Beyond Clueless – Review

Every now and again a film arrives which, in the rightest possible sense, begs the question of just what the hell it is that you’re watching. Beyond Clueless is a film which will elicit this response from a lot of its audience at the outset, and yet – if you can tune into the quirky wavelength on which it’s operating – you’ll find a quirky and unashamedly fun slice of pop culture nostalgia with only the best of intentions.

Best described as a satirical documentary, Beyond Clueless presents a study in coming-of-age shown through the guise of various teen movies of the nineties. Complimented throughout by an eclectic and angsty score by UK indie-pop act Summer Camp, the various films are boiled down to represent specific archetypes and – with the aid of a decidedly ethereal narration by Craft star Fairuza Balk (remember her?!) – piece together to form a sort of “how to” guide to being a teen in days gone by.

With director Charlie Lyne’s love of the nineties teen subgenre front and centre throughout, there’s a lot to like in Beyond Clueless; though a passing knowledge of the films on offer does come in handy. If you’re perhaps too young to have seen most of the films highlighted however, there are some utter gems thrown into the mix that will doubtless pique interest and warrant seeking out in their entirety.

One for both fans and non-fans of the genre alike, Beyond Clueless is performance art in documentary form; an oddball mix of teen misadventures, immersive music and gleeful nostalgia that hits the mark perfectly and makes no apologies for its self-aware adoration of its subject.

Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and on Slam Dunk Cinema, available every Saturday via iTunes and all good podcast apps.

In it
Fairuza Balk, Alicia Silverstone, Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Behind it
Charlie Lyne

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