One of the most durable movie genres is the coming of age narrative. With roots in the 18th century literary novel, tales about young people who mature through ordinary and extraordinary circumstances have an irresistible appeal that is universal. Here are three films that are currently streaming on either Netflix or Amazon Prime. Each in their own way deal with the furnace of life and love, and all are highly recommended.
To be young is to be foolish and make mistakes—hopefully none of them fatal. It’s also a time for trying on different guises and carving out a place in the world. Most of all it’s a time of crazy impulses, mad love affairs, and grandiose dreams. To be young is to be the main character of a great and powerful drama titled, My Life.
Hollywood has always been attracted to youth as a subject matter. From the flapper movies of the roaring 20s, to the rock and roll movies of the 50s, to the rebellious cinema of the 60s, Hollywood has defined and redefined what it means to be young.
Recently, I sampled a bunch of movies that are streaming on Netflix. Out of a dozen films I have chosen three—all indie, low-budget productions—that skillfully explore the vagaries of youth with visual verve and sharp psychological insights.
One of the joys of Netflix is their vast library of international films that get no theatrical distribution in America. Seraphic Secret goes through periods of screening, including but not limited to, South Korean, British, Chinese, Scandinavian, Japanese, Bollywood, and most recently, Australian movies.
Aussie films have a peculiar charm that will have you calling your friends mate, and, if you are so inclined, hoisting endless glasses of beer. You will also feel compelled to have a cuppa, cup of tea. But do not, I repeat, do not under any circumstances enter an Australian bakery and order a golliwog.
Another charm of Australian cinema is the, um, Yiddish.
Yup, a common exclamation in Australia is (according to subtitles) “Oi”, equivalent to, “Hey!”, but which, to this Jewish screenwriter, sounds remarkably like “Oy”, shorthand for “Woe is me.”
Loopy linguistics aside, here are three films from Down Under that are outstanding and available via Netflix streaming.