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all roads lead to YA lit – sex & drugs edition

My effort to watch more movies this year has flipped on a strange bit of radar in my head – my ears perk up for movies that flew under my radar, classics I haven’t watched since I was a child, movies that whatever sort of cult cache that I seem to revere. I listened to an interview with Seth Green – one of my middle school actor crushes (even though I was probably already taller than him at the age of 12) and he mentioned his friendship with Macaulay Culkin, and that the favorite film of his career was Party Monster. It was on Netflix. I watched it. For twenty minutes I was completely put off, then completely engrossed.

The movie is based on a book that is based on the lives of the two protagonists – James St. James and Michael Alig – as they romp around New York in the early 1990s with a gaggle of gender-bending, bizarrely dressed Club Kids behind them. It’s bizarre, it’s graphic, there are many drug overdoses and a few murders. It reminded me of In Cold Blood in the way that I wasn’t quite sure if I was watching a documentary or a fictionalization, or whether James and Michael were protagonists or villains.

Of course, I google the crap out of it once the movie’s over. After some time spent down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, I figured out why the name “James St. James” stuck so clearly in my head:

He wrote a fairly well-received YA book in 2007!

All the roads, they lead to YA. Although to be honest, if you set Freak Show and Disco Bloodbath/Party Monster in front of me, I would probably choose the latter. Blame it on Seth Green.

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