Mar 30, 2012

Adolescence in 'Beginners'

I recently revisited Mike Mills' second feature film Beginners (2010) after giving in to my quite embarrassing reignited love of Ewan McGregor (I saw Perfect Sense (2011) over the weekend, more on that next time) and thinking about Mike Mills' interesting graphic design and slightly quirky, dislocated style. (That is not to say his films are not cohesive in any way!)

A film seen twice is an entirely different film all together. I love Mike's playful and awkward take on the innocence within every one of us, older, old or young. We lose and we have lost - still it makes us no less of the adolescent we were in our past, and we are still beginners this way. We love and find happiness, yet it makes us fearful. We fear our future, yet it makes us more of who we are.

It's interesting to see that even in Mike's first feature film Thumbsucker (2007) he explores this idea of adolescence and a sense of 'coming of age'. I love this idea of everyone no matter how old is still 'coming of age' - whether they are falling in love again at 38, or dying of cancer. Beginners has a sort of honesty that says 'Y'know what? It's okay to grow up and still be scared'. These ideas are something I'd really like to explore somewhere. I'm always reminded to look back on my childhood for inspiration, and seeing this again has brought me back to this idea.

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