Dirty GirlsThis seventeen-minute documentary has had an interesting shelf life: filmed by high school senior Michael Lucid in 1996 about some of his classmates. It's an instant retro-gasm for those of us that were teens in the nineties, and focuses on two sisters, Amber and Harper, dubbed the "dirty girls" by their classmates for "not washing their hair" and making riot girl zines. (Are you kidding? How can I be friends with these girls?) The film contains interviews with other classmates who detest and put down these girls, showing us that although the cliques have changed, high school will always be high school. Lucid does a fantastic job of capturing youth angst and the feel of being "different." The sisters are doing just fine and are still as awesome, as expected. The full film can be seen below.
Billy The KidBilly The Kid is a simple, subtle portrait of Billy, a fourteen-year-old rural kid with the mind of a thirty-five-year old. He has really great insights into life despite his short time in it so far. As you can imagine, having older, wiser thoughts doesn't exactly make you the most popular kid in school. Billy struggles to find his identity, maintain relationships with his single mother, dealing with a new found crush working at the family restaurant, and feeling alienated at school. Despite Billy's coming-of-age struggling, it's comforting to know that someday Billy will come into his own and be the next great author/artist/whatever he wants to be. But for now, you can't help rooting for the awkward kid who loves the band Kiss. The entire documentary is below.
Sexy BabySexy Baby is a film about three women: a retired adult film star, a woman who is considering surgery to reduce the size of her labia, and a thirteen-year-old girl trying to grow up in an age where everything is sexualized. Winnifred, the thirteen-year old, is really the most fascinating element of the story. For a thirteen-year old, she's already got a great life: she lives in an artist's loft in New York City, she writes and performs her own one-act plays, and she's quite smart. However, the forces of social media still tend to make her feel like she is only as good as her sexual appeal. As her parents try to instill self-esteem in her and set her in the right mindset, they are still no match for her peers who are obsessed with what identity they are projecting to the outside world. It's bleak and disheartening, and the film heavily asserts that the impact of women's sexuality is demoralizing women everywhere. I can't say I fully agree and the film does leave out the notion that sexuality can also empower women, but young girls have a hard time ahead of them... but what era has that ever not been the case?
This documentary airs regularly on Showtime, but can also be seen on DVD.