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Beyond Clueless

posted by Jason Kottke   May 13, 2015

Beyond Clueless is a full-length documentary movie about teen movies made between the release of Clueless in 1995 and Mean Girls in 2004. A trailer:

The film was financed in part through Kickstarter.

Beyond Clueless will be the first major study — in any medium — of the teen movie revolution that occurred in the ten years that separated the releases of Clueless in 1995 and Mean Girls in 2004. Part historical account, part close textual analysis, part audiovisual mood piece and part head-over-heels love letter to the teen genre, the film will examine more than two hundred films released during this decade-long idyll, in terms of their characters, themes and what they had to say for themselves.

According to the Art of the Title, who did an interview with the filmmakers about the opening title sequence, the is constructed entirely of clips from other movies.

What if all those American teen movies from the ’90s and early 2000s took place in the same universe? What if Crash Override and Cher Horowitz and Laura Palmer all went to the same high school? In the cleverly cut opening to director Charlie Lyne’s essay film Beyond Clueless, their worlds are brought together in one long hallway of jeers and sneers, smug smiles, and adolescent longing.

Made entirely of clips, Beyond Clueless does with editing for film what the album Endtroducing… did with sampling for music. Shepherded by the voice of Fairuza Balk, the film is a bricolage of footage meticulously collected from over 200 films, weaving together an era of cliques and hierarchies, baggy pants and chokers, beepers and laptops, with a dash of apple pie and occultism.