Kids of Today


The rock doc being the most moribund of film forms, Kids of Today begins with a promisingly strange, stagy setup. In the course of Web-surfing, some French twentysomethings (the staff of Paris’s Entrisme magazine) discover the ’70s Rock & Folk essayist Yves Adrien, “an aristocratic, dandy type.” Adrien, now going by the moniker “69 X 69,” soon infiltrates their circle—an oracular figure in a Russian fur hat (which he switches, in the film’s show-hopping jet-setting, to a Mad Hatter in New York and a headband in Beijing) and a raconteur who narrates the film’s illustrated history of Parisian punk/New Wave/electro, while making pronouncements such as, “The only form modernity will ever take is pleasure.” Director Jérôme de Missolz’s first IMDb credit dates 1977, and evidently much of the vintage Super-8 footage in the film’s zine-style cut-and-paste montage is his own. Not unexpectedly, de Missolz favors his contemporaries in this generational meeting of minds, consistently allowing Adrien the last word over mismatched opponents (“The reality of today’s scenes is so banal.” “A generation fucks off. The next just jerks off”), whose only retorts are slightly pettish Facebook messages. Refraining images of the mind-controlled sleepwalker Cesare from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari seem to submit Adrien as a Svengali-like figure to the kids, even as his “Iggy used to say . . .” pickups to fresh-faced scenesters don’t seem to pay off.

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