Wednesday, May 26, 2021

TANNER HALL (2009): A Schoolgirl Seduces English Teacher

Tanner Hall (2009) won the jury prize for best film at the 2010 Gen Art Movie Festival here in NYC. And from IMDb is: 
“[...] a vivid peek into the private world of an all-girls boarding school. In a cozy, but run down New England, the knot of adolescent complexity is unraveled through the coming of age stories of four teen-age girls”. 
The film was co-written by Tatiana von Furstenberg, the daughter of Diane, and Francesca Gregorini. The idea for the film developed after Tatiana and Francesca met at Brown University, and it is based on their experiences at boarding school. 

In the film, Victoria, Mr. Middlewood’s boarding school student, unsurprisingly initiated the student-teacher affair. For example, Victoria feigned a fall in the shower; so, that Mr. Middlewood could rescue her. Consequently, the literature teacher carried his student's half nude dripping wet body to the nurse’s office. 

Initially, Mr. Middlewood was reserved and had a standoffish attitude in reaction to Victoria's advances, even after she suggested that the class read Lolita while she invitingly performed fellatio on a pencil. 

However, things took a turn for the worse after Mr. Middlewood didn't have patience to allow Victoria to advance the relationship at her own pace. Mr. Middlewood made an age-gap affair faux pas and took the enormous step of giving Victoria a car for her birthday; so, that they could:
“[...] go away together somewhere. Anywhere […] Finally, you're of legal age. I know you want it as much as I do. We don't have to fight this anymore.” 
Victoria replied, “Mr. Middlewood you're scaring me. Just forget about me, okay?” 
Mr. Middlewood was correct in assuming that Victoria wanted it as much as he did, but that should have been his firm but unspoken mindset.

The boarding student-teacher affair wasn't the only age-discrepant relationship the two Ivy League coeds wrote in their film. In addition, boarding school student Fernanda (Rooney Mara) had an affair with Gio (Tom Everett Scott) - the middle-aged husband of her mother’s best friend from college. 

And unsurprisingly, Tanner Hall had a schoolgirl lipstick lesbian subplot. 

Lastly and interestingly, Tanner Hall was not written through a feminist lens, because both relationships were written with sympathy and empathy.

No comments:

Post a Comment