A series of short, snappy pieces of Players, Scenes, Quotes, Shots, Locations, from films directed by women throughout September.
Now, I’m no teenage girl. Never have been. But stories on film about adolescent girls is a fairly common thread. And a soaring trend, the demographic of which perhaps has the strongest transition in our lives. So when something seriously special leaps from the pool, I have no choice but to lead with my heart and shout about it. Director Jenny Gage, and cinematographer Tom Betterton, collaborate to craft a mini-marvel of a documentary, All This Panic, about teenage girls heading towards adulthood in Brooklyn.
I say mini, as at less than 90 minutes this felt way too short. That’s a personal gripe, that doesn’t alter my love for the project, only demonstrates my longing to hang out in the teenage zone longer. It’s easy to be on the outside now, looking in. But it was way harder to have personal perspective when living through those turbulent teen years.
All This Panic is a candid portrayal, as well as a nostalgic reminder. Even New York felt homely, and I am yet to visit the great city. The Boyhood comparisons are valid, the transitions from scene to scene as well as the physical changes of the girls over the years, are immaculately captured, and seamlessly realized. Wonderful.
Each journey is different for these girls, but perhaps that strand of Ginger is the one that lingers. There’s a gravely attitude to this girl, gradually keeping her distance from the inevitable changes afoot. As best as she can, anyway. Won’t be told what to do, a kind of rebelious whiff, and a bark that might well be harsher than her bite.
In one conversation with her father, a relationship that already appears volatile, Ginger stands her stubborn ground in a discussion about her future. But by the end, that chat has overwhelmed her, and she is silenced to tears. Its a heartbreaking moment, she may be wrong, may not even know what she wants, but she is human after all.
At a later reunion, with her long-time friend Lena, she surely can see the evolution of her peers. And yet, Ginger may still be floating aimlessly, not to say she has no ambition or drive, but rather her feet have yet to touch land. Her sharp edges grow with her, as she enters womanhood, and whether you would want to avoid the wrong side of her or not, she is a fascinating, relatable soul.