Matt Wolf, one of our 25 New Faces of 2008, and author and critic Jon Savage are collaborating on a feature doc, Teenage, based on Savage’s 2007 book, Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture. Although it may seem that being a teenager is an ahistorical fact of life, Savage’s book detailed the cultural creation of the teenage class, tracing its relationship to art, political movements, and the rise of consumer culture. Their feature will bring this all to life with, as their new teaser trailer exhibits, archival footage, an evocative voiceover by Jena Malone, and music by Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox.
I wanted to bring this explosive history to life and to create a historical film like none that I’ve seen before. In Teenage archival footage will reveal fascinating youth movements from the early 20th century. Narration performed by actors will dramatize the broader history from which these groups emerged. Unconventional 16mm recreations will integrate seamlessly. Like visual diaries or vintage home movies, they’ll be filmed explicitly from the point of view of youth.
Actors in period-blurring locations and costumes will convey what archival footage cannot—heightened emotions and subjective experience. In voice over they’ll read from the actual diaries of teenagers. All this material will be scored with an innovative soundtrack, infused with universal sentiments of teenage angst and hope.
In fact, check out the very well-produced site in general. It’s pretty much a textbook example of a good website to promote an ongoing doc. There’s a healthy list of funders already involved (Cinereach, the Guggenheim Foundation, the LEF Foundation, etc.), credits, a solid synopsis, and a punchy, image-driven blog that jumps through the history of noteworthy teenagedom.