there’s some gassiness

Friday night was Media Night at SOTA, so I blew off Pesce and Serena (sorry guys) and drove up the hill to school. The films were a mixed bag, as ever. Diana’s sweetly funny piece on Internet pen pals was a standout, as was the first little film, an adorable sapphic fantasy. And Joey Talbot made an amazingly slick documentary about his own hip-hop record label. Here’s one of his artists:

“Yeah, they call me the Milkman. I used to drink milk, a lot of milk, maybe too much milk. So now I am lactose-intolerant. There’s some gassiness.”

Joey’s in love with a sort of hard core urban aesthetic, so there were lots of moodily lit shots of his rappers standing in front of ghetto landmarks like… St Luke’s Hospital! I shouldn’t giggle, because I know that for some young men my neighborhood really is the ‘hood, however bourgeois it seems to me. I shall confine myself to remarking that when I went out on Saturday morning, someone trespassed on my flowerbed and pulled all the weeds. Damned guerrilla gardeners.

Anyway, what really hooks me on the kids’ films is seeing San Francisco through these entirely other eyes. The kids love long hand-held camera shots through the city streets, Orson-Welles-ian lurches through windows; they love the sidewalks and freeways and trees and mini-parks and architecture. They layer gorgeous music over the top of their footage. It’s a swoony dream of the City, unbelievably brilliant and beautiful, the way all adolescents are incredibly pretty just because they are so young.

They’re so young. They’re narcissistic and self-pitying and melodramatic and turgid. The best films embrace the contradictions of adolescence and make gentle fun of them; the most grown-up-seeming films are the ones most frankly made by teenagers. The films that try to be very slick and adult are the weirdest and least convincing. But these kids have so much to tell us. And their technical proficiency has improved by leaps and bounds in the three years I’ve been watching. I’m prouder of Salome and Scott than I can say.

So that’s what the young people are into these days. As for the really young people, well, they demand much higher degrees of interactivity. Claire says:

“I went to Salome’s school! We saw ALL the movies, on the very big TV. I like Daddy’s movie, with the stars. You go like this and they move!”

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.