My parents’ biggest challenge when I was a child was getting me to introduce myself. “What’s your name, honey?” was met with “Simba” or “Balto” or “Zenon.” The stories I watched on TV and in movies so effectively transported me to new worlds with new people that I couldn’t entirely leave them. I carried these characters, their worlds, and their stories with me. From the beginning, my favorite thing about stories has been their ability to stick with you even after the screen has gone dark.
I can now introduce myself without raising eyebrows, but little has changed in how I approach TV and movies. I crave tight-knit storytelling (The Silence of the Lambs), thorough character development (Her), and ambitious world building (The Fifth Element). I am drawn towards “the exceptional” in film; science fiction, fantasy, crime. I’m a total sucker for the entire superhero genre as it bridges all three. Often I get the most joy from children’s media (Steven Universe, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Muppets) because I empathize with kids’ eager consumption of fiction and I respect the profound effect a story can have on a child. There’s little I enjoy more than a good cartoon. The artistry and vibrant colors of animated tales similarly attract me to directors Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson.
The best television and film, in my opinion, takes advantage of its profound ability to communicate in order to teach its audience something. What better way to swallow a life lesson than with a swig of zombies, spells, and space ships? I hope to one day contribute to the wealth of movies and TV that tackle important social issues (In The Flesh, Stark Trek: The Original Series) and give voice and representation to minority groups in our society (Orphan Black, Elementary). Movies can raise awareness through entertainment, and is there a better way to lay the foundations for social change?