The conceptual film, a period piece “mid90s” is a touching story of suburbs, shot on 16mm to present a VHS viewing experience and capture the atmosphere of the last decade of the 20th century. In the era of blockbuster nights, Ghetto Boys and the development of subcultures a thirteen-year-old boy leaves his naive kid days to become one of the skater boys seen on the streets of Los Angeles. The theme of childhood in cinema and the struggles of growing up are portrayed in the film by showing the dystopia of young age and the natural need to fit in and to belong.
The boy Stevie, nicknamed Sunburn and truthfully played by Sunny Suljic, is the main protagonist coming from a home that is broken into pieces and fixed on the surface like it is glued with bubble gum. He lives with his single mother who had his brother when she was only a teenager. This household is surviving on lost rules, brotherhood contretemps and little money and because of that this thirteen-year-old boy is looking for an escape from reality which he finds in the modern tribe of older boys who spent the eternity of long summer days by skating and filmmaking. When the new-age process of initiation is over, water gun fights become replaced with packs of Clark cigarettes and alcohol bottles, and rebranding to immature adulthood brings new challenges.
This group of outcasts spent their days skating down the highways and hanging out in front of city stores. “Why do you think nobody wants to go home?” Those Californian geckos take gas stations, city streets and school playgrounds to be their second home, they are running away from family madness because they are feeling homeless in their own households. Every character in the movie has its own thoughtfully made life story and the film’s action through the exposition, rising action, climax and failing action is perfectly intense. When the denouement comes everything is already done deal and the artistic aspect peaks with a cinematic resume of the whole project of teenage life and their story. Thick skin and vulnerable hearts come through. Strong ambitions and big dreams of making a future on a skateboard and being someday on TV are built on hurt from deep inside, like a curse or a miracle, the sword of coping.
Fighting the system with the spirit of creativity, house parties, style of fashion and music, palms and cars of the mid-90s directed by the famous actor Jonah Hill bring a new perspective on filmmaking by painting the authenticity of time and showing the truth of the rough rebellious faith of growing up while expressing subtle humour. Infamous production company A24 with its specific style successfully presents a film in the multicultural environment of the 90s. With a great soundtrack and nice cinematography of vandalised society, we enter into the cinematic void of looking for freedom and finding reality.