December 29, 2010

Our View: Portland library film series shows teen drama is not new

When you are a teenager, everything is new.

You are constantly bombarded with changes, from increasing demands on you from school or in the job to your own still-growing body.

Even home becomes a new territory, especially when there are conflicts with parents over what seems like the older generation's inability to recognize how much you have grown up.

Everything seems new -- except none of it really is.

Every generation has the same struggles. That's the subject of a film series scheduled for the Portland Public Library from now until the end of the school year.

Every Wednesday afternoon starting Jan. 5, librarians will screen the best teen films that explore the hardships of adolescence.

Each month will be dedicated to a decade. January starts with "Blackboard Jungle" from 1955, and continues with "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Gidget."

February will be devoted to the 1960s and include the Beatles' "Hard Days Night" and the school-based drama "To Sir With Love."

In their turn, the '70s,'80s and '90s will be featured. The series ends in June with films from the last decade, including "Mean Girls," "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Bring It On."

Students who watch the movies will see that fashions may change but people don't, and the issues that they are wrestling with have been constant themes.

They also may recognize that, like some of the actors on the screen, they will likely play different roles in the course of their own lives, as they have kids, who also grow up.

The series is a great use of the renovated library facility and should give teens -- and adults -- plenty to talk about this winter.


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