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Coming of Age

Mark reveals the cinematic tricks and techniques used to create classic coming-of-age films, from Rebel without a Cause to This Is England and Lady Bird.

Mark Kermode continues his fresh and very personal look at the art of cinema by examining the techniques and conventions behind classic film genres, uncovering the ingredients that keep audiences coming back for more.

In this episode, Mark explores the genre that captures the joy and pain of growing up – the coming of age movie. It’s the most universal of all genres, the one we can all relate to from our own experience, yet it can also be the most autobiographical and personal. Film-makers across the world repeatedly return to core themes such as first love, breaking away from small town life and grown-ups who don’t understand. And wherever and whenever they’re set, these stories are vividly brought to life using techniques such as casting non-professional actors, camerawork that captures a child’s-eye view, and nostalgic pop soundtracks.

From Rebel without a Cause to Lady Bird by way of Kes, Boyz n the Hood and This Is England, Mark shows how recurring sequences like the makeover and the group singalong, and characters like the gang and mentor figure have helped create some of the most moving and resonant films in cinema.

59 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:23



  • 00:26

    The Chordettes


  • 00:26

    Bee Gees

    You Should Be Dancing

  • 00:27

    Bee Gees

    You Should Be Dancing

  • 00:27

    The Crests

    16 Candles (feat. Johnny Maestro)

  • 00:28

    Del Shannon


  • 00:29

    Barbara Lewis

    Hello Stranger

  • 00:29

    Echo & the Bunnymen

    The Killing Moon

  • 00:30

    The Who

    Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

  • 00:30

    Echo & the Bunnymen

    The Killing Moon

  • 00:30

    The Platters

    Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

  • 00:36

    T. Rex

    I Love to Boogie

  • 00:38

    Wendy Carlos

    The Funeral Of Queen Mary

  • 00:40



  • 00:42

    Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier

    Psyche Rock (Malpaso Mix By Fatboy Slim)

  • 00:42

    Elton John

    Tiny Dancer

  • 00:48

    Alex Turner

    Hiding Tonight

  • 00:49

    Todd Rundgren

    Hello It's Me

  • 00:50

    Gilbert O’Sullivan

    Alone Again (Naturally)

  • 00:52


    Highschool Lover

  • 00:53

    The Who

    Bell Boy


Role Contributor
Presenter Mark Kermode
Executive Producer John Das
Executive Producer Richard Bright


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