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By Jessica Tomberlin
DIFF Writer

ON SCREEN
WE ARE THE BEST!
Sunday, April 13 @ Angelika

WE ARE THE BEST! is a coming of age story that centers around the lives of three young girls – Klara, (Mira Grosin) Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) – as they prepare for those awkward years commonly referred to as being a teenager.

Although it has its share of ups and downs, writer/director Lukas Moodysson sees adolescence as a time in ones life that deserves to be celebrated. “It’s wonderful to have a friend, wonderful to play an instrument without knowing how, wonderful to set fire to an old statue, wonderful to have the most annoying parents in the world, wonderful to throw up on someone’s records, wonderful to be booed and mocked, wonderful to be the best,” says Moodysson.

95446595721507849The film explores a world in which anything is possible, and everything is a learning experience. The story was adapted from the graphic novel written by Moodysson’s wife, Coco, in which three teenage girls growing up in the early 80’s embrace their inner punk, and decide to form a band. “We are like twins, like Chip n’ Dale, two idiots together who think alike, she has always been a huge influence, but to call it an influence really isn’t right. It’s something far, far greater,” says Moodysson of his wife and creative partner.

Contrary to the reality of the 80’s punk rock era, which was predominately male-dominated, WE ARE THE BEST! takes a look at the world of punk from a female perspective. It also presents characters that don’t adhere to society’s expectations of what they are supposed to be. Instead, Moodysson offers an alternative view, one that inspires independence and encourages young girls to choose their own path.

“Coco says – and I know where she’s coming from – that there were no cool girls to look up to (when she was growing up), and I talked about that with the (actresses) when we worked on their clothes and hairstyles,” says Moodysson. “I said these people you are portraying don’t want to look nice, they want to look tough and maybe fun, and to have a personal style.”

While the girls are labeled as punk, each has their own unique style that works to distinguish the characters from one another so that the exterior, physical world of the characters serve as a reflection of each individuals inner reality.

“I’m very happy about this aspect of the film, that it’s about two people, who later become three, who couldn’t care less about what’s expected of them,” says Moodysson. “That attitude was rare the, and still is today.”

Moodysson decision to adapt his wife’s story also came from his desire to bring something cheerful and uplifting to the screen. “I felt that in all the darkness that surrounds us I wanted to make a happy little movie that winked and glistened, and told us that life isn’t entirely impossible,” he says.

“I wanted to make a film showing that life – despite all evidence to the contrary – is worth living.”

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With 175 films and an Oscar to his credit, John Wayne is considered by many to be not only a great actor, but the American archetype.

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John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren & Stimpy, is the recipient of the 2014 Texas Avery Animation Award presented by REEL FX.

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