There are points in Only the Young, the award-winning documentary from Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims, where you can easily forget that you are watching real-life teens living out their day-to-day lives and not an updated rework of Rebel Without a Cause ... these could be kids from the back class of in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Some things never change, only the faces.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has tabbed Apr. 30 for the double-feature/double-disc release of Only the Young, which is coupled with Tchoupitoulas (more on that in a second).
Winner of the National Board of Review award for “Top Five Documentaries” in 2012 (plus additional festival competitions), the film got a major metro theatrical showcase in December of last year (to raise awareness). The ARR works out to 144 days and reported ticket sales for the film’s limited run were $7,138.
In dramatic films these kids are fiction. In Only the Young, they are Kevin, Skye and Garrison, teens living in Santa Clarita, California (although it could be Anywhere USA). It’s their little corner of the post-real estate bust world; foreclosed homes, abandoned construction sites … half-million dollar suburban paradises lying empty that the skateboarders now make good use of, especially the empty swimming pools.
Sexual tension, an uncertain future … and the here and now; that’s all part of the narrative in Only the Young. A film where you get the distinct impression that Tippet and Mims culled out and then brought into focus the story of this particular trio, not because they are any different from their contemporaries, but because they were better able to articulate their feelings.
In fact, it would be interesting to revisit the trio seven years hence, as with Paul Almond’s Seven-Up film series. The carefree days of being a teen inevitably give way to adulthood. You wonder if the kids of this lost paradise will ever be able to afford the dreams that once drove the suburbia that they were born into.
Bonus features include commentary from Tippet and Mims, Tippet’s short film titled Thompson and outtakes.
The companion film is this double-disc collection from Oscilloscope is Tchoupitoulas, from brothers Bill and Turner Ross. As with Only the Young, their documentary follows kids, only this time it is the three Zander brothers, who wander the streets of New Orleans (not exactly a wholesome place).
It is an interesting film with a strong narrative, but that can be something of a double-edge sword. While we don’t doubt that William, Bryan and Kentrell are who they say they are — appear to be — there is this uneasy feeling that the Ross Brothers are perhaps a little too slick with the presentation. Real-life becoming drama … you be the judge.
If Tchoupitoulas is a true slice-of-life documentary, then it is an extremely sad one; a story with only dreams and little hope.
This ARR is 144 days and the domestic box office take for the film’s limited arthouse run was $10,431.
Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report