What makes a film a teen film? And why, when it represents such powerful
and enduring ideas about youth and adolescence, is teen film usually
viewed as culturally insignificant?
Teen film is usually
discussed as a representation of the changing American teenager,
highlighting the institutions of high school and the nuclear family, and
experiments in sexual development and identity formation. But not every
film featuring these components is a teen film and not every teen film
is American. Arguing that teen film is always a story about becoming a
citizen and a subject, Teen Film
presents a new history of the genre, surveys the existing body of
scholarship, and introduces key critical tools for discussing teen film.
Surveying a wide range of films including The Wild One, Heathers, Akira and Donnie Darko,
the book's central focus is on what kind of adolescence teen film
represents, and on teen film's capacity to produce new and influential
images of adolescence.