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Gia Coppola explores wide-eyed, wild, wasted youth in 'Palo Alto'

Original post made on May 16, 2014

'Palo Alto,' Gia Coppola's dark, atmospheric coming-of-age tale, follows a group of listless teens as they meander from party to party, searching for answers to questions they barely even know how to ask.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 16, 2014, 10:52 AM

Comments (3)

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Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Interesting article about this film's processes and creative triggers BUT as a senior for whom teenage years are a distant and not very interesting memory... I was contantly musing the questions (as I read the article) has teenaged angst really esculated beyond what I experienced? Are teenagers nowadays really such borderline narcissists? Does the film and its characters really catch the daily trials of kids I meet?

I don't know the answers to these nagging questions. But I do know I am not likely to spend my money and time with these characters whom I find so boring, annoying and predictable.

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Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

The Daily Post's review noted that this movie "oddly contains nothing to contextualize it as the wealthy tech capital of its title" and the Chron headlines summed it up: "High school revisited-as awful as always" / "Nothing in the story feels specific to that California City or emblematic of it."

No doubt what makes real Palo Alto unique rather than generic, and the value of any such anchoring, were off the radar of the LA-based filmmakers; and as EVERYONE keeps saying, it's avowedly a youth genre picture.

But to add some context here, genre youth stories were Franco's evident point in writing, and as you may know, the stories themselves got serious criticism. Excerpted from Wikipedia:

Scribner published a collection of short stories, Palo Alto, by Franco . . . Inspired by some of Franco's own teenage memories, and memories written and submitted by high school students at Palo Alto Senior High School . . . The book has received mixed reviews; Los Angeles Times called it "the work of an ambitious young man who clearly loves to read, who has a good eye for detail, but who has spent way too much time on style and virtually none on substance." . . . At least one editor of a literary journal testified he would not publish Franco's stories, claiming he has been published due to his star power, not literary talent. Publishers Weekly reviewed the collection, stating "The author fails to find anything remotely insightful to say in these 11 amazingly underwhelming stories."

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Posted by parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I might have had some respect for this movie if it actually tried to represent the good and bad of Palo Alto. However, a movie with an all white cast and filmed in Los Angeles has little resemblance to the Palo Alto we all know. This sounds like a generic teenage suburbia movie, like so many others.

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