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  • February 2010
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Fabulous Films for You

A month ago I promised to to send you a link to the Fabulous Films for Young Adults list that my American Library Association committee compiled.  I’m sorry it’s taken me so long but you can access  our fabulous suggestions for films about rebellion vs. conformity here.

Being part of this committee is a lot of fun, especially since it involves watching films either with like-minded individuals in an exotic location (Boston this winter) or on your own.  Although I liked everything on the list, I had some favorites. There were also films I loved that didn’t get on the list, either because the majority of the members thought they didn’t express the theme or because the interest for teens was questioned.

Here, for various reasons, are some of my faves:

Breaking Away I had often heard this was a little gem and it is.  Dave, a poor townie who loves bicycling, believes the greatest bike racers are Italian, so he acts as if he’s from Italy. He convinces  the college girl he loves that he really is, even while he and his friends have open warfare with uppity college students. You have to love Dave. He’s so sweet and goofy while a very young Aidan Quinn proves easy on the eyes.

I liked Into the Wild for completely other reasons.  Emile Hirsch is  riveting as a young man from a true story.  He  graduates from college, gives away his money and works all over the U.S. to make enough to lose/find himself in the Alaskan wilderness. He wants to be self-reliant and free but discovers something else entirely in this beautiful and remote setting.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers has campy ’50s vibe in spades.  Pod people take on the bodies of San Francisco residents and there’s just one man – with the love of one woman – to stop them.

I saw Milk in the theater and despite its length,  it’s must viewing if you want to know what once went down (which unfortunately sometimes  repeats itself today) before gays had any kind of rights. Sean Penn stars in an Oscar winning performance. Enough said.

Say Anything is another film I’d heard of  but never watched. Even with low production values, it’s a complete charmer. I couldn’t catch everything John Crusack says but his sincerity shines as an underachiever who woos and wins the elusive class valedictorian. If you’ve ever seen the famous “play a love song on the boom box scene” imitated, here’s where it originated.

Basketball is everything in Quantum Hoops, even though it’s played at CALTech, where students go to become nuclear physicists and Nobel prize winners. This documentary has a true ending that couldn’t have been imagined  better  in Hollywood.

As I said , a couple of my faves didn’t make it: Motorcycle Diaries about a road trip a young Che Guevera takes with his friend; and Rabbit-Proof Fence, which is admittedly long, but devastating if you stick with it. I also haven’t seen Donnie Darko, although everyone on the committee tells me it’s wonderful.

If you’d like to nominate any films this year, you can! Go here.

I came up with the theme chosen: Other Times, Other Places and  I can’t wait to make some suggestions myself.

Tina – CLP, Beechview

One Response

  1. I love Breaking Away! Go Cutters!

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