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Lots of drama over ‘American Teen’
Lots of drama over 'American Teen' - Los Angeles Times
On the surface it seems harmless enough -- camera crews follow a group of small-town students during their senior year of high school for a film project designed to capture the transitional moments between childhood and adulthood. The film that sparked a bidding war after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January -- and earned Burstein honors for directing -- also has been criticized as too glossy and too willfully mainstream. Some question its authenticity. For this project, Burstein said she set her sights on capturing the rituals of the teenage years as honestly as possible. Some things had changed, but the real emotional core of what you go through at that age very much stays the same. For the film, Burstein trained her lens on the small town of Warsaw, Ind. She whittled her focus to five subjects, each of whom fits into sharply defined archetypes -- the jock, the rebel, the queen bee, the geek and the hunk.
There is the blond popular girl, Megan Krizmanich, and her blond sidekick, Ali Wikalinska, young women who wield inordinate power over the social fates of their peers. There is Colin Clemens, the basketball star hoping to land a college scholarship and facing pressure at home from his ex-athlete dad. There is Hannah Bailey, the artsy misfit girl who dreams of becoming a filmmaker and who enters into a transgressive romance with a dimple-chinned athlete named Mitch Reinholt. And there is also Jake Tusing, a self-identified nerd with a bad haircut, serious acne and a heavy video-game habit. Will the popular girl get her comeuppance, or see the error of her ways?
A documentary on seniors at a high school in a small Indiana town and their various cliques. Sign In. Welcome to the new version of this page. Learn more. Report an issue.