Genre history

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  • 1. History of theComing-Of-Age Dramagenre

2. Basic HistoryChanging social attitudes meant that parents wanted their children to have full educations, uninterrupted by work or military service. As a result, young people found themselves with larger allowances and more free time.The dramatic possibilities of this stage of life, marked bymutiny, worry and young love, quickly became evident to movie-makers, so then the film genre coming-of-agedrama was born. Films from this genre are often known as teen movies. 3. The 50sO The genre coming-of-age drama, started to become popularin America in the late 50s. The idea of an intermediate stage between childhood and adulthood, with its own problematic obstacles, was still new when Marlon Brandodonned his biker jacket in The Wild One (1953) and answered "What are you rebelling against?" with "Whatveyou got?O Rock and Roll was the sound that defined the 50s era especially for teenagers, and featured strongly in the early coming-of-age movies. Rock Around the Clock (1956) wasone of the first films to be aimed primarily at teenagers andpurposely excluding adults. Its success encouragedHollywood to explore this new demographic group. 4. The 60s & 70s The Gidget movies and Beach Party (1963)created narratives and protagonists whichoutlined the mood of the 60s. Music, comedy and romance alongside Californian sun and skimpy bikinis. Much of the early success ofthe coming-of-age genre is because it crosses over so fluidly with other genres.The 70s brought us some of the most wellknown coming-of-age films: such as AmericanGraffiti (1973) Mean Streets (1973) and Grease (1978). The genre had evolved a lot since the 60s with more realistic teenage related themes being presented in thenarratives and coming-of-age was becoming a popular box office genre. 5. The 80s High-school comedies featuring the so-called Brat Pack were huge in the 80s - a prime example being The Breakfast Club (1985). None of these films would be complete without the high-schooltrinity: the bitchy cheerleader, the hot footballer and the abused nerd. In teenfilms, this has become a key convention, to have the stereotypical characters. Sixteen Candles (1984), Stand By Me (1986) and Say Anything (1989) are all popular coming-of-age movies from the 80s. 6. The 90sThis was the era when transforming classic literacy textsinto teen-aimed motion pictures was popularised. These films were created around the coming-of-age genre, teenagers being the main target audience. This is evident in Clueless (1996) which is an update of Jane Austens Emma, Romeo and Juliet (1996), and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), based on The Taming of the Shrew.Films like Pump Up The Volume and American Pie werealso massive coming-of-age success stories of the 90s. The themes were very explicit by this time being mainlysex and drug related issues. 7. The genre todayThe Coming of Age genre remains popular with modernaudiences, however its represented in a few different forms. The Harry Potter seriesuses magic as a forum foraging, whereas films like Superbadand Junofocus on sex as the key to adulthood. Also movies about the end of theAmerican extended adolescence; films like 500 Days ofSummerand Garden Statefeature characters, who,though they may look like adults, are struggling to shake offchildish fantasies in order to come to terms with adulthood.The conventions of a coming of age film have changed overtime, this being down to real life situations and also how style and music has developed. 8. My filmDoing this background research of my genres history, has helped me to understand how the different generic conventions of a coming-of-age drama, have helped shapeand define the genre over time to how we know it today. Ihave also extended my knowledge of how to create a successful narrative and protagonist to fit in with theseconventions.