what does the friendly season mean?
as the days get colder and the nights get longer, we’re turning to our friends for comfort n good times. this month, our films are all about friendships and coming of age.
we all bloody love GIRLHOOD which is where this month’s theme came from. i first saw it at the fab genesis cinema in whitechapel, london as screened by the forever young film club who screen coming of age films exclusively. we love it. that iconic scene where they all dance to diamonds by rihanna is sublime.
we really wanted LA HAINE to be on the list because, despite being called ‘hate’, there is a lot of love between the main group of mates in it. it is also a french film so links directly to GIRLHOOD and frequently comes up in lists about this sort of thing. but we couldn’t find it online anywhere rip. keep ur eye on the cinema though cause it does crop up here and there still.
check out our extended letterboxd list which has more films including those we couldn’t find online – let us know what you’ve seen x
dm us or drop us a message if there are any other films you’d add to this mermaid list
celine sciamma is my favourite director and i love what she does in this film. it’s stunning, it’s emotional, it’s lonely and yet grasps you close when you watch it.
the story follows mariamme, a 16 year old girl from the projects of paris, who is failing at school and told she must do a vocational programme. she gets taken under the wing of three girls who have also been rejected from the school system and begins growing into something else.
touré is enchanting to watch as she figures out how to shape her future beyond the stunted, one-path directions of all her peers, and sylla as lady is magnatising in her energy and pain. it is beautiful watching these girls fight for and with each other, laugh and navigate the world together and showcase the power of girl gangs.
i wanted to watch this film because someone i really rate said it was their fave film. i’m gassed to be finally watching it in such a cool way with u!
in the 70s, the z-boys changed skating forever. they brought the skills and tricks of surfing into the skating realm and completely flipped it upside and turned it into the sport we know it today.
LORDS OF DOGTOWN is written by one of said boys, stacy peralta, and was released four years after the success of the documentary DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS in 2001. it stars heath ledger in perhaps one of his most underrated roles as skip engblom, the man who co-founded the zephyr surf team and the zephyr competition team (the z-boys). it’s a pretty gnarly films and here are some of my fave quotes from letterboxd reviews:
-this is the most 2005 movie i’ve evr seen [sic]
-where are their helmets lol just kidding
-movie passes the vibes test
and at the end of the day, films are all about vibes.
it’s my own story, basically. nineteen-eighty-three was the year i became a skinhead.shane
1983. after loosing his father in the faulklands war, 12 year old shaun (turgoose) spends his summer holiday with a group of skinheads. with new male role models and a fresh group of friends, shaun’s life takes a new direction as he discovers a world of parties, first love and dr martens.
it’s at one of these parties that shaun meets combo (graham) a former member of the group looking to create a new gang. but combo has recently been released from prison and is a violent racist. aka a collosal dickhead.
side note: this is a great film for anyone who enjoys playing tv actor bingo… it’s ya one from line of duty! and skins! and misfits! 100 points :)))
yet another adaptation of a Stephen king novella, STAND BY ME tells the story of a group of 12-year-old mates on a hike to see a dead body. if you’re expecting a gang of scallywags slumming it through the woods, guess again!
the film is the nostalgic retelling of events from a grown version of one of the boys, who admits ‘i never had any friends later on like the ones i had when i was twelve’. damn. the trip becomes a defining moment in the lives of the boys as they learn more about each other’s home lives and become closer than ever. relatable if you ever travelled with friends. i’m sure we all remember that time we went exploring for a dead body. good times.
according to an interview with one of the cast, the four leads all were very similar to their characters in true-life, which explains why they are such good kid actors. jokes, but real talk, the performances are other-worldly. i think you’ll love it.
in 1991 ice cube is at the height of his solo career making his acting debut as doughboy in what could be described as a trailblazer for a certain type of hood movie throughout the 90s and early 00s.
the film first screens at cannes festival (before the states) an event ice cube funnily enough had never heard of, not ever having been before or since. sceptical of how this french audience would receive and comprehend this, at the time, quite unique kind of film with specific local reference and perspective of l.a., it was met with a standing ovation. this intimate window into the vibrant, funny and dangerous life of boys growing up in south central is more a coming of age story than anything else, with a captivating swagger and style mirroring the eruption of hip-hop’s golden age.
ROCKS is the supremely exciting release of 2019. its a coming of age drama set in east london centred around the tumultuous few days of the dynamically spirited 15yo rocks. we meet her as she is suddenly forced to take on the responsibilities of looking after her younger brother after she comes back from school one-day to the news their mother has abandoned them.
though quite emotionally fraught at times, the film shows the importance of love and support growing up and keeping your friends close. the most exciting thing about the film is the almost totally amateur cast who award us with great company throughout in this kinda hyperrealist and slightly improvised style of acting. shout out kosar ali and bukky bakray as the acting talent to watch out for! If you know you know 🤙
this has been my favourite film since i was 12 and i have been watching it regularly since then. when i was 20 i watched it at the cinema for the first time (shout out to the odyssey for finally showing the request i made every time i had a shift!) and it enhanced my love for this film ten fold.
follow this misfit group of friends underground and into the world of treasure maps, booby-traps and the original dumb bad guys (looking at you HOME ALONE…) get ready to never say die and remember why spielberg is the king of action hollywood. you should watch this if you like 80s kids films that are timeless, funny and make you look down wishing wells whenever you flip in a coin.
p.s. when i was 12 i had a massive crush on mikey and was GUTTED to see him as samwise not looking samesame cute rip )’:
from the writer/director houda benyamina comes a bold french film set in the world of religion and drug trafficking in a parisian ghetto.
dounia, who has solid life goals ‘like everyone – money money money’, hustles for a job with a local respected dealer. dounia, with the help of her best friend maimouna, works her way up through the ranks. however, when she encounters a fit boy, things begin to go out of plan. when you see him, you’ll understand.
throughout the chaos, the tight friendship between dounia and maimouna is central. to be fair, DIVINES could belong in our helter-skelter programme, but we move. there’s always something unquantifiable about french indie cinema and this film is no exception. translation: it bangs.
in this intensely likeable and sympathetic film, teenage outsider camille (rachelle vinberg) befriends an all-girl group of skaters based in new york city, who call themselves ‘skate kitchen’.
whilst technically a coming of age teen drama, this story is told with a seductively relaxed documentary style which helps to avoid cliché and encourages submersion. this documentary style of course stems from the performances of the real skate kitchen members and their thinly-veiled characterisations of themselves and experiences.
moselle was inspired to write the screenplay after meeting two skate kitchen members on the subway, drawn to their confidence and style. moselle hung out with the girls for a year, listening to their conversations, interviewing them and eventually rehearsing scenes together. for each scene, she didn’t tell them what to say, but gave them significant moments they had to reach, most of which were based on real life.
what is particularly exciting about this film is the role it plays in the skater-film genre. with the focus here on an all-girl skating group and with a central character navigating her friendships, relationships, femininity and place in the world, skate kitchen opens the door and makes space for women and girls in the male-dominated skater-film world.
euphorically fun […] so rich, so charismatic, and so damn catchy, you’ll be itching to show it to all your friends.david ehrlich
linda linda linda follows a japanese girl band who cover songs by the japanese punk band blue hearts. they need to find a new lead vocalist three days before a school festival and choose korean exchange student son. they race against time to learn three tunes for the festival.
directed by yamashita – if you know japanese cinema, you may have seen A GENTLE BREEZE OVER THE VILLAGE or THE MATSUGANE POTSHOT AFFAIR, if you don’t maybe you saw MIDNIGHT DINER on netflix – this is a funny and joy-catching film that captures the life of teenage girls over three days perfectly. watch it!