Filmmakers Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt join their subjects (Autumn and Brittney), to talk about their coming of age documentary CUSP. Cinema Femme Managing Editor Rebecca Martin moderates the Q&A. We discuss several important topics including teenage life, rape culture, how it’s “ok to not be ok”, and the power of Lil Peep songs. Coming to theaters on 11/12 and Showtime on 11/26.
During a road trip across America, first-time filmmakers Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt meet three spirited teenage girls – Brittney, Aaloni and Autumn – at a gas station in small-town Texas and are inspired to document their carefree summers. This crew of two with only a camera, microphone and a $10 flashlight for lighting soon discovers a much different story. As they film the teens’ activities from bonfire parties to bedroom hangouts, discussions around sex, trauma, agency and consent unfold with candor. Shot verité style, the documentary captures intimate moments of female bonding and gives a candid look at the dark realities that young women face today. In CUSP, Hill and Bethencourt reveal a true-to-life coming-of-age tale and provide an unfiltered snapshot of teenage life in America. Shot in vérité style, Cusp captures authentic moments of female friendship while examining what it means to grow up in a culture of toxic masculinity. The film shows an unfiltered look at what it is like to be a teenage girl in the US and the filmmakers set out to make a movie about girls and girlhood with no judgments attached. The three young girls featured really show not only what it is like to be a young woman but the strong bond that has developed between them as friends and how the look out for one another when nobody else does. Though the girls’ experiences are completely unique to their upbringing, Cusp is also a strikingly universal coming-of-age tale — and true-to-life, at turns funny, tragic, complicated, and stirring.
Lil Peep “Beamer Boy”: https://youtu.be/fePnUenEZPk