In the late 1980’s video stores reigned in the home media market. My junior year of high school I was fortunate enough to secure employment at a local independent video store. This not only guaranteed me a source of income, but access to a large video library. Any film that was on the shelf at the end of the day I could take home if it was back the following day. It was here that I was able to explore the filmographies of Scorsese, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Lynch, and view classics such as The Graduate, The Philadelphia Story, and Apocalypse Now. My senior year of high school I took a film studies elective and watched Dirty Harry, On the Waterfront, Singin' in the Rain, and Bonnie & Clyde. Needless to say I felt that I had a fairly solid understanding of films when I started college. Four years later I had earned a BA in English and realized that my literary analysis skills could also be applied to films. This is the approach I take to viewing films: what story is being told, and why is it being told this way.
For these reasons you will often hear me ask about the intent of the writer/director, themes, symbols, and subtext. When I view a film I am anticipating that there was an intent to convey a specific message or values that we can discern by examining the choices characters make and the extent to which those choices are rewarded or punished.
Three of a Kind
The Film Board