Hill said in 2016 that while making a coming-of-age drama is a cliché in and of itself, he’s hoping to give fans a skateboarding movie that avoids the “’80s cowabunga kind of trope,” and instead takes cues from the films that inspired him to tackle the subgenre, like This Is England and Kids. First appearances can be misleading; trailers aren’t always sincere reflections of the art itself. But Hill is clearly mining from a very personal place, and if nothing else, Mid ’90s looks like an aesthetically pleasing piece of childhood nostalgia for his generation.
And who knows? While Hill has bounced between some really fun, absurdist comedies, he’s also a two-time Oscar nominee. Perhaps his first grasp of Oscars gold will come from the director’s chair. It certainly wouldn’t be the wildest thing we’ve seen from Jonah Hill. Mid ’90s hits theaters October 19.
This looks hella-good. Some thoughts:
My memories from the 90’s mostly include watching cartoon programs such Pokemon or Power Rangers or whatever was on Nickelodeon — basically late-nineties things. However, after 9/11, and as I entered my teenage years things changed. Skating became a rudimentary means to explore my neighborhood, bond with new friends, impress girls and an opportunity to do something fun with my younger brothers when we were bored (which was often). Remember CCS Catalogs? Oh man.
I ditched the skateboard when I was 17 or so. For a car and a MacBook no less. Then one day, I discovered I was in college and I no longer owned a skateboard.
While I own a deck now, it’s really just symbolic for me at this point. Though, I never outgrew my love for skateboarding. I think it’s because the sub-culture is so forgiving and so ancestral. It felt like everyone who bled together, stayed together, y’know? Everyone is a misfit in their own right as a teenager, but there was this common heritage we all felt emotionally. It was powerful stuff.
Not sure if this was a visceral emotion I tied to skating, or if it was just a side-effect of being a teenager — at any rate, those years were jam-packed, complex and nostalgic to reflect upon.
As you can probably tell, I’m excited to check out this Jonah Hill’s new movie and re-live some of that coming-of-age nostalgia. This film feels genuine. It doesn’t feel campy like Grind or culture-bleached in the ways the Lords of Dogtown felt. Mid90s feels, just right.