Machine Made Dirt

Beat Girl and the Birth of the British Teenager

On Diabolique Magazine

“A mass of hopped-up teenagers stampede onto a dancefloor, jerking and gyrating to a driving, twangy guitar rock anthem. This is not the youth of Britain as audiences were used to seeing them, which I guess was…what? Cockney bootblacks and pickpockets? This is 1960’s Beat Girl, directed by Edmond T. Gréville. These are children who grew up after the war, who looked upon post-war austerity not as a badge of “stiff upper lip” pride but as something to be raged against, a betrayal of what it is to be alive and to be young. They were, like counterparts all over the world, part of the first generation of “teenagers,” the new kings and queens of a culture that inherited a vast amount of power in a short amount of time.”

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