ACMI Re/commends: Mid 90s

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Funny, hard, and submerged in nostalgia, Mid90s is a guaranteed cult classic. Set in 1990s LA, the film follows 13-year-old Stevie - a somewhat aimless kid who falls in with a rebellious older skater crowd.

Less concerned with a structured plotline, Hill's story fits nicely into the ‘slice of life’ genre; dreamy but edged with realism. Its brand of bitter-sweet nostalgia evokes visceral memories of teen angst and the awkward newness of burgeoning adulthood.

For a film with a character dubbed “Fuckshit”, it reveals more philosophical and emotional depth than one might expect. Perhaps most heart-warming of all are the vulnerable conversations the skaters have about their spiritual connection to the art of skateboarding.

Alongside this sits a confronting representation of what we now know to be toxic masculinity - embodied most potently by Stevie’s aggressive older brother Ian. It's in these barbed scenes the film gains its grit and realism, alleviated occasionally by moments of genuine humor.

Unflinchingly raw and irresistibly cool, both a love letter to skateboarding and an uncomfortable spotlight on male behaviour,  Mid90s is an impressive and unexpected debut from director Jonah Hill.

By Summer Gooding, staff writer

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