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Pialat himself plays the father, and the dad-daughter relationship is movingly handled, though the family arguments are dramatised with a fierce, scalding realism.It’s difficult to know what to pick to represent the American teen movie of the 1980s – perhaps the genre’s peak period.Like The Last Picture Show, George Lucas’s American Graffiti is a nostalgic return to an idealised America of the pre-Vietnam era.
Bronco Bullfrog is about a gang of disaffected working-class teens growing up amid the postwar high rises of Stratford in east London.
Filmed with non-professional actors and on a minuscule budget, it’s nonetheless a film of great charm and authenticity, vividly shot in black and white and with a structural looseness and sense of freedom that recalls French New Wave cinema.
It’s rough and ready, but its proto-punk fierceness has kept it fresher than many more vaunted films of the time.
“Man, existing alone, seems himself an episode of little consequence,” he remarks.
Jim’s frustrations at his parents, his railing against society’s staid conventions, his feuding with the other kids in school, his scrapes with the law – all seem to wash away into cosmic insignificance in this melancholy, frightening moment.