The nationwide release of Marielle Heller’s film version of Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl calls for unique EatDrinkFilms coverage, because of its vital candor and because it is deeply set in San Francisco — it’s an instant addition to the SF movie canon. We’ve gathered four writers, some with direct connections to Gloeckner and to Diary‘s genesis, some with strong connections to grrrl culture and the comics world, and all with passionate ties to, and writerly histories within, The City.

From the Inside Out

by Dodie Bellamy

Dodie by Neil

Dodie Bellamy by Neil LeDoux

From the margins I have watched many phases in the development of The Diary of a Teenage Girl. In the late ’90s Phoebe Gloeckner, who was a mainstay in the creative circle I hung out in at that time, signed up for the writing workshop I teach in my living room during the summer. She brought in pages from her actual high school diary, using the workshop as a sort of litmus test, asking if the material was interesting, wondering what she could make of it. Continue reading

Discovery, Channeled

by Janelle Hessig

Credit: Janelle Hessig.

Self-Portrait by Janelle Hessig.

As a fan of the illustrated novel on which The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is based, I was equal parts ecstatic and nervous when I learned this film was being made. How could they make a movie about a teenage girl having an affair with her mom’s boyfriend without whitewashing it? Would they turn protagonist Minnie Goetz into a victim? Was To Catch A Predator host Chris Hanson going to present a disclaimer at the end? Continue reading

A Bette Davis Sort of 15 (or THAT DARN CAT!)

by Kevin Killian

Kevin Killian as Mr. Green in Phoebe Gloeckner's The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Kevin Killian as Mr. Green in Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Bel Powley has pillow lips and enormous eyes, wide and nicely spaced; her eyes do her acting for her the way that, back in Hollywood’s Golden Age, Bette Davis’ eyes worked for her: slightly protruding, always alert, they register the slightest emotion like a thunderbolt has hit the screen; the nervous system jumping into a system of visual shows and tells that can get fatiguing after awhile — at least people got tired of Bette Davis, and refused her Oscars for All About Eve and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?Continue reading

Beating Hearts in San Francisco

by Lynn Rapoport

Lynn Rapoport

Lynn Rapoport

In 1976, the year in which Marielle Heller sets her portrait of the artist as a young girl—adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner’s semi- autobiographical 2002 graphic novel, The Diary of a Teenage Girl—the spirit of the bicentennial was surely alive somewhere in San Francisco. No one, though, seems to be celebrating in this particular version of the city, which has at its center other landmarks in a life. Continue reading

Horizontal RuleTo learn more about The Diary of a Teenage Girl and its author Phoebe Gloeckner:

  • Visit the official Sony Pictures web site.
  •’s listing for The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
  • Follow The Diary of a Teenage Girl on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Read Trina Robbins’ review of The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
  • Phoebe Gloeckner’s web site.
  • Read more by Phoebe Gloeckner at Amazon and Indiebound.
  • Follow Phoebe Gloeckner on Twitter.
  • Follow Bel Powley on Twitter.
  • Hear Terry Gross interview author Phoebe Gloeckner and filmmaker Marielle Heller on the NPR Fresh Air podcast.
  • Read Peggy Orenstein’s discussion with Phoebe Gloeckner and Minnie from the New York times just before Diary was first published.

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