Wednesday, May 19, 2010
When put together, teenagers are a horrible, amorphous blob of noise, bad decision-making, casual cruelty and mindless consumerism. Why I stare down this crater-faced shoggoth on a daily basis, is anyone's guess (hint: I play videogames and watch movies instead of being productive and write). Normal people are always a source of bemusement/irritation to the average movie geek, so I tend to cherish insight into the cinematic tastes of these MUNDANES whenever such an opportunity is presented to me. The last few weeks have been, by some extraordinary circumstances, rather fruitful in this respect.
Only a few days into my temp, I was tasked, along with a few other teachers, with monitoring around a hundred-fifty students as they watched a movie. It being my second day and all, I had no idea what movie this was until I suddenly got charged with making the beamer work. I had to stifle mad laughter when I saw the cover to dated-as-hell 1995 Rob Cohen opus Dragonheart.
One thing you learn from watching movies with kids is perspective. Fucking hell, is Dragonheart a slow movie! And holy shit is the camera work static! A friend later informed me this was probably because it was made in the early days of CGI, and adding computer shit in post was still in its infancy. Makes sense! Unfortunately, this meant the whole movie felt like retarded ren faire cosplay, and the kids were restless throughout. The few moments that worked were the comedy bits where surly Quaidknight and bumbling Seandragon play off of each other (and then only with the younger kids).
It's tough picking a movie to show such a big crowd of kids, especially with varying age groups, and I'm glad it wasn't my responsibility or I'd have picked Crank or something. Casual cruelty: actively booing the film when the credits started. Oh well, I'm sure Cohen, Quaid and Connery all forgot they made this movie. Poor Dina Meyer, though.
Where vaginas roam, Twilight festers! From seeing a girl show her copy of New Moon to a friend, to one of the first questions upon learning I was into movies being a smirking "What about Twilight?", it's safe to say the abstinence-saga permeates teenage culture pretty thoroughly. I'm not going to begrudge the twelve year olds their MAKE-AH DE GOOGLY EYES prose -- they are twelve year old girls, after all. Making googly eyes with a pretty boy who wants to do nothing but make googly eyes with you is pretty much walhalla for them.
Hope for the future: I described the plot of Breaking Dawn to a bunch of 17-18 year olds and the entire class was just dying with laughter, while one or two girls confirmed what I was saying. I did not make any additional jokes.
Student: What did you think of Avatar?
Me: It was okay.
What? Daybreakers, a relatively succesful movie among most kids in one class of 17-18 year olds. Some of the girls were turned off by the gore, but others were actively asking questions about the nature of the world presented by the Spierig brothers. Saddening: one girl was confused because "I thought you can't kill a vampire?".
High school is a weird fucking place sometimes. Can you name one other place where the Saw-franchise is a staple, an icon, an indispensable part of canon? It's insane how unanymously loved this series is among teenagers. I was barely conscious during the 80s, so I'm assuming this was the same way with Freddy and Jason movies back then. Funny: English not being their first language, all the kids pronounce these movies as if they were female pigs.
Because I am not a cranky old man, enjoy this heartwarming rendition of Teenage Kicks!