighted in the story deserve major props as well. They are all coping with their own demons AND trying to play Whiffle Ball together, so ish gets real. While there is humour in the film, it is never at the expense the reality of these teens' lives.

Also, nothing says troubled like a hoody. 

2. Fish Tank is an award-winning film that follows the life of a fiery, volatile fifteen-year-old girl named Mia. She picks fights with near everyone in her life, from her little sister to her mum to her friends, is obsessed with trying to free a chained-up horse from a field (wouldn't you, though?), and loves to dance (but only if no one is watching). It's not until her mum's new boyfriend (why helllooooooo there, Michael Fassbender) shows up that her life appears to do a complete backflip, and probably not for the better. (We tried to make a dancing analogy. Did it work?)

Sitting on bleachers, check. Plaid, check. Ripped jeans, check. I think we got ourselves some troubled youth here.

3. River's Edge asks that all too important question: if one of your friends killed somebody, what would you do about it? Okay, so maybe that's not a question you want to be wondering about your friends but the group of friends in this film face it head-on and things don't really go as you would expect. It gets kind of dark, actually. Other things we learned from this film: don't call Crispin Glover an ingrate; he doesn't appreciate it. At all.

Bunny ears would probably be cute in any other context.
4. We couldn't mention "troubled youth" films without giving Harmony Korine his own number. From writing Kids to his directorial debut Gummo to the more recent Spring Breakers, Korine has a gift for portraying young people in a completely shocking, yet still authentic way. And while we appreciate and applaud Korine's unapologetic, and sometimes disturbing, portrayal of youth, we're, uh, pretty sure we wouldn't be sitting with these kids during lunch. 

Aw, they look so adorable and innocent.

5. Before Peter Jackson was frolicking with hobbits, he was telling the story of two lovely girls who developed close and somewhat magical relationship in Heavenly Creatures... on second thought, maybe too close. We're all for being besties with Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey but we don't know if we'd resort to violent measures if our perfect friendship was threatened. Then again, it is really hard to find a decent friend these days. 

These troubled youth really pump our nads.

BONUS ROUND: Ahhh, the Breakfast Club. The original troubled youths (uh, never mind all the films that came before it). We've got a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Except, wait, you can't define them! They're each all those things and more! *Cue Judd Nelson's fist in the air.*

They Have Escaped is screening at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Vanguard Programme. Check out more Vanguard films on the official Festival website.

THEY HAVE ESCAPED screening times:

Monday, Sept 8th, 9:45 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Wednesday, Sept 10, 4:00 PM SCOTIABANK 14
Saturday, Sept 13, 10:00 PM SCOTIABANK 8

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