March 20, 2020
This article isn’t for those who have only made a surface effort to get into cult documentary film and “liked” Louis Theroux on Facebook. A crash course in cult requires repeat viewings of Paris is Burning (1990) and Grey Gardens (1975). Not until you can spell 'OPULENCE' in the same strident tone as a drag ball announcer and 'STAUNCH' in the Long Island drawl of Little Edie Bouvier. Have you earned your stripes and deserve to move on to the next round? This is that next round. This documentary is about the outliers, but that’s precisely what makes it so undeniably cool. Armed with a base knowledge, graduates of the entry level programme can go on to enjoy a successful career in cult film – after consuming our Top Cult Documentaries Series.
All American High: REVISITED (2015)
Shown on public access channels to an audience of probably tens in 1986, All American High was never given its due. Director Keva Rosenfeld slavishly documented an entire year in the lives of sun-kissed high school students from Torrance, California, only for it to collect dust. Told from the POV of a hard-body Finnish exchange student who wants to make Cali her bitch, Rikki Rauhala, All American High is the real Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Outdated “marriage” classes, pep rallies and year-end bashes flavour her all-American experience, and the audience is duly shown (or reminded, depending on your age) just how little you needed to coast through high school in the 80s. Rosenfeld chanced upon the doc while cleaning up his garage years later and decided to track down the documentary’s subjects, leading to a monstrously satisfying conclusion. All American High: Revisited was released last year and allows the film’s main characters to reflect on their buffoonery decades later.
RE-POST FROM: DAZED
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