Noticias High School
Cinema Jove dedicates an open-air cycle to films set in high schools
  • The festival will program films by Louis Malle, Céline Sciamma, Frederick Wiseman, Gus Van Sant and Richard Linklater
  • The screenings will be in a space sponsored by Turia brand that will be located on Calle Conde de Montornés
  • The High School cycle includes the big screen premiere of the animated film ‘My whole high school sinking into the sea’, with voices of Lena Dunham, Susan Sarandon and Jason Schwartzman

Cinema Jove celebrates the end-of-term for an important part of its potential audience with the High School cycle, which brings together movies contextualized in high schools. With this selection, the Valencia International Film Festival, organized by the Institut Valencià de Cultura, adds another piece of its identity, since it is not only presented as a young festival through the age of the directors competing in the official sections, but also with that of the protagonists of its programming.

“We have chosen as a topic the physical space where the teens spend the most time, high school. The premise is to see the place where adolescents learn, both in terms of academic content and vital lessons that are not included in their notes ”, distinguishes the director of Cinema Jove, Carlos Madrid.

The Espai Turia is the second open-air venue of the festival, along with the Center del Carme. In both cases, the capacity will be limited and in the entry sanitary measures ordered by the authorities will be applied in line with Cinema Jove’s commitment to the pandemic situation.

The transition to adolescence, the adventures with alcohol and drugs, sexual initiation, the debate on the use of guns in the US and the power relations between teachers and students as between genders will be addressed for nine days, from June 18 to 26, at Espai Turia. The location is an open-air space set up on Calle Conde de Montornés, 15, which is the first collaboration derived from the sponsorship agreement that the festival has reached with the Turia brand.

Not just North American sprees

The cycle includes comedies set at the end of the year in US high schools, such as the debut film by actress Olivia Wilde ‘Booksmart’ (2019). In this celebrated teen comedy, two friends, brilliant schoolgirls, decide to make up for so much study and so little fun by turning their graduation eve into a crazy night.

Richard Linklater did the same in 1993 in ‘Dazed and confused’, where a party based on beer, marijuana and hazing is held on the last day of class by some high school students from the seventies. Among the actors in the choral film are a very young Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger.

The voice cast of ‘My entire high school sinking into the sea‘ (Dash Shaw, 2016) is also assorted with Hollywood stars: Lena Dunham, Susan Sarandon and Jason Schwartzman dub this animated film, unreleased in theaters in our country, that mixes the catastrophe movie and the horror cinema of the eighties.

Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicolas Cage and Forest Whitaker are among the protagonists of ‘Fast times at Ridgemont High’ (Amy Heckerling, 1982), where the concerns and the day-to-day life of a group of students from southern California are more into flirting than into studying. Cameron Crowe drew on his autobiographical novel with the same name for the screenplay.

Au-revoir les enfants‘ (1987) also has an autobiographical component. Louis Malle drew on his own memories to outline life in a Catholic boarding school for boys during the German occupation of France. This war drama addresses aspects such as the loss of innocence, loyalty, and anti-Semitism.

“The festival wanted to give a tour through the American places that we are used to seeing in films and also visit high schools in other countries, like, for example, on the outskirts of Paris in ‘La Girlhood‘, by Céline Sciamma ”, explains Madrid.

The film referred to by the director of Cinema Jove is an approach to what it means to be young and black on the outskirts of a European capital. The film is a story of rebellion, personal discovery, learning and female empowerment in a hostile environment.

The cycle hasn’t been limited to a single time either. Hence the programming of the ‘Las niñas’ (Pilar Palomero, 2020) and ‘High School’ (Frederick Wiseman, 1968). The great winner of the last Goya Awards, where it won the best film, original script, novel direction and photography direction awards, is a portrait of today’s generation of Spanish women drawn through the education they received at the beginning of the nineties. Wiseman’s jewel documentary, on the other hand, reflects his vision of high school in the United States in the late sixties. With a ‘cinema vérité’ style, the film dispenses the presence of a narrator to observe the interaction between teachers, students, parents and administrators of these centers.

Finally, ‘Elephant‘ (2003), by Gus Van Sant, although it is not conceived as a documentary, it gets closer to the genre in an austere and aseptic approach to the massacre perpetrated by two students in a Columbine high school in 1999. The reconstruction of the tragedy in all its objective reality helps the director to carry out a portrait of American youth.