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[CAPSULE REVIEW] ONLY THE YOUNG is a refreshing & unique evocation of adolescence @ Doc Edge 2013

Only-the-Young

Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims were students at California Institute of the Arts when they happened upon Garrison Saenz and Kevin Conway, a pair of goofy and charismatic teenage skater punks who became the subjects of their wonderful debut film, Only the Young. The documentary follows the pair, as well as friend/love interest Skye Elmore, as they kill time in their recession-hit small desert town; primarily they skate, explore foreclosed homes, and muse to the camera about friendship, romance, faith and growing up. Nothing much really happens, and the 72-minute film does feel a bit slight, but the filmmakers are more interested in artfully capturing a snapshot of adolescence than in cramming as much narrative and information as possible — there is no narration or over-arching message, nor are there any parents or talking heads present — and this careful restraint makes for a refreshing change. Only the Young is beautifully lensed and employs some impressionistic non-linear editing to create a cinematic and moving coming-of-age story that feels closer to an indie high-school drama — if Gus Van Sant and Larry Clark’s films had a (less disturbing) non-fiction offspring, this would be it — and the result is one of the most unique and welcome documentaries of the past year.

RATING: A-

Only the Young is currently screening at the Documentary Edge Festival. For more information visit their website, and see the trailer below.

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