Jonah Hill’s Directorial Debut- Mid90s
November 6, 2018
Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut with the new feature film “Mid90s”. “Mid90s” takes place in mid-to-late 90’s in Los Angeles. The story follows a young 13-year-old, Stevie, who finds refuge from his short-tempered brother and single mother through skateboarding.
The movie is made up of a mostly amateur cast in which most actors like professional skateboarder Nakel Smith, Olan Prenatt, and Gio Galicia star in their first feature film. The lead male, Stevie, is portrayed by 13-year-old Sunny Suljic. Suljic stars alongside Lucas Hedges as his brother and Katherine Waterston as his mother.
Hill stays true to 90’s skate culture through his impressive attention to detail. The dialogue in the movie is spot on to the way skateboarders used to talk in that era. Looking at the attire of the skaters in the movie makes it feel as if you’re watching a skate video from the 90’s.
The style of skateboarding in regards to the trick choice is also very accurate. Everything about the way they’re dressed is on par, from the extra large fitting t-shirts to the loose-fitting baggy pants, all the way down to the Adidas Shell-Toe shoes. The gear used by the skaters in the movie is also accurate to which skateboard companies were the most popular in mid-1990’s such as Chocolate, Girl, Toy Machine, and Blind.
Not only does the film pay homage to skateboarding, but also Hip-Hop culture. Stevie’s brother, Ian, is depicted as a hip-hop enthusiast through his style and music. Ian has a large collection of classic hip-hop tapes and CDs and other hip-hop novelties like posters and tapes from this era.
Hill drew many criticisms from fans and other filmmakers alike for copying Harmony Korine’s 1995 cult film, “Kids”. The movie “Kids” follows teenage skaters around New York in the mid-1990’s. Many people criticized Hill for using Korine’s story, changing the setting. Hill disproved this criticism by saying his film, although with some similarities, had nothing to do with Korine’s. Hill even paid his respects to Korine by giving him a small cameo appearance in the film.
Jonah Hill stays true to his roots and makes a raw and authentic film about 90’s LA hip-hop and skateboarding culture. “Mid90s” was a great way to start a career in directing. Hopefully we see more work like this later on.