Teenage Americans watch movies about themselves to make sense of their lives, to be reassured that the pangs of adolescence are a universal truth, not a personal wound. For them, to be told that bullies sometimes lose, that school principals are sometimes fallible or humiliated, that sometimes true love wins, is a necessary balm and encouragement to struggle. Above all they need to be told that nothing is forever and that there are second chances to get things right, that one day we will look back on these things and laugh.
For the rest of us, the teen genre means something else, and yet the same. In a sense, it has no more to do with the actual lives of existing teenagers than the Pastorals of Virgil had to do with actual shepherds. The teen genre is a stylized way of looking at the world which connects to that world but dresses it in artificial light. When youth is gone, we still need to connect to its hope through art. We still need Teen Dreams.
And after that I met up with vschanoes and saw 'The Brothers Grimm' which I am reviewing for the TLS as well as writing about in a year or so in my planned big Gilliam essay for the second sf and fantasy movie book. And I am afraid that Gilliam at a disadvantage post-Quixote is Gilliam forced to make movies for ADD teenage boys. Damon and Ledger are good - especially since they decided to take each other's natural part - and Kate Headey is fine too. Jonathan Pryce, on the other hand, needs shooting for repeating his stock performance, with a bad French accent, but not as much as Peter Stomare, whom I have never noticed before, but is a good reason not to watch anything he is in ever again, clearly. The script is awful and, though there are wonderful visual moments, too many of them are the sort of thing 'The Company of Wolves' did better. Not shameful or anything, just not very good, especially if you compare it to authentic masterpieces like 'Time Bandits', 'Brazil' or even 'Munchausen'.
And less than a week and Veronica will be back in Philly and it will be many months before we see each other again. Eheu, as the Romans say instead of Oyvey.