Puberty Blues (1981).rtf (Size: 694.57 MB) (Files: 3)
Puberty Blues (1981).rtf
Puberty Blues (1981) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Puberty Blues (1981)
Meet Sue, a teenage Australian girl in the late 70s, whose life mainly consists of doing what everyone else does - watch the surfing boys and have sex with the same surfing boys. The girls have to follow lots of strange customs, e.g. do not eat or go to the bathroom when a boy is around. Ugly girls have two choices - being bitches and hate boys, or being generally cheap and looked down upon by everyone. The afternoons are spent on the beaches, in the backseats of car or at home-alone-parties where sex and alcohol are the main ingredients. Parents and teachers are trying to straighten the kids out, but that is not easy.
Nell Schofield ... Debbie Vickers
Jad Capelja ... Sue Knight
Geoff Rhoe ... Garry
Tony Hughes ... Danny
Sandy Paul ... Tracy
Leander Brett ... Cheryl
Jay Hackett ... Bruce
Ned Lander ... Strach
Joanne Olsen ... Vicki
Julie Medana ... Kim
Michael Shearman ... Glenn
Dean Dunstone ... Seagull
Tina Robinson Hansen ... Freda (as Tina Robinson)
Nerida Clark ... Carol
Kirrily Nolan ... Mrs. Vickers
Watch an 80s American teen-movie and you'll see some oh-so-nice Molly Ringwald-type trying endlessly and hopelessly to win the heart of some oh-so-nice Rob Lowe-type, going through all manner of mishap and misinterpretation but eventually winning her man and, presumably, living happily ever after. There is no such hazy idealism in Puberty Blues, where the two female leads search for romance but fail to see how utterly pathetic both the chase and the target end up being: they demean themselves at every opportunity to look, act and sound like the type of girls these surfing testostero-primates might actually want, and even when they hook one, they're treated like subservient blow-up dolls but are too blind to see it. Puberty Blues might once have been intended as social commentary, but now it runs like some bizarre tragi-comedy, where all the characters are blind to the fatalistic downward spiral of their youth... and blind to their own blindness.
Because of this, you can watch Puberty Blues on two levels: either as kitsch collection of 80s reminscinces (bad fashion, music, language, hairstyles and unenlightened gender relations) or as a sad indictment of teenage short-sightedness. Personally I prefer the former, because you can laugh heartily at the dialogue ("Are you gonna root him?" et al) without dwelling on the negativity of the subtext - indeed, it's probably too pessimistic and dreary. Teenagers of the 21st century will watch it and scoff at the apparent stupidity of the characters on-screen, without realising that the eponymous 'puberty blues' are timeless and just as relevant and as invisible to them. Great cinema it certainly isn't, but at least it serves as a brave and moderately realistic record of the adolescence of an otherwise forgotten generation of young people. And what's more, there's no Molly Ringwald.
I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that this movie belongs to the 'Aussie trash' pile, but it's fair to say that there are no Academy Award nominees here. What must be considered is that most of the actors in this film weren't actually actors as such, just kids with nothing better to do at the time. There were many others that were offered roles in the film but turned them down to go surfing up the coast; all things taken into account, it really wasn't a bad movie for its time. In some respects it's really not unlike today's times, where peer pressure is still alive and kicking, just without the mobile phones, computers and other similar gadgets that kids lived without, unlike this generation. Anyway, I have to rate this flick as an old fave that I watch once in a blue moon and never take too seriously...
Unintentionally hilarious? Well sometimes yes, but it's also a film that deserves to be more than just "forgotten" Why? because it depicts, in a fairly accurate manner, a slice of Australian culture from the 1970's. Based on the book of the same name by Kathy Lette & Gabrielle Carey, it's the story of two teenage girls growing up near the beachside suburb of Cronulla. Watching the film today, you wish that the characters weren't so one-dimensional, and that a more balanced view of society wasn't shown, but this is the girls' story & it's told from their perspective. Anyone who lived near a beach or even just went to school in Australia around that time can surely recognise some of the scenes depicted. Other people may be merely baffled however, as films with a strong cultural relevance sometimes have little or no meaning to outsiders. Good or bad though, this is not an Australian film to simply dismissed.
I went to High School in the Sutherland Shire during the 1970's, the time and place that this film is set in. The coolest kids at my school were Cronulla surfies and surfie-chicks, and guess what? They were EXACTLY as depicted in this film. And although the dialogue sounds camp-trash today, that was how we spoke back then. "Dead set", "far out", "what a moll" - these are phrases from my youth. They could have added a few more to the script, actually. "Bush pig" (an easy root) and "fang it" (drive very fast) would have added further authenticity to the script.
So, when you're watching this movie, keep in mind its like a time capsule, and a look into a lost period in time. (The Caringbah drive-in, where the famous "root in the panel van" scene was set and shot, is now a huge hardware and homeware complex. I got a little misty-eyed when I saw the Drive-in gates appear on the screen.) Its like southern Sydney's version of American Graffiti.
By the way, 22 years after this movie was made, North Cronulla hasn't changed very much at all.