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PAPERBOYS

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Documentaries)

Director: Mike Mills

Designer/filmmaker Mike Mills (who has worked with the likes of Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Beck, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Air) turns his lens on that two-wheeled denizen of the suburban streets at dawn: the humble paperboy. It is Mills' fascinating technique and probing style that makes this film compulsive viewing. With a feel approaching David Lynch's Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, Mills digs beneath the flag-waving, apple pie and picket fence surface of these teenagers' lives. What he discovers is a pervading enchantment with gangster rap and horror film and a preoccupation with wealth.

These easy going, comfortably middle-class kids, have genuine charm and are incredibly articulate. They are all-American youth earning a healthy respect for a buck. Most of them have already planned lives that include a big house, nice car and high salary jobs, but you can't shake the feeling that pursuing this dream will lead one or more of them down a crooked path. A well crafted and quietly disturbing film.

The critically maligned MTV Generation continues to supply Hollywood with fresh, young filmmaking talent. At the core of Mike Mills' work is a visual and emotional concern for the subtleties of people and place, he appears poised to prove the critics wrong."— Filmmaker.

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