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2 items from 2012

Clip joint: high schools

24 October 2012 2:01 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Screenwriters just love the classroom – so pay attention at the back for the best clips from films focusing on those emotionally turbulent high school years

This week's Clip joint is by James Rawson, a TV and web producer specialising in film journalism and based in Doha, Qatar. Follow him on Twitter at @jrawson.

Think you can do better than James? If you've got an idea for a future Clip joint, drop an email to

Cast your mind back to your teens, if it doesn't pain you too much. Those emotionally turbulent years when everything was changing physically, socially and psychologically; when every other thought was about sex; when you were struggling to learn life lessons but still look cool at the same time.

As an institution, high school has been the vehicle for almost every cinematic genre*, and it's easy to see why screenwriters are »

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The Story of Musicals has its high notes

12 January 2012 7:23 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The BBC4 series is better on anecdotes than ideas, so it's at its best when it stops drum-beating and deals with specifics

Catch up with The Story of Musicals on iPlayer

I'm enjoying BBC4's series, The Story of Musicals, but I could do without the note of chauvinist triumphalism. Each segment begins with a brag about the way the British musical overcame American domination. Every time I hear that, I am reminded of something written by the American critic, Robert Brustein, on hearing Trevor Nunn accept a Tony Award for Cats with the remark: "All I can do is purr." Brustein acidly commented that he felt not so much that the British had conquered Broadway as that Broadway had totally debauched the British.

The TV series is at its best when it stops drum-beating and deals with specifics. There was a wonderful story told by Sandy Wilson in the »

- Michael Billington

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