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Eighth grade

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In his feature film directorial debut, comedian Bo Burnham deftly encapsulates the awkwardness, angst, self-loathing and reinvention that a teenage girl goes through on the cusp of high school. Given that the 27-year-old stand-up comic achieved fame as a teenager himself through YouTube by riffing on his insecurities, he is uniquely capable as the film's writer and director to tell the story of Kayla, an anxious girl navigating the final days of her eighth grade year, despite creating a protagonist w female instead of male. Like Burnham did more than a decade ago, 13-year-old Kayla turns to YouTube to express herself, where she makes advice vlogs in which she pretends to have it all together. In reality, Kayla is sullen and silent around her single father and her peers at school, carrying out most of her interactions with her classmates on Instagram and Twitter. Her YouTube videos are a clever narrative tool that provide insight into her inner hopes and dreams, much like an aspirational online diary. One of Eighth Grade's biggest triumphs is in its realism. Played with charm and delightful nuance by Elsie Fisher, Kayla doesn't speak a single line that isn't peppered with "umm," "like" or "whatever." Her posture and gestures communicate how uncomfortable she is in her own skin. She has acne that she hides under makeup and Snapchat filters. Her attempts at depth in her videos are adorably off the mark, such as her advice that, "The hard part of being yourself is that it's not easy." Burnham's attention to detail helps weave a 2018-specific yet universally relatable image of teendom. Kayla stays up late scrolling through Buzzfeed quizzes and slime videos, has a Hamilton calendar and Justin Bieber poster on her wall, and signs off her videos with the slang term "gucci." Her middle school sex ed video includes an actress saying learning about puberty is "gonna be lit." The reference might be of the now, but the feeling it conveys, of adults awkwardly appropriating slang for their own agenda, resonates no matter what era in which you came of age. Eighth Grade's unique skillfulness in communicating Kayla's inner life is often thanks to the film's sound and music teams. The three beeps of a Mac laptop's Photobooth application precede each of Kayla's vlog monologues. Enya's "Sail Away" provides a poignant soundtrack to Kayla escaping into the online world on her phone late at night. The score swelling to dramatic highs then abruptly stopping creates many of the film's laugh-out-loud moments and mirrors the emotional rollercoaster that is puberty. When Kayla attends a pool party, she pauses just inside a sliding glass door, nervously watching the scene outside while a Jaws-like theme plays. She finally reaches for the handle and the music cuts out right as the door sticks, ruining her cinematic act of bravery. At one point, Kayla gets the chance to hang out with some high school kids at the mall, and one of them comments that kids Kayla's age are "wired differently" because they began interacting with social media at such a young age. However, while Kayla does spend a majority of the film in the glow of her iPhone screen, Eighth Grade illustrates that as much as things are different for the current tech-emersed generation of children, their emotional evolution remains the same. Kayla must still navigate judgmental queen bees, predatory popular boys, clueless teachers, and overprotective parents on her way to coming into her own. For anyone who's ever been an eighth grader, Kayla's quiet journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance is encouraging and edifying. ~ Kaitlin Elise Miller, Rovi
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDaa3ed104-2856-5465-8ad7-e96b79588544
Grouping Titleeighth grade
Grouping Authora24
Grouping Categorymovie
Last Grouping Update2019-12-10 15:56:47PM
Last Indexed2019-12-10 15:58:33PM

Solr Details

auth_author2Burnham, Bo,
Burnham, Bo, 1990-
Bush, Eli,
Fisher, Elsie,
Fisher, Elsie, 2003-
Hamilton, Josh,
Lilly, Jennifer,
Meredith, Anna, 1978-
Robinson, Emily, 1998-
Rudin, Scott, 1958-
Ryan, Jake (Actor),
Storer, Christopher,
Wehde, Andrew,
Yacoub, Lila,
Zolghadri, Daniel,
author2-roleA24 (Firm),
A24 (Firm),presenter.
A24 (Firm),publisher.
Burnham, Bo,1990-film director,screenwriter.
Burnham, Bo,1990-screenwriter,film director.
Burnham, Bo,film director.
Bush, Eli,film producer.
Fisher, Elsie,2003-actor.
Fisher, Elsie,actor.
Hamilton, Josh,actor.
IAC Films,presenter.
Kanopy (Firm),
Lilly, Jennifer,editor of moving image work.
Lions Gate Entertainment (Firm),publisher.
Lions Gate Films,publisher.
Meredith, Anna,1978-composer.
Robinson, Emily,1998-actor.
Rudin, Scott,1958-film producer.
Ryan, Jake(Actor),actor.
Storer, Christopher,film producer.
Wehde, Andrew,director of photography.
Yacoub, Lila,film producer.
Zolghadri, Daniel,actor.
available_at_salidaSalida Regional Library
detailed_location_salidaSRL Adult DVD
display_descriptionThirteen-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher) endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school?the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year?before she begins high school. Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy at the **Golden Globes.** Winner of the Best First Screenplay Award at the **Film Independent Spirit Awards.** Winner of a **WGA Award** for Best Original Screenplay. "*First-time director Bo Burnham's tender take on teen angst, starring an incandescent Elsie Fisher, is a flat-out triumph-a film that is both indelibly of the moment and achingly timeless.*"- Peter Travers, ***Rolling Stone***
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owning_library_salidaSalida Regional Library
owning_location_salidaSalida Regional Library
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
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Adolescence -- Drama
Comedy films
Coming of age
Coming-of-age films
DVD-Video discs
Eighth grade (Education) -- Drama
Feature films
Fiction films
Independent films
Middle school students
Middle school students -- Drama
Motion pictures
Teenagers -- Drama
Video recordings for the hearing impaired
title_displayEighth grade
title_fullEighth Grade
Eighth grade / A24 and IAC Films present ; a film by Bo Burnham ; produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Lila Yacoub, Christopher Storer ; written and directed by Bo Burnham
Eighth grade [videorecording] / directed and written by Bo Burnham ; produced by Scott Rudin and [3 others]
title_shortEighth grade
Coming of age
Eighth grade (Education)
Independent films
Middle school students
Motion pictures