Teenage

Based on a groundbreaking book by the music and youth culture author Jon Savage, Teenage is an unconventional historical film about the invention of teenagers.The history of teenage is told in a wild pop-collage made of archive, recreations and music.

„Wolf’s images are so beautiful and intriguingly modern that it is often hard to distinguish between archive material and recreations. This is exactly what makes his collage so fascinating. This visual innovator does not accept the usual TV-scientists who elaborate with an ever so holy seriousness. Instead, he mixes up original material from different archives with very well acted recreations.” Süddeutsche Zeitung, 29.06.2014

„This precise and emotional documentary named “Teenage” by US-american filmmaker Matt Wolf […] transports the audience right back to the beginning of youth culture in the UK, Germany and the US between 1875 and 1945 using a selection of very quiet and poetic archival footage. Wolf’s film is nothing like a romanticized slideshow of historical images but rather a moving collage covering entire generations of adolescents fighting for their own identity. Fighting for a balance between the collective and the individual, between dependability and desire of freedom.” Hannoversche Allgemeine, 28.06.2014

„This ARTE documentary called “Teenage” tells the story of the invention of youth. Well worth seeing!” TV Spielfilm, 29.06.2014

„Those youth rebellions, that happened simultaneously all over the world, Matt Wolf portrays them in an insightful way. The fight of the youth for recognition and independence over decades […] It’s an exceedingly interesting time travel that traces the roots of a stage in life which seems self-evident to us today.” Wiener Zeitung, 29.06.2014

News

  • 03/2015 - TEENAGE on shortlist for FOCAL International Award

    We are very happy that our coproduction “Teenage” is on the shortlist for the FOCAL Internation Award in the category [...]

    We are very happy that our coproduction "Teenage" is on the shortlist for the FOCAL Internation Award in the category "Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release". Based on a groundbreaking book by the music and youth culture author Jon Savage, Teenage is an unconventional historical film about the invention of teenagers. The history of teenage is told in a wild pop-collage made of archive, recreations and music. The award ceremony will take place on May 21 in London, moderated by television and radio presenter and former BBC Chief News Reporter Kate Adie.

    FOCAL International Award
    TEENAGE - Official website


  • 06/2014 - Franco-German television premiere of "Teenage" on arte, June 29

    Our US-American co-production “Teenage”, based on a groundbreaking book “Teenage” (Campus Verlag) by the music and youth culture author Jon [...]

    Our US-American co-production "Teenage", based on a groundbreaking book "Teenage" (Campus Verlag) by the music and youth culture author Jon Savage will be broadcast on Franco-German television (arte) on June 29 at 9:35 pm. Director Matt Wolf created an unconventional historical documentary about the invention of the teenager, told in a wild pop-collage made of archive, recreations and music. "Passing before the screen like a dream, enhanced by the ambient swirl of Bradford Cox’s original soundtrack, the film stitches together an astounding collection of archival materials, supplemented by period reenactments…" Steve Dollar, The Wall Street Journal "An entrancing collage that puts the voice of youth at the center of a narrative in which the broad strokes of history tend to overlook them." Joel Arnold, National Public Radio Festival career: Tribeca Film Festival 2013; Hot Docs 2013; BFI London FF 2013; CPH:DOX 2013; Traverse City Film Festival 2013; AFI Docs Film Festival 2013

    Programm ARTE
    National Public Radio
    The Wall Street Journal


  • 06/2012 - Shooting "Teenage" with Jason Schwartzman started!

    On Wednesday, 6h June the shooting of “Teenage” started in New York. We are looking forward to soon see recreations [...]

    On Wednesday, 6h June the shooting of "Teenage" started in New York. We are looking forward to soon see recreations featuring Jason Schwartzman (Marie Antoinette, Darjeeling Limited), Ben Whishaw (Perfume), Jena Malone (Donnie Darko, Into the Wild) and Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro).

    Teenage Website



Teenage

With the British music and youth culture author Jon Savage we discover the routs of the modern teenager starting in the beginning of the 20th century in Germany, the US and GB. The film reveals the pre-history of the teenager with focus on the period between WWI and WWII –the struggle between adults and adolescents to define youth.

After the experiences made in WWI the young generation felt exploited and sacreficed to the war by the adult generation. Back home they were supposed to reintegrate and subordinate into the existing structures. But after their war experiences the youth’s desire for freedom and lightheartedness had been awaken. In England, the US or Germany – the youth started to revolt against the old authorities.

In America of the 1920is the Flappers had wild partys. Young women cut of their neat braids, smoked and drank hard spirits, though during that time the US had declared an alcohol prohibition. In Germany Tommie Scheel and the Swing Kids discovered American jazz and organized Swing dancing partys. The Swing Kids thereby tried to oppose the raising Hitler Youth and role model BDM girl Melita Maschmann.

Recreations with actors in contemporary costumes filmed in 16mm-look will carry the emotional and historical journey through the decades of the birth of teenage we know today. The filmic realization is outstanding as the film is made by 80% archive collages and told from a strong emotional and subjective perspective, based on diaries of the time.

Based Jon Savage's book
"Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture 1875 - 1945"

Writer: Jon Savage
Author: Matt Wolf

Main Cast
Brenda Dean Paul: Leah Hennessey
Melita Maschmann: Ivy Blackshire
Tommie Scheel: Ben Rosenfield
Warren Wall: Malik Peters

DoP: Nick Bentgen
Sound: Mark Phillips
Line Producer: Brad Payne
Production Manager: Andrew Haynes

Producer: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz
Assistant Producer: Céline Deligny

Executive Producers
Ben Howe/Kyle Martin (US)
Jacqui Edenbrow (UK)
Christian Beetz (D)

Commissioning Editor WDR/arte: Christiane Hinz

Koproduktion

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Kooperation

Arte G.E.I.L.E.

Förderer

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