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AMERICAN TEEN

SYNOPSIS:
A documentary on seniors at a high school in Warsaw, a small Indiana town, and their various cliques, their college hopes and their search for a partner.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Warsaw is a typical middle American town whose parents want the same things for their kids as any other Western parent. The familiarity of the middle class values and aspirations are a backdrop for the more intimate journeys of a handful of 18 year olds finishing high school and setting their sights on the future.

They are a predictable bunch: the boy who hopes his basketball skills will get him a sports scholarship to collage; the pretty girl who socialises easily but isn't so pretty or secure on the inside; the quiet and insecure rebel who wants her chance at making movies and leaving dreary Warsaw behind; and the easy going, acne infested nerd who longs to be accepted, and to have a girlfriend.

It's these interpersonal elements that provide the film's grist as the teens search for their identity amidst the gaucheness of adolescence, the pain of self doubt and the often traumatic search for a romantic - or at least sexual - partner. While the filmmaker constructs the film with verve and genuine cinematic flair, there are not enough surprises, not enough unexpected insights, to grab onto as we lurch from one scene to the next.

It's raw and real, but the scant dramatic tension proves too fragile for a meaningful impact.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

AMERICAN TEEN (M)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Documentary featuring Hannah Bailey, Megan Krizmanich, Jake Tusing, Colin Clemens, Mitch Reinholt

PRODUCER: Nanette Burnstein, Jordan Roberts, Christopher Huddleston

DIRECTOR: Nanette Burnstein

SCRIPT: Nanette Burnstein

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Laela Kilbourn

EDITOR: Nanette Burnstein, Tom Haneke, Mary Manhardt

RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Vantage

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 20, 2008







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