Living in a world where terms like “teen film” and “teen star” are essential to describing such a huge part of popular culture, it’s difficult to imagine a time when the term teenager—not to mention its derivations like tween—was unheard of.
Inspired by punk author Jon Savage‘s groundbreaking book, director Matt Wolf explores the invention and evolution of teenagers in a new, historical film titled Teenage. This teaser’s been floating around for a little while and features narration by Jena Malone and the face of the Coppola family’s favorite leading man, Alden Ehrenreich. It also gives us an excellent guide of what the film will explore; from the flappers of the 1920s to the dance-obsessed swing kids and Hitler youth, teenagers went by many other names before World War II and were often seen as a threat or something that needed controlling.
“Today, society is infatuated with youth,” Wolf explains on the film’s website, “Teenagers pioneer new styles and ideas that influence a global marketplace. Adults try to stay young forever. It’s no wonder because adolescence is the most formative and experimental period in our lives. Teenagers always represent the future.”
With a combination of archival film and recreations shot on 16mm, Teenage delves into the psyche of youths past thanks to actual teenagers’ diaries that helped to shape Malone’s stylized narration. There’s no word yet as to when we’ll be able to see this gem in full, but we’ll be glued to the Teenage Blog to give you more info as we find it!