Director Jane Schoenbrun A24 Horror Interview –

From beefcake Calvin Klein ads to Dungeons & Dragons, 1990s pop culture is hitting peak nostalgia. But in A24’s I Saw the TV Glow, writer-director Jane Schoenbrun examines the decade with a fresh eye, weaving a trans coming-of-age tale into a suburban horror story and a tribute to ’90s teen television. Schoenbrun’s follow-up to 2021’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, the film follows Owen (Justice Smith and Ian Foreman play the character at different ages), a lonely teenager trying to find themselves in a body and world that both feel foreign. Nineties kids will find the film rife with satisfying nods to the era, from allusions to Goosebumps and The Smashing Pumpkins to a supporting performance by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. While Schoenbrun incorporated such allusions partly to pay tribute to things they found beautiful in ’90s pop culture, their choices speak to the ways in which culture shapes identity and helps us make sense of the world. “We are all ourselves, and we’re also conditioned by the invisible signals we’re receiving from all around us,” Schoenbrun observes. “At least for me, I think these glimpses of other worlds through a screen in childhood were often signals of some form of magic or otherness or possibility hidden in a way on the margins of the normative world that I was growing up in, that made some kind of promise to me. And I don’t think that this is an experience that only queer trans people go through.” But it’s not just identity that’s being illuminated by all those screens that surround us — Schoenbrun says media has the potential to shape our reality. “I think we look for ourselves all around us as a species, and we’re looking to our parents to tell us who we are. We’re looking to society, we’re looking at our peers. But I think, especially in our media-saturated environment, we’re looking to the glow of the screen and we’re looking to fiction to help define our understanding of reality.” This film serves as a contemporary examination of the influence of media and pop culture on modern society and personal identity.

Summery :

– The film “I Saw the TV Glow” by writer-director Jane Schoenbrun examines 1990s pop culture with a fresh eye, weaving a trans coming-of-age tale into a suburban horror story and a tribute to ’90s teen television.
– The film follows the story of Owen, a lonely teenager trying to find themselves, who escapes into the fictional universe of a TV show called “The Pink Opaque” with a slightly older queer teen named Maddy.
– The film features nods to ’90s pop culture, such as allusions to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and a cameo by Amber Benson, and features a supporting performance by Fred Durst.
– The choices in incorporating ’90s pop culture allusions speak to the ways in which culture shapes identity and helps us make sense of the world.
– The film also explores how media can shape our reality and influence our understanding of the world.

Image Credit : The Hollywood Reporter

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