Tag Archives: coming of age

The 6 Awesome Coming of Age Movie with Sexual Identity Themes

Malizzia(1973, Italy) 

I freakin love Malizzia. It is funny, dark, sexy, erotic, a bit of disturbing, inspiring, and witty. It tells us the story about  a young maid, Angela, who works in a house for a widow and his three sons. The father, and the first two sons is attracted to her. However, the one most obsessed with her is the middle son, the teenager Nino. Through some elaborate schemes he manages to blackmails her into eventually tolerating his increasingly aggressive  sexual harassments.  In the end of the movie, Angela will becomes his stepmother, but not before taking away Nino virginity, accidently. Even for today standard, I think the whole idea of Malizzia is still quite preverse and taboo , but it works for this genre, because its comedy. A dark and hilarious one. But still, Malizzia didn’t crossed the line of being vulgar. That’s why I love this movie. Its a classic indeed.

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 Y Tu Mama Tambien(2001, Mexico)

 What I love the most about Y Tu mama Tambien is this is the only movie that successfully shows us how real life step in to artificial life. In other words, how adolescent transform into adult. It tells us the story of two boys in the middle of identity crisis, sexual identity and perhaps orientation, having a road trip with a very determined grown up woman whose trying to find her own “future”. The not so old and young is clashing, through the journey full of lies, honesty, conflicts, and off course, eroticsm. Y Tu mama tambien is the strongest movie in this list. Actually, its more than just a simple coming of age Mexican Journey movies. But I’m not gonna dwelling on that. Because this article is about sexuality, and by gawd, Y Tu Mama Tambien is different and daring enough, especially with that very graphic early orgasm scene. It is so realistic. This is the way every teen movie should be made. No more those random shallowness about boobs and butts. No more those random fake adolescent trail about how to lose your sperm and virginity in 10 days.

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 Lust Och Fägring Stor(1995, Sweden)

This film is telling us the real truth behind real meaning of sex for a boy in their adolescent era. The answer is, nothing. Sex is just sex for them. They doing sex just because they’re curious about how it works, and just following their own hearts, pardon me, I meant dicks. 15 year old boy name Stig, discovers his first female attraction is his own teacher, 37 year old Viola whose already married to a traveling salesman Kjell. The boy manage to capture his teacher attention and libido. They’re having a love affair which is very joyous, fun, lustful without a depth. And the story goes even more interesting when the relationship grows its weary on its own, especially because when Stig realizing, that the more proper attraction for him is a girl in his own age.  For me, Lust Och Fägring Stor is interesting because in a way, I’ve been in the same condition as stig(No, I did not have a sex with my teacher, its just a simple crush and lust), so I kinda understand what it feels like. And Lust Och Fägring Stor perfectly captured that innocence. You can feel the confusion that rise from Stig point of view, and you WILL understand and in the same time growing up with Stig, because what he’s doing is wrong, even though in the first time, it felt right(no pun intended). Find this masterpiece if you can, it’ll teach you that as good as THE GRADUATES are, they are not  Lust Och Fägring Stor.

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Malena(2000, Italy)

Ah, Malena. I’ve got a lot of “good” memories with this movie, if you catch what I meant(LOL).  It tells us the story about a young sexy beautiful elegant lady name Malena. This movie is a journey full of loneliness, bravery, tragedy, sexually, that being experienced by Malena from the eyes of our main character,  Renato, a sweet adolescent boy who understand her more than every single person in that town. At first, Renato’s attraction to Malena is purely carnal and lust. His unhealthy obsession even make both of his parents take him to a hilarious exorcism, and a brothel.  But as the movie planned out, we the audience knows that Renato actually is falling in love at the first time. Love that still have its pureness. Love that is unselfish. And love that is true. Because for Renato, Malena is the only girl that he’s never ever forgotten. Monica Belucci is a Goddess in this movie. She moves, she talked, she acted, she looks, she sway, she dance, like something that only exist in a fairy tale. Malena character really suits Belucci. And gawd, that ending. It is one of the most melancholy ending I’ve ever saw in movie. That alone guarantees a spot in this list.

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 Murmur of the Heart(1971, French)

I already wrote about Murmur of the Heart in this post. Its a great movie. But in terms of coming of age sexual identity themes, Murmur of the Heart is more than great even though the actual story is very simple. or for some people plotless. It tells us about daily life of Laurent, a 15 year old punk who hate everything and only seems to be at ease when in the company of his mother. Yeah, yeah, we can put an easy stamp label in Murmur of the Heart as an Oedipus Complex movie. But I think, the relationship between Laurent and his mother is more than just Oedipus Complex. Like most teenage in his age, Laurent is having a life full of  confusing, awkwardness, curiosity of the world. And Laurent manage to find his answer in his mom. Some people get an answer from music. some people got an answer in movie. But Laurent already knows that his mom is his way to get out of his adolescent and coming out of an age. That what makes Murmur of the Heart is not as dark as every Oedipus theme movies. Murmur of the heart is the kind of movie that needs repeated viewing for us really understand its true meaning and message. Just like sex and everything beneath it.

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 Tomboy(2011, French)

Honestly, Tomboy is a bit of making me uncomfortable in watching it. No, its a good movie, got the same vibe just like LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. But Tomboy touches on more delicate gray matters, a sexual orientation.  Laure is 10 year old girl. She act like a girl in his newly moving house, but she act like a man in her newly neighborhood full of new friends. She even manage to make a clueless girl had a crush on her, and kiss her. But a lies is a lie indeed. You can’t lie to yourself and especially your surrounding about who you really are. The flawless and amazing performance by Zoé Héran makes me think and raise a question in my head, is this how it felt to be someone whose confuse about sexual orientation as a child?

 

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Quick Review Part IV

 …AND GOD CREATES WOMAN(1956)

I wish I was born in the world war II era. Not because so I can get enlisted to the last great war of mankind. Its because so I can grow up and worshiping Brigette Bardot as sex symbol. John Lennon worship her. Bob Dylan wrote his first song as some kind of tribute for her. I meant, there’s no single current actresses today who had a raw naughty sexual magnetism with charismatic bubble like Bardot. Not even freakin close.

Well, even though the script is too generic, empty and somewhat downgrading woman, but I was enjoying the hell out of this movie. Even with that stupid and worst choreograph fighting scene ever, and the overall feeling that sensing this movie is like 90 minutes pimping of Bardot in a cheap entertainment, the movie is a classic indeed. Of course its not on par with the likes of real classic like, Citizen Kane, Seventh Seal, and so on, but still, …And God Create woman is a must-see movie for everyone(especially guys) who want to know what it is about Brigette Bardot and how hot is she? And join the club with the likes of me who hunts her naked playboy photoshoot in 1974 after watching this movie.

6.5/10

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MURMUR OF THE HEART Or  Le souffle au coeur(1971) 

 

 I don’t really know about what 15 year olds kid at France back in 1971 was like, but I find the depiction is a bit too unrealistic and mature. A 15 years old punk from wealthy family, love Dizzy Gillespie, talks about politics, in to The story of “O”, know how to play along with a pedophile priest, and really dig the way how to treat a woman? Its a bit much.  But still, I love this coming of age movie. The scene moving naturally and slowly developed. The real star of this movie is Lea Massari, the woman who play the main character’s mom, charming, beautiful, confusing and very amusing. Her incest sensual scene with her son its not awkward at all. An unforgettable movie. 8.5/10

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LAS ACACIAS(2011) 

For an Argentinian movie with only 80 minutes run(including all the credit scene), and tell us a very simplistic story about how a regular truck driver befriended a woman and her child which he required to take on a journey from Paraguay to Buenos Aires by his boss, Las Acacias is not boring at all. Las Acacias need you to be patient and let the subtlety overtaken you, because it really is very simple. Its like watching somebody painted their apartment wall with a blank white colors, and weirdly, i found myself liking it. This is the type of movie where nothing happens, and you still feel engrossed by it.

7.5/10

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DEEP END(1970)

 15-year-old Mike takes a job at the local swimming baths, where he becomes obsessed with an attractive young woman, Susan, who works there as an attendant. Although Susan has a fiancé, Mike does his best to sabotage the relationship, to the extent of stalking both her and her fiancé. Mike becomes increasingly desperate to have Susan for himself, with very tragic results and a freaking good ending for a movie. Its basically another great coming of age movie. Kinda like Malena, but more Indie. Feels like Murmur of the Heart, but more hip, slum, and colorful. And Good gawd Jane Asher is hot. I barely breath when she takes her clothes off for a classic full frontal nude scene, even though the camera is shot in a far away angle. The only complaint that i had is the character progression is too fast for a movie with 90 minutes run. A very underrated movie that needs a bigger audience.

8.5/10

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MARIA FULL OF GRACE(2004)

Some people think that movie is disturbing. I don’t really get it, what’s so disturbing. Some people think that the movie is beautiful. Are you kidding me? What’ so beautiful when you have to watched a movie where an innocent and beautiful woman being exploited by being a drug mule just to get money and reaching the so called heaven called AMERICA? Its fucking depressing. I love the movie overall, but I  hate that cliche ending. Not because that I hate America, but because it really make sense and Its sad when we realize that the only way for maria to get out from her trouble is by being a illegal immigrant in a country where she even doesn’t understand the speaking language. Catalina Sandino Moreno performance is a gem. Watching her acted is like watching some genuine documentary about drug mule. I live in the 3rd world country like Maria, but still the film made me feel very fortunate for what I have.

7.5/10

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 OCEAN HEAVEN(2010)

If ten years ago, some jackass told me that I will crying my ass off at Jet Li’s movie, I would’ve called that guy idiot and stupid. Off course, Jet Li isn’t a bad actor. In terms of acting capability he’s  in the same league as Jackie Chan, Statham, Arnie, Donnie Yen, or Dolph Lundgren. He’s not a robot, but not humane enough to be considered as a serious actor. Then Ocean Heaven came along. Its a story of a dying father making the impossible to give his son the possibility of independence before the cancer take his life. And good gawd, Jet Li convincingly played the character of that poor father very well in this tear jerking simply tale of determination and love. And good gawd I hate the ending when abruptly the filmmaker went Pixar.  Still I do cried in the middle of the movie, and considered this is a Jet Li’s movie, I’m not ashamed to admit it. Solid movie ruined by the ending. 7.5/10

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