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TEENAGE APOCALYPSE TRILOGY

GREGG ARAKI

When the closing sequence of a film ends with the main protagonists boyfriend exploding to release a monstrous, sarcastic, cockroach like alien, you know that you have watched a truly memorable film and viewed the prized work of a remarkably unique creator.

Gregg Araki is a world-renowned Japanese American film director acclaimed for several successful indie films. He is a prominent figure of the New Queen cinema genre producing highly controversial and regarded films since his directorial debut in 1987.

His “Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy” consisting of “Totally Fucked Up”, “The Doom Generation” and finally the concluding film “Nowhere” has cultivated a mass teen fan base, being labeled as ‘a seek and destroy, hating on life surrealist trilogy’ was destined to be “teen cult classic’ in many opinions. The films are pervaded by hyperbolic teen-speak spoken at a rapid pace, fractured jagged editing and a lurid colour palette that is scrupulously designed, and blended against abstractly invented locations.

“Totally Fucked Up”, (1993) the first installment destructive and often nihilistic trilogy, documents the lives of six gay youths who have congregated to form a dysfunctional family unit of their own facing the major struggles and obstacles of life as a whole. The film examines issues of homophobia and depression prevalent at the time.

The intermediate film “The Doom Generation” made its name as a black comedy with strikingly graphic violence, titillating eroticism and cultural symbolism. Billed in the opening as being “ A Heterosexual Movie by Gregg Araki” as it was Araki’s first film to explore a heterosexual relationship this film tracks the actions of three hormonal adolescents escaping a criminal past indulging on a hedonistic journey, of reckless existence leaving a path of death and destruction.

The ending film, “Nowhere” which can no better be describe than by the director himself as being like“ a Beverly Hills 90210 ep on acid”.

These films are not lacking in exhilaration serving the captivated audience with colourfull teen lingo and affluent ennui, lust, love and sex, aliens and hipsters, executions and murders, Neo- Nazis, drugs and philosophical questioning existence amongst many others. The films are all in their own right individual successes, but together as a trilogy they make a collective 5 hours and whatever minutes of unparalleled brilliance.

Other Notable films by Araki

–       The living end

–       Splendor

–       Mysterious Skin

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