High School Movie Genre
The events that high school movies portray hardly seem real when compared to our own encounters. Most of us are not acquainted with half of the Incidents shown In these films. Surprisingly enough, the majority of high school students actually have a rather normal experience throughout their glory years. David Denny, a movie critic for the New Yorker proclaims, “Genre films dramatist not what happens but how things feel?the emotional coloring of memory’ (398).
We watch these movies and find them to be comedic in nature, yet we don’t take the time to analyze whether here Is even factual evidence Implemented Into the movie. Do we laugh at the high school movies because of Its relevance to our own experiences In school or do we laugh at the humiliation the characters endure? Denny strives to inform the reader that the high school genre depends on the viewer to have a fear of embarrassment when he writes, “… Humiliation is the most vivid emotion of youth, so in memory it becomes the norm” (Denny 398).
This statement reveals that the memories people possess are distorted by emotion. When watching these films, we take the emotions he characters feel and relate them to pathos-based experiences we have had In the past. When asking whether genre films reflect reality, we then have to break the question down to logical interpretations and emotional connections. Many of the ways that we connect with the Hollywood-version of high school is emotional-based. Everyone has had embarrassing moments; they have been picked on, have felt unpopular or lonely at some points.
When watching these movies, it is easier to connect with the emotions they are invoking than It Is to connect with the actual experiences that happened. The memory the directors now have of high school Is more of an Interpretation of memory. They use an emotionally-drenched deciphering system to recollect the high school experience instead of using true objectivity and facts of their past. This is dangerous for the adolescent and young adult moviegoers, because they’re in a period of social growth and need for acceptance. They have yet to learn to filter what they process from the movies.
Some alter how they look or what they wear, some change how they behave, but these movies are a big Impact because of It. Hollywood takes the high school experience and contorts the truths because of motional scarring from the film writers’ past high school experiences to create a more perverse memory. Moving on, films often times show similarities with other movies. “Do genre films reflect reality? Or are they merely a set of conventions that refer to other films? ” (Denny 397). Denny argues that films in this genre neglect to show the true high school experience, but aim more to “… Roved emotional satisfaction to the people who make them and the audiences who watch them” (Denny 397). This means the directors arena making the movies for people to base their experiences off of, but more so to bring up the emotions that were associated to experiences people had in high school. Tom Moore, who wrote “Movie Fantasy vs.. Classroom Reality,” agrees that high school movies don’t show realistic experiences, but rather an exaggerated version of the experience, in the educational institution. Moore stated, “l find It hard to recognize myself or my students in them,” teachers’ role is biased (402).
Denny and Moor’s ideas are similar in the sense that they both believe that the ‘reality in movies isn’t actually true. Denny and Moore both intend to prove in their writings that events shown in movies could be Justified as normative ideals. The emotion which correlates with those events would be considered a positive statement. This is true because emotion is what gains the audience’s attention and keeps them interested, but the audience doesn’t filter the movie into two parts, pathos and logos, they intake all the information in the movie.
Furthermore, in the Nannette Bernstein documentary American Teen, the film shows the lives of a potpourri of students in different cliques from a school in Warsaw, Indiana. The film didn’t provide a focus on interaction between cliques, but it did show many aspects which both combat and support the reality of high school genres. The movie provided a member from different cliques, including: the Coco (Colon Clemens), the nerd Jacob Tugging), the artist/musician (Hannah Bailey), and the queen (Megan Grammarian).
The movie shows how each person has their own struggles and regardless of what the outside world might think, their life isn’t perfect. Around 26:44 into the movie, there was a feud between Megan and her friend, Eric. Eric went past her boundaries in the hierarchy of Warsaw High School and engaged in promiscuous behavior with Mean’s friend, Jeff. As a result Megan retaliated with a weapon used for defamation, commonly known as a ‘dirty picture’. This situation exemplifies Denies argument that, “the social system… Still feels coercive and claustrophobic” (398).
Eric was friends with the popular group before the pictures were sent around, but due to Mean’s tyrannical behavior, she soon was humiliated and hurt by her supposed friend. It is as if she had no choice but to stay friends with them because she had nobody else to go to. She had to deal with Mean’s conduct, and it is overwhelming that she’s confined to the group. In addition, when Denny wrote that, “at actual schools, there is no unitary system of status,” he was illustrating hat people do not maintain the same position in social structures throughout all situations (398). Most students don’t belong to one group at all times.
As an example, I recall in high school that most of my time was spent with my close friends, but I also spent a lot of time with people who were in sports with me. This group of sports buddies changed each season and with those changes I would hold different amounts of power. Sometimes when I spoke, everyone would listen. Whereas, sometimes when I said something, it would either be drowned out by someone speaking over me or by someone interrupting me. In contrast, the movies tend to show that each person has a fixed amount of power. Moor’s feelings about movies are similar to Denies.
He feels that the movies inadequately portray his role in education, a teacher. The movies illustrate a teacher as a person with unlimited power, a person whose influence on students has no boundaries. Moore expresses, “the Myth of the Great Teacher” when he argues that movies’ messages are unrealistic (404). The movies display a unitary sense of power and authority to certain figures. This figure could be the a blonde who controls everyone around her and is he center of attention, or it could be a teacher who’s words alter each students’ beliefs and the obstacles they couldn’t overcome before.
In reality, one person isn’t all powerful and without vulnerability. Teachers can affect students, but they don’t school has only the power they’re given. Since everybody has varying beliefs and ideas, there’s no person that has the support of every student. This is true because often times the most popular person uses insults and negativity towards others to show dominance. In conclusion, all films that are based on true stories, including documentaries, will be modified from reality. With documentaries, a lot of the film is excluded from the finished piece.
This makes the film biased due to leaving out all of the factors regarding what really happened. These movies do not show reality and, because of this, moviegoers need to be careful with what they interpret from them. High school movies are powerful to adolescents because most of them can relate to the movies. If these teenagers do not learn to filter what they learn from these movies then they will not be able to distinguish the reality of the films from the false information given that is used solely for entertainment purposes.