Kidulthood (UK, 2006) and Beat Girl (UK, 1959)

Kids today eh!

Kids then eh!

Kidulthood is shocking, only if you believe it’s typical of kids in London. Well, I wouldn’t know, but the idea that youngsters are out of control is not exactly new. However, this is a terrific film that does the ‘day in the life’ of the youth of today with pace and style – I particularly like the split screen music montages. Noel Clarke – actor and scriptwriter (who’s also directed the just-out sequel) is certainly an interesting talent.

Of course the rebellion of the Beat Girl is far tamer than that of Kidulthood kids; but it is relative. Beat Girl was cut to get an X (18) certificate and, as far as I can tell, it was the cut version that got a 12 in 1998. The most obviously ‘cuttable’ sequence is an extraordinarily libidinous stripper’s dance – it would be interesting to know what got cut for that to stay in. It’s likely that teen pics date more quickly than other genres, but at least here the teens to get a voice; there are poignant monologues about being brought up during World War II. However, as is standard, the rebellion of the beat girl is recouped at the end.

In Kidulthood, the rebellion is a lifestyle; except it’s not rebelling against anything. A girl swaps sex for money to buy fashionable clothes. The ending doesn’t offer a comfortable resolution but
Alisa does decide to have her baby. That’s what’s called ‘growing up’ and teen pics are always about growing up to become adults.

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