The Many Varied (and Useless) Paths to Self-Discovery Through Cinema

There were a couple of pieces last week [I wrote this last week and forgot to post it because I am just not very bright] about advice on how to help kids become cinephiles and, personally, I think they’re all wrong.

Sasha Stone’s piece on Awards Daily was the more interesting and comprehensive one to me because of it’s thoroughness (even though by the author’s admission it is incomplete). The other was this compilation piece on CriticWire (compiled by Matt Singer), where a the critics polled suggest films ranging from The 400 Blows, to The Battle of Algiers, to Black Orpheus,to Hoop Dreams and the teenage dream, Hannah and Her Sisters in their quest to grow a new cinephile from seedling.

But they both, I think, miss a vital point in the growing process: the two absolute keys, to my mind, to becoming a cinephile — or anything, really, especially at a young age — are personal discovery and perfect timing.

As you know, timing is everything.

Everyone past their teenage years surely remembers them vividly, either with longing or with something of a cringe, or with both. I can only speak directly for my own coming of age, but you couldn’t tell me anything when I was a teenager. I knew everything, and better than everyone, especially adults.

Of course I was a moron, and I knew nothing, but that’s besides the point.

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