Get in losers, we’re going to analyse our generation’s obsession with the teen movie. This crowd-funded film debut from film blogger Charlie Lyne is a cine-essay that charts the narrative arc of the American high school movie trope that has dominated pop culture for over 20 years. The documentary style allows Lyne to identify several stages in the development of the protagonist, from their original status as an outsider, to their eventual assimilation into high school culture and the tensions that arise from this transformation. Fairuza Balk, the lead in the 1996 supernatural teen thriller The Craft provides a voiceover that drips with the characteristic adolescent cynicism that defines the genre. Clips from teen movie legends such as Mean Girls, Clueless and Eurotrip rub shoulders with lesser known gems such as Ginger Snap and Idle Hands as we are guided through a broad spectrum of films spanning from 1995-2004. So many clips are included in fact, that you will inevitably find yourself compiling a mental ‘to-watch’ list as Beyond Clueless plays out. By subjecting this often underrated genre to his unique analysis, Lyne seeks to deconstruct our fascination with the teen movie, and in doing so justifies them as worthy of more consideration than they have so far been given. The brooding original soundtrack by indie-pop duo Summer Camp is the cherry on the icing for this documentary, providing a perfectly erratic accompaniment to the emotionally charged ups and downs of adolescence. This genre may be a guilty pleasure, but Lyne’s documentary is a pleasure to watch in general and definitely not worth missing out on.
Chapter Arts Centre, Canton will be screening Beyond Clueless on the 3rd and 4th of February with an exclusive Q&A with director Charlie Lyne. As a student you are able to get discounted tickets – what’s not to love?
Keep your eyes peeled for our exclusive interview with Charlie Lyne, director of Beyond Clueless in the March issue of Quench Magazine.