American teen is that burstein
Eric Kohn. From John Hughes to Judd Apatow , the plight of the American teen has never lacked appeal in popular culture. A nonfiction portrait of several prototypical seventeen year olds in Warsaw, Indiana, the movie finds all the stereotypes — from the jocks to the outcasts — in real life. Burstein spent nine months living in the small suburban town, where her crew became deeply involved in the social needs and future prospects of their subjects. Sometimes, however, art imitates life.
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Alexandra DuPont Calls Bullshit On AMERICAN TEEN!!
David Edelstein. Film critic David Edelstein reviews the new documentary American Teen. Directed by Nanette Burnstein, the film follows a group of seniors at a high school in Warsaw, Indiana. Bob Mondello. A for Anonymous: "Boy A" Andrew Garfield is ready for a second chance, but the world may not be ready to give him one.
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indieWIRE INTERVIEW | “American Teen” Director Nanette Burnstein
In a poll, two-thirds said being a teenager is harder for them than it was for their parents. Its senior year in a typical American high school and five students—a jock, a geek, a princess, a heartthrob and a rebel—are teetering on the brink of the future. All they have to do is survive the greatest pressures theyve ever known—an incredible onslaught of parental expectations, personal insecurities, college dreams, romantic nightmares, sports disasters, prom night nerves, petty vandalism, public embarrassment and the perils of friendship and theyll get their first big shot at real life. Burstein started with raw, spontaneous documentary footage of a handful of real-life teenagers in a small Midwestern high school; then, she ingeniously structured her film into a compelling narrative that cuts to the very core of what makes being young so exciting, dangerous and unforgettable—a non-stop mix of wild emotions, fierce hopes, heart-wrenching mistakes, comic misunderstandings and moments of revelation and connection you hold onto for the rest of your life, no matter who you areor are about to become.
It is presented as a documentary, and indeed these students, their friends and families are all real people, and these are their stories. But many scenes seem suspiciously staged. Is she really that unaware? She's the subject of disciplinary action in the film; why didn't she tell school officials that she only did it for the movie? Many questions like that occur while you're watching "American Teen," but once you make allowance for the factor of directorial guidance, the movie works effectively as what it wants to be: a look at these lives, in this town "mostly middle-class, white and Christian" , at this time.
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