Puberty Blues

Year: 1981
Production Co: Limelight Productions
Director: Bruce Beresford
Writer: Kathy Lette/Gabrielle Carey
Cast: Nell Schofield, Jad Capelja
Long before Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding and Strictly Ballroom, the adaptation of Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey's coming of age novel was Australian films. Using the local vernacular, idioms and characterisations anyone would recognise in and around Cronulla (not even greater Sydney to some extent), this was talking to a small, local audience – perhaps unwittingly.

Debbie and Sue aren't typical teenage girls. They don't want to sit and watch their sometime boyfriends surf and drink while they sit on the beach preening, but in their own quiet way decide to find their own path, even if that means dreaded cries of 'mole' – or worse.

Before HIV awareness, Slip Slop Slap or the deaths from road tolls were widely talked about, this was how teenagers lived in a microcosm of society in a small area at a particular point in history – with surfing, drink and casual sex. Beresford and the authors didn't seem to be concerned with doing any more than that, and they succeeded in a way few Australian filmmakers can today with their eyes so set on success in the US.

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