The real ‘American Teen’

By Harry Kloman. America’s first great documentary filmmaker was something of a fraud. He just didn’t do it while it was happening. Instead, he had his subjects, chosen for their looks and malleability, recreate scenes from their cultures’ lives. Is that reality? What else can you think when Jake, a pimply-faced Indiana high school band geek, shows up at his girlfriend’s house with roses — and no pimples. Seconds later, he’s inside the house, handing her the flowers with his face in full acne bloom. Something here was restaged for the cameras, and it makes you wonder what else was.

“American Teen” New York Premiere – Arrivals

The title of American Teen makes me suspicious. If that is indeed what the makers of American Teen were going for, they failed. Those subjects are five seniors in the class of in Warsaw, Ind. That was pretty exciting. Naturally, this makes Colin allergic to passing the ball and thus a less effective player. The girls are characterized in much greater depth than the boys.

Hannah Bailey Mitch Reinholdt Photos – (U.S. TABS OUT) Cast members Hannah Bailey, Mitch Reinholdt and Megan Krizmanich of the movie “American Teen”.

Warsaw, Indiana is a “typical midwestern town. All she has to do is survive her last year of high school. She’s off to a decent start in the first scenes of Nanette Burstein’s American Teen. Charismatic, bright, and entertainingly acerbic concerning her classmates, Hannah notes the “total caste system” that structures their existence indeed, this does sound like a typical high school.

Unfortunately, the documentary’s assorted types — from “queen bee” Megan Krizmanich to “jock” Colin Clemens to “band nerd” Jake Tusing — replicates that system. It’s not enough that the students absorb such limits and roles; the film also uses them in order to grant viewers easy identifications and conventional storylines. There’s subversive potential here, in the sense that these labels, so painful for teens and too often extended into college and adulthood, might be revealed as the tedious and unimaginative shorthands they are, designed to benefit those at the top of the food chain.

But for the most part, American Teen assumes the self-fulfilling truth of the descriptors, and so they function in much the same way that The Real World ‘s casting decisions work, occasioning a banal mix of drama, anger, romance, and comedy. By now, any teenager who agrees to appear in a documentary about being a teenager has likely seen MTV’s year-old series or any of its redundant clones , which ensures a generic and often painfully circular logic: kids learn hot to behave before cameras by watching other kids behaving before cameras.

In Burstein’s movie, the participants’ expectations are apparent from jump. Not only does Hannah function as narrator as well as point of sympathy and emotional identification, she also grants a perspective from which to view some of the less engaging figures, say, Megan. Acting like the wealthy girls on The Hills , except she lives in Warsaw, Megan earns Hannah’s disdain. The film underlines the stereotyping: “She’s the biggest bitch,” says Hannah, just before a cut to Megan, perfect in pink polo shirt.

She’s also student council vice president, head of the homecoming committee, and plans on being accepted to Notre Dame, her dad and brother’s alma mater.

Inside the documentary “American Teen”

Lawyers have boundaries. The limited drama series unfolds around a shocking crime that rocks a small Massachusetts town and one family in particular, forcing an assistant district attorney to choose between his sworn duty to uphold justice and his unconditional love for his son. Sonic The Hedgehog follows the mis adventures of Sonic as he navigates the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound — human — best friend Tom Wachowski James Marsden.

Together, they must stop the villainous Dr.

people (Hannah Bailey, Colin Clemens, Megan Krizmanich, Mitch Reinholt, On December 31st Megan was married to Mark Figura.

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Paramount Vantage Presents “American Teen” – After Party

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There is Hannah Bailey, the artsy misfit girl who dreams of becoming a filmmaker and who enters into a transgressive romance with a dimple-chinned athlete named Mitch Reinholt. Will the geek get a date for the prom?

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Arty misfit Hannah Bailey can’t wait to leave this one-horse town but is crippled by himself and maybe get a date some day are completely persuasive. Then there’s hot guy Mitch Reinholt, who can be sweet or thoughtlessly.

There is the blond popular girl, Megan Krizmanich, and her blond sidekick, Ali Wikalinska, young women who wield inordinate power over the social fates of their peers. There is Colin Clemens, the basketball star hoping to land a college scholarship and facing pressure at home from his ex-athlete dad. There is Hannah Bailey, the artsy misfit girl who dreams of becoming a filmmaker and who enters into a transgressive romance with a dimple-chinned athlete named Mitch Reinholt.

And there is also Jake Tusing, a self-identified nerd with a bad haircut, serious acne and a heavy video-game habit. Will the popular girl get her comeuppance, or see the error of her ways? Will the geek get a date for the prom? Will it work out between the arty girl and her mismatched beau? Will the team win the big game? Not everything works out according to the teen movie formula.

There are moments of breathtaking cruelty, unguarded emotion and plain weirdness. The fascination comes from how unguarded these young people seem to be about their own lives, speaking frankly to the camera and allowing it to observe uncomfortable and intimate moments in their lives. The queasiness, inevitably, arises from the same source. It goes without saying that a documentary film that finds non-famous, non-adult people at an especially vulnerable crux in their lives is something of an ethical minefield.

Can a filmmaker investigate the sexual, emotional and family lives of innocent youngsters without slipping into exploitation?

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Find high-quality Hannah Location stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. Download DATE RANGE. Any date Actors Mitch Reinholt Hannah Bailey and Colin Clemens arrive at the ESPY Awards held at. Editorial.

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American Teen (3/9) Movie CLIP – Hannah Won’t Go To School (2008) HD