Lena deCasparis | Contributing Writer | 1,000 day ago

Beyond Clueless Might Be Our Favourite Documentary Ever, So We Talked To It's Maker Charlie Lyne

The Debrief: Addicted to 90s teen films? You'll want to read our chat with Beyond Clueless Director Charlie Lyne

If you love Cher and 90s films (er, lets be honest who doesn't?) then you're gonna want to know about new documentary 'Beyond Clueless'. It's a 90 minute journey into all our favourite teen movies, you know, the ones that basically defined us growing up. Cool, right? So we caught up with the film's director Charlie Lyne to find out more about it.

The Debrief: Hey Charlie, So what made you want to make a film on teen movies?

Charlie: I'm fascinated by that world of prom nights, house parties and graduations — not to mention my simultaneous feeling of delight and unease every time I enter into it. Beyond Clueless was my attempt to distil down the most bittersweet film genre in existence.

DB: Did you watch a lot of films in making?

C: I had a library of 300 teen movies collected together over the course of various brain-wracking sessions, conversations with strangers at parties, and lengthy IMDb searches. I watched them all. It was an education.

DB: So what's the VERY best teen film? 

C: I think 'best' and 'worst' go out the window as soon as you start immersing yourself in teen movies. For me, it was all about which movies could be coaxed into revealing more about themselves than they perhaps intended to, in which case I should probably give a shout-out to EuroTrip.


DB: And one that's not so good? 

C: There's no getting around the interminable shitness of Cruel Intentions 2.

DB: Is it bad we thought CI2 was enjoyable? Where did the title Beyond Clueless come from?

C: My keen wordplay skills. Plus a sense that none of those 300 films would exist had Clueless not come along and reinvigorated Hollywood's confidence in teen movies. I think you can trace almost any 90s teen movie — however different it might seem on the surface — back to that one film.


DB: So can we assume you lover Cher and co as much as we do? 

C: Absolutely. I think Clueless is perhaps the most exquisitely cast teen movie in history. Every single one of those stars is so perfect for their role that it's perhaps no wonder they came to be defined by them.

DB: Could you describe your film in a tweet for those that still don't get it?

C: This is our logline, which should hopefully do the job: 'Beyond Clueless is a dizzying journey into the mind, body and soul of the teen movie, as seen through the eyes of over 200 modern coming-of-age classics.'

CB: Few too many characters, but ok. Tell us about the soundtrack? We loved it!   

C: I'd been a massive fan of Summer Camp's for years, and working with them on this was a dream. The soundtrack had to simultaneously capture the sense of a big pop teen movie soundtrack and a more subtle instrumental score, which I think they managed slickly.


DB: Ok, but how did you raise the money for this - your first film? 

C: We did a Kickstarter campaign at the very beginning of Kickstarter's existence in the UK, which was hopefully at a time when people were *slightly* less sick of being asked to donate to crowdfunding campaigns than they are now.

DB: And how long did it take to make the film? 

C:All in all, about a year. And I became something of a social hermit during that time — I would venture out into the wider world and my cultural reference points would be totally askew. People would be trying to talk to me about what was happening in the news and I'd be linking everything back to Final Destination 3. 

DB: You must be pretty stoked teh film is getting general release? 

C: We never expected that the film would make it much beyond my bedroom — where we cut it together — so every step of the way has been a massive revelation for us. We still can't believe that people are actually giving up an hour and a half of their lives to come and see it!

DB: Any good early reviews? 

C: There was a review that called it 'a teen movie about teen movies', which was really helpful because it was the perfect short-and-sweet description of the film that I'd been searching for for ages but unable to find.

DB: Finally who should see your film and why? 

C: Anyone who ever lived out their teen years vicariously through Hollywood's warped lens. Which seems to be pretty much everyone.

Beyond Clueless is out Jan 23rd

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Tags: Film, 90s Fashion