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Bloor Cinema Release: Beyond Clueless

November 1, 2014

By John Corrado

Beyond Clueless Poster

Premiering at Hot Docs, Beyond Clueless is circling back to Toronto and playing twice this weekend at the Bloor Cinema, with tonight’s screening appropriately followed by a special showing of the 2004 film EuroTrip.  Tickets and showtimes are right here.

After John Hughes all but defined the high school genre in the 1980s, others followed in his footsteps, and the 1990s and 2000s gave us plenty of films that connected with the attitudes and fears of teenaged audiences.

Narrated by Fairuza Balk, Beyond Clueless is a visual essay that examines the messages of social conformity behind everything from The Craft and Spider-Man, to Bubble Boy and Mean Girls, even bringing to light the homoerotic overtones of the raunchy comedy EuroTrip and the horror movie Jeepers Creepers.

Although not much of the title classic Clueless is actually seen, and masterpieces like Rushmore and Donnie Darko are only shown in brief flashes, this is all about justifying our appreciation of the films that weren’t necessarily as critically acclaimed, but still connected with teens.  And Beyond Clueless does just that, using compelling and well written written arguments to leave us with a deeper understanding of the many cult classics being examined.  With clips from over two hundred sources, the film is also refreshingly mature, leaving in all the nudity and gore that was such a big part of these influences.

As talented young director Charlie Lyne uses hypnotizing editing and propulsive montages to theorize surprisingly thoughtful meaning behind these modern high school films, Beyond Clueless is a uniquely entertaining and captivating experience.  Although only playing twice this weekend, this is a provocative and fun documentary that is well worth your time.

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