What sort of films or TV shows on girlhood did you grow up watching?
I remember very clearly that in the transition from childhood to adolescence I was very fond of Disney Channel productions such as “Raven”, “Lizzy Mcguire” and “Hanna Montana”. They were certainly not particularly intellectually engaged TV series but in their simplicity, they had built around me a comfort media zone in which I could serenely witness the exploration of female adolescence based on ironic, carefree, easily manageable languages and concepts.
I also found a similar mood in “10 Things I Hate About You”, one of the films with which I used to establish that relationship of nostalgic familiarity and sympathy, always appreciating the sweetness with which he managed to untangle the problems and insecurities typical of the high school period.
What are your favourite films or TV shows about girlhood today?
As for the films, the first that comes to mind when I think of girlhood is “Juno”, for the way in which she manages to convert banality and naivety into tenderness, at the same time putting heavy themes into play with a brilliant lightness. It is one of those films that I will probably never stop reviewing.
Speaking instead of series, at the moment I would put “Sex Education” in the first place, which incorporates the theme of adolescence more generally. I find it a delicate but specific, realistic and definitely necessary series for the audience for which it was designed (and perhaps also for those who are a little older in age).
What films or TV show that you know of now would you recommend to your younger self?
Surely being able to see “Sex Education” as a young man, with more inexperienced eyes and mind, would have made me more aware and helped to normalize many aspects that as teenagers we tend to dramatize without real resolution or acceptance.
A series that I would have liked to have discovered earlier, however, is “Will & Grace” which, while not specifically dealing with Girlhood, remains a comedy capable of very positively influencing the formation and attitude of a growing personality.
What are you most looking forward to about working on this project?
One of the most interesting dynamics of this project will derive from the generational confrontation. I expect to be able to get to know the new generation of girls more closely and notice the differences and similarities between the experience of my peers and the women who were girls before me and them.
Furthermore, I believe that the main consequence of the idea of this project is to make the protagonists of our research aware of how much they use of media content actually represents an extremely active action, for what it produces not only in intellectual terms. The way these girls interact with certain narratives is phenomenal on a socio-behavioural, aesthetic and obviously commercial level. Having the perception of this process is essential.