Is Max a stereotypical teenager?

(Rushmore 1998)
Our task was to watch the montage scene at the beginning of the film Rushmore and make notes to answer the question: Is Max a stereotypical teenager? At the beginning of the montage scene, the Rushmore Yankee book enters the picture, which when opened reveals a lot of information involving Max. The mise en scene at this point reveals a lot immediately about Max. The front cover of the book has an image of a number of bees across the cover. This could suggest how he moves from place to place, or from activity to activity like Max does in the montage, in the same way that a bee flies from plant to plant to pollinate each one. Also, it could to refer to one of the activities that we find out that Max does, which is bee keeping. As well as this, the bees could refer to famous clichés such as the bee s knees , and busy as a bee . These clichés pretty much some Max up, as he s good at a lot of the things he d oes, and he s very active as he takes part in many activities like we see in the rest of the montage, which is unlike the usual stereotypical teenager, who is expected to be lazy, and make other people run around after them. Once the Rushmore Yankee has been opened, we get a look at the activities that Max takes part in. The activities that he s involved in are as follows: Yankee Review: We can see immediately that Max is in charge of this group . It says on the screen that he s the Publisher, and due to t his he looks like he s in control of the others. He s in the middle of the group, he seems to be giving out orders to the others, and he is dressed more formally than the others as he seems to be wearing his own school uniform whereas the rest of them are not. The choice in uniform seems to be his own, as he continually wears this throughout the montage even when others are wearing the standard uniform. Max s choice in uniform is very formal, as he wears a blazer and tie, and as this is his own choice of clothing, this clearly suggests that he s not like the stereotypical teenager. French Club: When we see the French club, we can see again that Max is in charge as it says he s the president, and that he likes to be in control as he s in the centre at the f ront of the club, and he s wearing unique clothing compared to the rest of the club. He s wearing a red beret, with a sash in the French colours to effectively show off the fact that he s president. Due to this choice of clothing, and the big grin on his f ace, we can see that he has no real self awareness of what other people think of him. This is unlike the usual stereotypical teenager as they don t usually really strive to get in charge of a school club, especially an unpopular one such as a foreign language club, and even more unlike a stereotypical teenager is that he s willing to make himself look like an idiot on purpose.

Model United Nations: With this extracurricular activity, Max may not be the richest country in the world, but he is one of the more powerful nations with Russia. To make him stand out even more, he s in between Mexico and India; tw o countries with very little power and wh ich are both quite poor. They are represented by two children, which are both smaller and more obese than he is. They also both have very negative body language, as they are both quite slouched and both look non -interested, so all in all, they make Max stand out more and look better than he actually is. Yet again, he is wearing quite a ridiculous hat, which shows agai n how he has no self awareness of what other people think about him. Debating Team: Yet again, Max is getting in control, standing out. He seems to be shouting at the other people in the group, and getting his other team member involved. Everyone else is dressed smartly in this section, yet Max still manages to look different. Everyone else including his other team member is wearing bowties, whereas Max is wearing his usual time. So far in every activity we ve seen, Max has been wearing his school uniform, so this could suggest a range of things, such as he has no friends and that he goes his own way; he could be quite poor and not have much money, or he may just like his uniform. With all of these, it is unusual and unlike a usual stereotypical teenager. La Crosse: Max is the manager of the La Crosse team. We can straight away see that he is unlike a stereotypical teenager, as there are two other team members next to him wearing their football kit, but Max is still continuing to wear his school uniform. The two other jocks next to him are tall and look relatively strong, with their kit scattered on the floor, whereas Max is the complete opposite: small, dainty, and arranging other people s kit on the floor in an organized fashion, which shows he is therefore un-stereotypical compared to the other stereotypical teenagers beside him. The song that is playing during the montage is called Making time by The Creation , which is quite fitting, as Max will have to make time to do anything other than an extracurric ular activity. The last couple of lines suit him perfectly : pulling the wool, acting the fool . This suggests that Max is being mislead to having a certain lifestyle that he may not have originally wanted, and therefore he is different and acting like a f ool, which leads us to assume he s not your typical stereotypical teenager. The majority of the other activities show Max generally being quite good at each and every one of them, yet in some of the clubs he hasn t succeeded so well. In some activities he is the founder of the club, which is very unlike a stereotypical teenager to create extracurricular activities. He continually wears his uniform throughout all activities including Go-Karting and bee keeping, and he also continually wore unusual items such as berets, hats

and other objects that made him look ridiculous. All in all, after analysing most parts of the montage, I have come to the conclusion that Max is defiantly not a stereotypical teenager, as he generally does everything opposite to that of a normal stereotypical teenager.

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