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May 31, 2018

John Cameron Mitchell’s latest film blends Neil Gaiman, punk, and teen aliens

Neil Gaiman’s short story How to Talk to Girls at Parties captures a feeling a lot of teenage boys may have at some point: the fear that girls their age are utterly alien, operating on a completely different wavelength. Gaiman just makes that insecurity literal, with a teenage boy awkwardly trying to interact with girls who are actually aliens. John Cameron Mitchell’s film adaptation makes the metaphorical literal in a different way. While his version draws heavily on Gaiman’s 1970s suburban London setting (and on Gaiman’s own history), it also finds an eerie horror-movie symbolism in the generation gap, through a race of aliens that send their children out to have experiences, then devour them afterward.

Mitchell, the...

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