Teenage – text by Silvia Bombardini

"Faded films, decaying videotapes, projected videos that flaunt their tenuous connection to the reality they index, all appeal to a look of love and loss."
(Loving a Disappearing Image, Laura Marks)


Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


Who needs 3D when we can have the tickling, glittering grain of archival footage, as sweet as sugar upon our tongues or sand beneath our feet? Earlier this week at Soho House, the preview of Matt Wolf's Teenage was screened: a charming, textured collection of long gone moments lifted from their dusty timelines to play anew, interspersed with new material and dainty portraits suitably filmed in 16mm. The tactile, brittle glamour of a found footage film will never cease to amaze the 21st century moviegoer who seems to have forgotten the medium existed long before 1997, and Teenage is no exception. Yet when compared to the genre's masterpieces (see the work of Gustav Deutsch, Bill Morrison or Ken Jacobs), Teenage surprises for the universal accessibility of its subject, how instantly relatable and familiar it sounds. With a contemporary score by Deerhunter's  Bradford Cox and four young voiceovers reading rare passages from 20th century diaries, the film sets to retrace the evolution of the teenage boy or girl: from their tentative invention, more or less coincident with that of film, and on across the countries of Germany, England and America, to a multitude of unruly, quixotic subcultures. As historical a film as it is, Teenage comes across as suddenly intimate as well, and leaves us on pins and needles in its wake.

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Teenage will be released on January 24 in the UK and March 14 in the US.