‘Growing up was never easy’: coming of age in the teen film

McWilliam, Kelly ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3991-4593 (2021) ‘Growing up was never easy’: coming of age in the teen film. In: Australian genre film. Routledge Advances in Film Studies. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), New York, pp. 170-185. ISBN 978-1-138-60314-1


The teen film is one of the most diverse and prolific genres of Australian cinema and has been since its emergence in the 1970s. This chapter briefly establishes the early characteristics of the Australian teen film in the late twentieth century, before examining the genre in the 2000s. It argues that while hybrid teen films have featured steadily in film history since the 1970s, it is the coming-of-age film that has been, and remains, the most popular iteration of the genre. Moreover, in postmillennial Australian cinema, there are three main trends that characterise coming-of-age films: (1) quirky/fish-out-of-water; (2) queer; and (3) Indigenous coming-of-age films. While these cycles share a central motif of protagonists’ emergent independent identities and acceptance of self, they employ that motif in very different ways. The similarities and differences of these films are examined, ultimately arguing that they collectively negotiate a place for the representation of a much more diverse spectrum of youth as well as expand and complicate one of the most popular genres of Australian cinema.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 39983
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 00:14
Last Modified: 24 May 2022 00:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: teen film; teen genre; Australian film; Australian film genre; Australian film genre studies
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190201 Cinema Studies
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190204 Film and Television
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470214 Screen and media culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130204 The media
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429469121-11
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39983

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only