Teenage
Directed by Matt Wolf
Based on a book by Jon Savage
2014, 78 minutes


Official Website | Watch The Film: iTunes, DVD, Amazon, Netflix

TEENAGE Theatrical Trailer from Matt Wolf on Vimeo.

Teenagers didn’t always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape. Whether in America, England, or Germany, whether party-crazed Flappers or hip Swing Kids, zealous Nazi Youth or frenzied Sub-Debs, it didn’t matter – this was a new idea of how people come of age. They were all “Teenagers.”

A hypnotic rumination on the genesis of youth culture from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th, TEENAGE is a living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and diary entries read by Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, and others. Set to a contemporary score by Bradford Cox (Deerhunter / Atlas Sound), TEENAGE is a mesmerizing trip into the past and a riveting look at the very idea of “coming-of-age.” Premiered at the Tribeca, Hot Docs, and London Film Festivals. Oscilloscope Laboratories and Soda Pictures released the film in US and UK theaters in 2014. The film was broadcast on Arte WDR and through Europe.

Original Music by Bradford Cox
Featuring Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hummer, Jessie Usher
Produced by Ben Howe & Kyle Martin
Executive Producers Jason Schwartzman, Michael Raisler, Philipp Engelhorn
Cinereach Productions 

Press & Reviews 

A feat of both editing and blurring-of-the-edges nonfiction technique, Matt Wolf’s mesmerizing, scrapbook-style “Teenage” conveys the transition in how the world perceived this emerging in-between stage… - Peter Debruge, Variety

An entrancing collage that puts the voice of youth at the center of a narrative in which the broad strokes of history tend to overlook them. - Joel Arnold, NPR

[Teenage] presents a bounty of rare archival footage and beautifully shot reconstructions… It’s a stylish, freewheeling and fun ride, buoyed by an astounding score from Deerhunter front-man Bradford Cox, but it also opens up the thought-provoking subject of the evolution of youth culture and where it’s headed in contemporary times. - Mark Lukenbill, IndieWire

As rebellious a film as the territory it covers… Matt Wolf’s documentary eschews the talking heads and Chyroned dates that dominate the genre to immerse the moviegoer in a visually and aurally sumptuous history lesson. - Frank DiGiacomo, Movieline

Passing before the screen like a dream, enhanced by the ambient swirl of Bradford Cox’s original soundtrack, the film stitches together an astounding collection of archival materials, supplemented by period reenactments… -Steve Dollar, The Wall Street Journal