The locker room jealousies, the unrequited crushes, the chewing on pencils, the cafeteria food fights, the extracurricular fun, the weekend parties — practically every facet of adolescent angst and joy is captured in these two rarely-seen, yet thoroughly engrossing slices-of-life from the Carter and Reagan eras, together on one double bill.
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
Mixing the teenybopper pop confectionery of Grease, Cry-Baby and High School Musical with an incredible time-capsule peek into the lives and loves of 1978, Junior High School is a breezy, utterly charming short film romp filmed at Burbank’s own John Muir Junior High. You’ll be practically begging for a soundtrack release once you hear the memorable tunes sung by the young song-and-dance cast (featuring a then-unknown Paula Abdul.)
Dirs. David Wechter & Michael Nankin, 1978, digital presentation, 37 min.
ALL AMERICAN HIGH
Think “Fred Wiseman meets Fast Times At Ridgemont High”! This vintage fly-on-the-wall doc, almost totally unseen since its brief 1987 theatrical release and subsequent PBS airing, covers a full school year of jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, partiers and one very wise-beyond-her-years foreign exchange student at local L.A. institution Torrance High School. Every nuance of the era’s youth culture is on glorious display — and might make you a tad misty-eyed for a time before Facebook, cell phones and everything-on-demand.
Dir. Keva Rosenfeld, 1987, digital presentation, 59 min.