Welcome. We are students in Communications 218, a journalism class at Lehman College. Our classroom is in Room 122. This course is part of the Summer Arts Festival of College Now, a program designed to help high school students earn college credits. Every day, we report and write articles about our program, the school and the neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Not Another Teen Movie


By Michelle Yakobson

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll are every parent’s worst nightmare, and this nightmare comes true in Thirteen, a moving and poignant drama about the perils of teen angst and conformity. The film stars Evan Rachel Wood as Tracy, a seventh grader who still enjoys Barbies, goofy socks and science projects. As she walks to school on the first day, Tracy must endure the sneers of the popular clique led by Evie Zamora, played by co-author Nikki Reed. Thirteen is the story of how Tracy revamps herself to be just like Evie, whom she venerates and worships until she realizes that Evie is too manipulative to trust.

Evie is the typical poster-child for rebellion. She introduces, and thus involves, her newfound sidekick Tracy into a world of marijuana, robbery, and body piercings. Tracy gives up both her friends and half her bed for Evie, who quickly becomes a regular in Tracy’s home. Tracy’s mother, Mel, becomes the mom that Evie never had and further intensifies the rift between Tracy and Mel, who constantly argue over Mel’s on-again-off-again boyfriend and half-price haircuts.

Director Catherine Hardwicke does a superb job of portraying the emotional turmoil inflicted upon Tracy and her family. The in-your-face camera angles, sharp, white lighting and nearly black-and-white coloring intensify the scenes of pain and hopelessness. In one scene, Mel runs out of the shower to find her boyfriend, Brady, packing his clothes to run off yet again. She stands there stark naked, her hair straggly, the shadows casting over her face and body. Like she does in many other scenes, Hardwicke uses film techniques to portray Mel’s helplessness and isolation.

Although somewhat stereotypical, Thirteen is brilliantly acted. Wood, Reed, and their costars give heart-wrenching performances that many other films of our time sorely lack. Added to the realism is the writing input by Reed, whose life this story is based on. This movie raises many questions of what it means to be thirteen, how the media influences today’s youth, and the importance of individuality to American teenagers.

10 Comments:

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I haven't ever gotten around to watching that movie, but after your commentary on the hardcore reality of being a 13 year old girl, I just might go and rent it. I need to squeeze some teenage youth juice back into me. I'm 18 and I feel old. :p

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