AMA

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!!! is having a cinematic moment.

And by that, I’m referring to the fact that FOUR DIFFERENT MOVIES RELEASED WITHIN A FEW MONTH SPAN devote a significant chunk of their runtimes to interviewing a cross-section of teenagers about their thoughts on the state of their lives, the world, and the(ir) future.

First came the documentary Homeroom. And then C’mon C’mon. And then Italian Studies.

And now. This:

So that’s TWO documentaries and TWO “fiction” films, each and all of which can be accurately described by Futura’s copy:

“…comprised of a series of interviews with boys and girls in their late teens … Asked to describe their hopes and fears about the future in an unsettled world, and in a country where jobs are scarce, the film’s articulate, intelligent, often witty young subjects reveal a shared disillusionment, an uncertainty as to if there will be a future at all. What emerges is a poignant picture of the precarity of youth facing incredible new pressures, but also of youth’s extraordinary resilience—a work of intermingled pessimism and possibility.”

I’m sure everyone can venture a guess as to why this sort of artistic impulse is popular right now. And these types of interviews are ubiquitous throughout the history of movies, so it’s in no way a novel phenomenon….

But like…

Doesn’t this trend read like the inverse side of the hacky “CNN interviews Trump voters” coin??? All you gotta do is replace “Trump voters” with “the progressive youth”…

Because I believe that artistic “success” is more about the how than the what, I tend to side-eye whenever perceived worth is predicated on the audience’s personal interest in the subject(s). Think of it like artistic Mad Libs (pun unintended); what’s chosen to fill in the blanks feels secondary to the overall structure itself.

Comparing/contrasting kids from wide-ranging walks of life has its clear-and-present virtues…but the monotony of their responses across these four movies makes me question the efficacy of this particular mode of artistic inquiry.

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