DocBlog Trailers: Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts and American Teen

American Teen

After a successful performance at Sundance, there’s some massive buzz behind American Teen, and it looks like director Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture, On the Ropes) has created a film that celebrates non-fiction filmmaking while embracing a mainstream accessibility that just might make this high school doc one of the top grossing non-fiction films of the year. Here’s the synopsis:

In this biting cinema verte, director Nanette Burstein follows a group of four Indiana high school seniors as they navigate the social mazes of adolescence, prepare for graduation, and generally deal with the often surprising and strange situations that arise simply from being 17. Incorporating intimate footage, interviews, and animation, Burstein reveals all the gritty details about life as a teenager in Midwestern America, from drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure, to cliques, first love, and heartbreak. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

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One of the smartest marketing decisions is exploiting the traditional elements of the classic fictional teen movie; ‘the jock, the geek, the rebel, the princess…who were you?’. This trailer, along with a clever movie poster (pictured above) successfully exploits our weakness for nostalgia. I’m a big fan of coming of age high school movies, and based on the reactions to this film, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. It’s just too bad the high school students of today aren’t as cool as the high school students of twenty years ago.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

Normally I don’t think I’d be very interested in a film like this, but I simply can’t resist the chance to see Philip Glass in action. He’s one of the best living composers of our time and has provided many great film scores throughout his career. And of course, his working relationship with Errol Morris is definitely an interesting aspect of this film.

Filmmaker Scott Hicks (SHINE) documents an eventful year in the career and personal life of distinguished composer Philip Glass as he interacts with a number of friends and collaborators, including Chuck Close, Ravi Shankar and Woody Allen.