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Oct 07th
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film_YIR-1Teen angst, divorce, raging hormones and lovesickness all crawl under the creative covers for an amusing romp in director Miguel Arteta’s Youth in Revolt. The film, which is based on C.D. Payne’s 1993 read, “Youth In Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp”—and its literary brothers, “Revolting Youth: The Further Journals of Nick Twisp,” and “Young and Revolting: The Continental Journals of Nick Twisp”—is a delicious dark comedy that finds its protagonist (Michael Cera in a winning role) hoping to win the affections of a nubile teen dream (Portia Doubleday as Sheeni Saunders) that he meets during a family vacation. It’s the perfect role for Cera, who has already mastered the art of playing the underdog in other films like Superbad, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and, of course, a career-making role in Juno. But here, he’s given a little more to play with creatively, mostly because the character of Nick Twisp, revered in some literary circles, is such a rich beast filled so many wild emotional undercurrents. For starters, Nick’s parents are divorced (Jean Smart and Steve Buschemi offer stellar turns) and, like the books, screenwriter Gustin Nash paints the adults (as we see them through young Nick’s eyes) as self-absorbed sex-hungry narcissists who can’t be bothered with Nick’s real-life concerns. But Nick is no ordinary teen. He’s got a taste for the “finer” things in life—Sinatra, Fellini—and strives to actualize the kind of class that seems to have evaporated from society long ago. After Nick takes a liking to Sheeni, she encourages him to chuck the predictable boring life and prove that he has was what it takes to be the man for her. In other words, “bad.” Happy to do anything to win the young girl’s heart, Nick agrees and soon has given birth to a rebellious alter ego named François. Tres French, François comes equipped with an ascot, a moustache and some cigarettes. Soon, he’s leading Nick on an unpredictable path of film_youth_in_revoltdestruction that forces heads to turn. Nash does a fine job with the script given the challenge of whittling down Nick’s immense, imaginative universe from the literary adventures. (Although, fans of the reads may crave more here.) Still, the dialogue snaps—“I told her I wasn't mentally ill; I was just a teenager”and “Are there no bounds to parental sadism?”—and director Arteta’s clever use of animation at times offer the film a genuine liveliness you don’t always see in teen comedies. Rated R. (90 minutes) ★★★ | Watch movie trailer >>>
Greg Archer

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The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
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