I Saw the TV Glow (2024)
May 11, 2024 5:07 AM - Subscribe

Two teenagers bond over their love of a supernatural TV show, but it is mysteriously cancelled.

That IMBD description does not do the film justice. The movie is a beautiful metaphoric exploration of growing up queer.
posted by kokaku (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am waiting impatiently for this one to come to streaming.
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:59 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]

This is an itchy, awkward movie. (And I mean that as a compliment as that is a big part of what it is conveying.)

Schoenbrun has a knack for understanding the little moments before and after dialogue: the last few breaths of untroubled air you savor before starting a conversation you'd rather not have; drowning in dead silence when what you say didn't land like you hoped; the awful segment of time that it takes to finish walking up to someone who can see you coming from far away.

The bigger themes at work seem to largely be about the trans experience, about the horrible tension of being in the wrong body and it's killing you. That's not something I am qualified to speak to any real length about, obviously. But I will say that I have had trans friends who described their pre-transition time as an unbearably wrong feeling, like the entire world doesn't make sense and they wanted to crawl out of their skin. And this movie conveyed that very well.

My kid said this would be an egg-cracking movie for a lot of people. I suspect they're right.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:23 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]

I wanted to go see this in a theater, but everywhere even remotely near me where it's showing is about 30+ minutes away and/or in an annoying place to get to. So I guess I'm waiting for streaming. I am really looking forward to this one, though.
posted by edencosmic at 2:27 PM on May 19

I saw it yesterday.

I really liked the depiction of awkward, unlikable teenagers trying to figure out who/what they are. It's also a beautiful film, with so many extraordinary shots.

I did not like the endless unreliable narrators, who make it impossible to settle on an interpretation. Is Owen trans? Weill, you would think so, only it's impossible to tell if Owen wants to be Isabel or if Maddy wants Owen to be Isobel. The endlessly unreliable narrators rob the film of all meaning,making it a chose your own path adventure story where whatever you decide is true is true. Did Owen want to be Isabel? Maybe. Did Maddy want Owen to be Isabel? Maybe? Is this a trans story? The director says yes, but there is as much evidence in the film of a gay neurodivergent kid being cast as the female co-star of a cis lesbian, desperate for validation.

At the end of the day, it's an incoherent film where the director's reach exceeded her grasp.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:00 PM on May 23

That sounds too down on the film, I think. I enjoyed it; I would recommend it to people (although maybe not to people affected by strobing). I do think that it’s a tough watch and ultimately can mean too many things depending on what the viewer decides to take as “true,” but I’ve enjoyed other movies that can be described that way. I do want to watch her previous film, which also apparently messes with reality.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:22 PM on May 24

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