Teenage: How Concept Was Invented

“Teenage,” the new, poignant documentary from Matt Wolf, combines a collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits and voiceover (provided by Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw), taken from early 20th century diary entries.
Executive-produced by the talented actor Jason Schwartzman, the film world-premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Fest. It  will open in New York at the Sunshine Cinema on March 14, with a national expansion to follow.

Adapted from Jon Savage’s bestselling 2007 book of the same name, “Teenage” is a poignant and often revelatory  meditation of the genesis of youth culture from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.

The docu explores the notions that “teenagers” is a relatively new cultural construction, that they didn’t exist in the past, that they were socially invented.
As the cultural landscape was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape. Whether in America, England or Germany, whether party-crazed Flappers, or hip Swing Kids, or even the dangerously zealous Nazi Youth, it didn’t matter.  A new idea of how people come of age, Teenage became a concept and reality with far-reaching cultural, political, and ideological ramifications.
As director, Wolf mixes together an astonishing collection of archival materials, supplemented by period reenactments, shedding light on how Teeange was conceived and then grounded.
“Teenage” is set to an original score by Deerhunter & Atlas Sound frontman Bradford Cox, whose shimmering score is available for download from Cinereach Music on March 11, 2014.
Credits
An Oscilloscope Laboratories release.
Running time: 77 Minutes.
MPAA: Not rated.