In a both on-brand and slightly masochistic move, I chose a supremely awkward film as the first to review: Eighth Grade.
Eighth Grade, written and directed by Bo Burnham, released in 2018 as the young director’s first feature film. You may remember him from the Pre-Historic Youtube Era, when Burnham and a few other early Youtubers capitalized on the platform’s infancy as a jump-off for their entertainment careers. For the most part, he strummed songs on his guitar and melodied about hot-button topics– and received some shit for it, too. (Hard not to as a white, publicly straight guy who raps and uses topics like racism and LGBTQ issues to “make it”.)
If you haven’t heard any of the buzz– Eighth Grade is a hilariously, unsettlingly honest tale following a young teenage girl named Kayla as she’s thrown into the demonic pit of pubescent doom that is eighth grade. Kayla lives with her single parent father and makes vlogs in the comfort of her room; she’s anticipating eighth grade with nervous dread– but a little excitement as well. It is clear that she is looking for transformation, however it is (naturally) not until the tail end of the film that Kayla revelates on the truth of her path to self-actualization.
Despite moving through middle school as... say, a not-blonde, not-middle-class white girl? – the viewing experience quickly conjured what felt like war flashbacks. However, a small part of me was immediately drawn– perhaps seeking answers, and a sense of peace, from a phase of my life I’ve comfortably suppressed.Read More