Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

 

Year: 1998
Country: USA
Run Time: 100 minutes

You've probably seen plenty of coming-out dramas before and know the drill - the shocked mom starts declaiming him from Leviticus while outraged dad lunges for the shotgun. Straights in general are about as reasoned and tolerant as Nazi guards in a roadshow company of "Bent." And that's just if the script is set in San Francisco or Fire Island. For a change, EDGE OF SEVENTEEN brings a bright and thoughtful outlook, as well as a fresh location. Sandusky in 1984 is where Eric, a high school senior saving up for a post-grad music career in NYC, escapes the mundane in the pulsing sounds of Bronski Beat and the Eurythmics. Eric has a nice girlfriend with whom he works at an amusement park restaurant for the summer. But a flirtation with a male co-worker unlocks something in the restless teen - an urge to explore and experiment in school and in discos with his hair, wardrobe, and, ultimately, his unsure sexuality. Angie, uncloseted lesbian and proprietor of the Universal Fruit & Nut Company gay bar, points the way for Eric. There are no eaasy judgments or pat characters in the lieable hero's journey to awareness, and it is heartening to hear that writer Todd Stephens plans this to be but the first in a trilogy of features based on his Ohio hometown.

Screenplay
Todd Stephens

Director
David Moreton

Producer
David Moreton, Todd Stephens

Cinematography
Gina DeGirolamo

Editing
Tal Ben David

Principal Cast
Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes, Lea DeLaria, Stephanie McVay, Anderson Gabrych, Antonio Carriero, Jason Sheingross

Print Source
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