‘Growing up was never easy’: coming of age in the teen film

Edited book (chapter)


McWilliam, Kelly. 2021. "‘Growing up was never easy’: coming of age in the teen film." McWilliam, Kelly and Ryan, Mark David (ed.) Australian genre film. New York. Routledge. pp. 170-185
Chapter Title

‘Growing up was never easy’: coming of age in the teen film

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
Book TitleAustralian genre film
Authors
AuthorMcWilliam, Kelly
EditorsMcWilliam, Kelly and Ryan, Mark David
Page Range170-185
SeriesRoutledge Advances in Film Studies
Chapter Number11
Number of Pages16
Year2021
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN9781138603141
9780429469121
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429469121-11
Web Address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429469121-11/growing-never-easy-1-kelly-mcwilliam?context=ubx&refId=9e3853ff-4118-4034-8ea8-858b9d0713fe
Abstract

The teen film is one of the most diverse and prolific genres of Australian cinema and has been since its emergence in the 1970s. This chapter briefly establishes the early characteristics of the Australian teen film in the late twentieth century, before examining the genre in the 2000s. It argues that while hybrid teen films have featured steadily in film history since the 1970s, it is the coming-of-age film that has been, and remains, the most popular iteration of the genre. Moreover, in postmillennial Australian cinema, there are three main trends that characterise coming-of-age films: (1) quirky/fish-out-of-water; (2) queer; and (3) Indigenous coming-of-age films. While these cycles share a central motif of protagonists’ emergent independent identities and acceptance of self, they employ that motif in very different ways. The similarities and differences of these films are examined, ultimately arguing that they collectively negotiate a place for the representation of a much more diverse spectrum of youth as well as expand and complicate one of the most popular genres of Australian cinema.

Keywordsteen film; teen genre; Australian film; Australian film genre; Australian film genre studies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470214. Screen and media culture
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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