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HACKNEYED AND ACNED 

Thursday, Jul 9 2009
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When it comes to cheesy European pop, Americans know as much about the annual Eurovision Song Contest as they do the mysterious, decades-long popularity of Kylie Minogue. For over 50 years, more than 25 countries have been sending their brightest talents to compete and perform, the most notable winners being ABBA (for "Waterloo") in 1974 and Celine Dion in 1988. Then came its all-kiddie spinoff in 2003, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which features 10-to-15-year-olds singing badly choreographed and badly outfitted numbers. This screening of Jamie Jay Johnson's 2008 British documentary, Sounds Like Teen Spirit, part of Outfest 2009, follows four of the young hopefuls from 2007 — 10-year-old Giorgos from Cyprus; 13-year-old Mariam from Georgia; 14-year-old Marina from Bulgaria; and 15-year-old Laurens from Belgium — as they vie for the top spot with the hopes and dreams of their families and small communities riding on their tiny shoulders. Watch out for an even more annoying rendition of "I Will Always Love You," sung by two Russian sisters. Kids sing the darnedest things.
Sun., July 12, 7 p.m., 2009
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Reach the writer at sbabayan@laweekly.com

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