Stubbornly Here Director Taylor Broadley Talks About Disappearing Teens and Positive Nostalgia in This Interview

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Taylor Broadley’s feature debut film Stubbornly Here is a welcome blast of indie filmmaking inventiveness with the Perth-based filmmaker presenting a sci-fi-adjacent story about three teens who live in an apathetic society where teenagers sometimes vanish into thin air. Stubbornly Here speaks to the anxieties of the day, focusing on a generation of kids who have grown up in a world that does not support their future and who the vitality of youth has been robbed of them.

Yet, for all of its modernity, Stubbornly Here is as far from a dark, doom-laden experience as you can get, with the film joyfully embracing a trio of friends, Sunny (Cleo Meinck), PJ (Nathan Di Giovanni), and Floyd (Jonathan Maddocks), as they seek to use the vanishings as an opportune way to slink away from the routine life of this sleepy little deathtoll town and start a new existence in Sydney. Their road trip is thwarted early, leading the trio to shack up at a remote motel while they decide on what to do next. There’s a sense of adult-free judgement within the film, like having cereal for dinner or wagging school or doing something that you shouldn’t. Untethered freedom without concern.

What follows is a positively nostalgia-tinged experience of three friends bonding and enjoying the last remnants of their youth before they either vanish or adulthood arrives to steal away their unworried joy. Broadley’s script is a delight, full of charming moments of hope and friendship, all of which is brought to life with vivid realisation by Cleo, Nathan, and Jonathan.

It’s then a surprise to hear from Taylor in the following interview that the three actors only got to meet each other days before shooting began, with the group bonding quickly and forming a friendship on screen. Taylor talks about how he wrote the script for Stubbornly Here, a narrative that feels like he simply had to get it down on the page, and he talks about what it means to be a Perth creative, while also touching on the beckoning nature of Sydney for the sandgropers amongst us.

Stubbornly Here is a genuine delight, a warm embrace of inventive filmmaking, creative storytelling, and a keen realisation of what friendship, hope, and the possibility of youth is. I urge everyone who enjoys fear free filmmaking to seek out this film. If you’re in Perth, you’ll have a chance to catch it at the Revelation Film Festival on 4 July and 13 July 2024. Don’t miss it.

Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian film and culture. He is the co-chair of the Australian Film Critics Association, a Golden Globes voter, and the author of two books on Australian film, The Australian Film Yearbook - 2021 Edition, and Lonely Spirits and the King. You can find him online trying to enlist people into the cult of Mac and Me.

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