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The best of coming-of-age films throughout the decades

A coming-of-age movie usually involves a spiritual education, or growth, whereby the character involved realises something which changes his/or her life forever.

In this respect, one of the best things about coming-of-age movies is that you, too, can change forever, by following this characters life and perhaps learning a valuable lesson for yourself, too. Check out this list of some of the greatest coming-of-age stories ever told, all special in the sense that everyone can relate to these movies in one way or another.

1.  Kes, 1969

Ken Loach’s Kes is a typical kitchen-sink drama in that it captured the isolating, depriving atmosphere which often characterised working-class life in Britain in the 1960’s. Both gritty and heart-wrenching, Kes is one of the most powerful coming-of-age stories ever told, presenting the hardships of growing up and how a boy coming of age is only made more difficult by the often harsh, inadequate schooling system.

2) The Outsiders – 1983
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my bbys 💕 #theoutsiders

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I remember the first time I was shown this movie by my mom, and it’s one of those films that I think you just never forget. The Outsiders depicts the power struggles and lives of a group of youths living in the rough and sleazy town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Being a movie that was not only directed by Francis Ford Coppola and features the early careers of esteemed actors such as Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise and Patrick Swayze, the film has notoriously gained cult status and cannot be amiss in it’s glorious yet devastating depiction of youth for a bunch of outsiders.

3) Stand By Me, 1986

Similarly depicting the formative years of a group of teenage boys is Stand By Me, which recounts the journey of Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern on their quest to find the body of a missing boy. Yet, like most coming-of-age movies, the boys in this quest go through their own spiritual development and education, discovering the true meaning of friendship and reality along the way.

4) Dazed and Confused, 1993

Richard Linklater’s masterful writing and directing comes into full form in his coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused, which follows the lives of American teenagers on their last day of high school in a hazy summer in the 1970’s. With a soundtrack featuring the likes of Foghat’s ‘Slow Ride’, and Alice Coopers ‘School’s Out’, the soundtrack draws a perfect parallel to the carefree portrayal of youth after high school, and also touches on the plights that meet us at the crossroads between child/adulthood.

5) A Bronx Tale, 1995

#abronxtale

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Directed by and starring none other than Robert De Niro himself, A Bronx Tale is a film like no other. The story follows the life of Calogero and his bond with Gangster Sonny who rules the Bronx neighbourhood. Whilst his father, Lorenzo, tries his hardest to keep Calogero away from Sonny, it becomes evident that not everything is black and white and the cruellest of criminals can also be the best of friends. The Bronx Tale stands in the contemporary world as a “new classic”, as a result of its vintage story-line, phenomenal acting, classic soundtrack and excellent period detail.

6) City Of God, 2002

Set in the poverty-stricken slums of Rio De Janerio in Brazil, City of God is a unique crime movie based on true events and a story adapted by the 1997 novel of the same name written by Paulo Lins. The movie follows several characters developments in the favelas, yet has a more central focus on the coming-of-age of two characters, one which manages to overcome and escape the slums, whereas the other succumbs to the brutality of the organised crime groups. From the first to the last moment, this movie is enthralling, intense and is arguably one of the best contemporary movies to date.

7) This Is England, 2006

This Is England follows Shaun, a young boy who has lost his father and so turns to the subculture of ‘skinheads’, eventually becoming a part of a gang of skinheads himself. Gritty and raw in its depiction of the subculture, This is England shines a light on the problematic, segregating views prolific from white nationalists and white supremacists within the subculture as well as following a boys search for identity within the community.

8) The Squid and the Whale, 2005

On writing his third feature film, Noah Baumbach looked into his upbringing, using stories of his own childhood to create what is The Squid and The Whale. Equally touching and humorous, the film delves into how two boys deal with their parents’ divorce at an uncomfortable time in both of their lives. With more clarity than I have seen before, the movie reflects how each child can inherit different personality traits from their parents, which is fascinating to observe. Not to mention, this film has a fantastically fitting soundtrack, with touching melodies from musicians such as Roger Waters and Bert Jansch.

9) Boyhood, 2014

Richard Linklater’s masterpiece, Boyhood, is unique in that it was filmed over the period of twelve years. The movie follows the life of Mason Evans, and his journey from childhood to college life. The result is both fascinating and inspiring as we watch Mason grow up into an independent, strong-minded individual in an age of social media saturation. In a nutshell, this movie is quite simply just life.

10) Lady Bird, 2018

“Lady Bird”, da diretora estreante Greta Gerwig, tem muito a celebrar, e além da trama cheia de diálogos espirituosos, a produção de set também merece a sua atenção. O filme se passa em Sacramento, o que inclui o Fabulous Forties, bairro nobre em East Sacramento, conhecido por suas casas históricas e arquitetonicamente espetaculares, ruas largas, majestosos carvalhos e cedros, e por ser o antigo lar de Ronald e Nancy Reagan. No filme, o primeiro namorado de Lady Bird, mora na região, que faz um forte contraste com a vizinhança da protagonista. Por lá, duas casas foram escolhidas para as gravações. Em uma dessas, Lady Bird encontra a família de Danny no Dia de Ação de Graças. A construção azul-clara com persianas e detalhes brancos, um gramado bem cuidado e, claro, uma bandeira americana reflete na tradição e na personalidade da família do jovem. De acordo com Chris Jones, designer de produção do filme, o exterior da casa era perfeito, mas o interior se revelou muito difícil de filmar, então eles encontraram outra casa para gravar as cenas do jantar do feriado norte-americano. Enquanto o interior da casa da família de Danny estava praticamente pronto, Jones se deparou com outro problema durante a produção do filme: recriar o quarto de uma adolescente de 2002. “Um dia antes de começarmos a filmar no quarto de Lady Bird, percebemos que ainda não estava suficientemente preenchido", revela o designer de produção. “Então fui a um lugar no centro de Los Angeles chamado Moskatels, onde se pode comprar todas essas tranqueiras. Voltei para o set e começamos a colar as coisas em todas as paredes." A paleta de cor pastel foi inspirada nos trabalhos do pintor Wayne Thiebaud, o artista de Sacramento conhecido por sua colorida arte pop – até o cabelo de Lady Bird é tingido de rosa. Essa é a questão sobre este filme: pode parecer que não deu trabalho imitar a sensação de juventude, mas era essencial controlar cada pequeno detalhe para criar um ponto de partida verossímil para os personagens. E você, gostou do filme? 🎥❤️✨ #aartedocinema

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Greta Gerwig’s debut directing job Ladybird remains as one of the most popular movies of 2018 year for good reason. The film follows Christina, or Ladybird, whose life is undeniably relatable to any teenage girl. The ups, the downs, and everything in between—the movie encapsulates a beautiful age where you are just absorbing everything around you at such an intense level and you just want to do everything and anything. Whats particularly touching in this movie is the reflection of the often tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter, and is highly recommended for any girl who has ever had an argument with her mom (which is all of us).

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