For the Love of Film

Courtney Ravelo ’18

From the October 2015 Issue

I first realized that film would be important to me when I was shown my favorite movie to date, August Rush, for the first time. The story captured me, and considering my heavy involvement in music, the intertwining of music and life left a feeling of poignancy I haven’t forgotten. This began a long, cinematic journey in which I would fall in love with movies, repeatedly ranking my favorites in each category and changing the rankings as new movies came out and replaced old ones. Some titles would vie in my mind for first place, bouncing back and forth.

I collected DVDs like other people collect coins, and before I knew it, instead of just appreciating the plots behind films, I started obsessing over the dynamics of how they’re made. I started by downloading movie scores and soundtracks and studying how they were weaved into the story. I became so good at it that I could play the music and know exactly what scene it matched with. I feel like people use movies to relax, where they all but do the opposite for me. When I’m watching a movie, I’m analyzing, thinking: “Why did the director make that decision?” or “Were the actors properly cast?” Guillermo del Toro was a big reason why I was compelled to pay more attention to what goes on behind the scenes. I fell in love with his directing prowess starting with Pan’s Labyrinth; the first movie with subtitles I ever found worthy of watching.

My self-education in film extends into the awards season. I make it a point to anticipate which movies will be nominated for which Oscars every year, and then when the nominations are released, I watch every single film nominated in each category. That way, when the awards ceremony comes around, I am prepared and informed; ready with an opinion that I can rightfully defend.

To be a film critic has long been a dream of mine, mostly because I feel film reviews are too harsh. I find the positives in every film, taking pains to acknowledge the effort, while most critics I’ve read just like to tear films down in order to stake their claim on their opinion. I don’t like arguing unless it’s about why a movie is relevant. To me, all movies are relevant.

When applying for college, I considered Cinema Production as a major, but I am unfortunately inept at dealing with various technologies, so I decided to find other outlets to express my love for film, and here I’ve found it. A section in Filmic Magazine entirely devoted to why one loves film is basically what I’ve been searching for, and here I am. Hopefully, I will be in some way involved with film in the future, whether it’s writing or something else. I have a deep respect for filmmakers and all that it takes to bring a film together. Not only that, but to have people like your final product must be an incredible payoff.

I aim to find that out someday.

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