The stark difference in films made for teenagers and those about teenagers becomes evident in the ‘Adolescence’ package of five films, all from France, to be screened at the 17th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK 2012), beginning on Friday.
In the film ‘Love Like Poison’, writer director Katell Quillevere focuses on a middle-class 14-year-old in the Breton countryside about to celebrate her confirmation in the Catholic church. This is a coming-of-age movie that is touching, funny, desperately sad and has a spiritual dimension that comes to its mysterious and satisfying fruition at the very end. Quillevere, while revealing herself to be a natural film-maker, takes the audience gently and sensitively through the teenage minefield.
The 90-minute film ‘La vie au Ranch’ (Chicks), directed by Sophie Letourneur, is a French comedy about three college-going roommates out to enjoy their freedom. The communal life of these Parisian girls revolving around an apartment affectionately known as ‘the ranch’, is the stage for Sophie Letourneur’s debut feature, which tells of a life of talking, smoking, drinking and partying.
Riad Sattouf, director of the film ‘The French Kissers’, was born in Paris in 1978 and lived in the Middle East until he was 10. Based in Paris since 2000, he has been writing comic strips. His script covers the same things as most teen movies - getting together, breaking up, being horrible, making up, yelling at your parents - but Riad Sattouf has made it refreshing, by focusing on the sheer awkwardness of mid-teens and capturing the maturity gap when most girls seem years ahead of their male friends.
Rebecca Zlotowski’s debut feature film ‘Belle Pine’ is about two unlikely friends brought together by loneliness and lack of affection. Prudence (L’a Seydoux) and Maryline (Agathe Schlenker) become instant friends after they are arrested and strip-searched for shoplifting. Prudence has lost her parents to death and spends her time rattling around in her posh living quarters. Maryline is street smart, tough and self-reliant. She knows a good thing when she sees it and she sticks with Prudence.
‘Memory Lane’ by director Mikhael Hers builds on a mood of nostalgia when seven friends get together to spend a week in the Parisian suburb where they grew up.
All the films in the adolescence package are relatively new, with ‘Memory Lane’ being made in 2012.