My Month in Media | March 2018
What I Watched
Throughout the month, I checked out a couple of new shows (such as Penny Dreadful), but none of them stuck with me beyond the first couple of episodes, but the movie that resonated with me the most was A Wrinkle In Time. This film, which is the textbook definition of "maybe it's not for you," hit me squarely in the heart and turned my mom and me into weepy little puddles. She grew up loving the book, and, thanks to her, so did I. While the film adaptation took a lot of liberties with the source material, updating it for a modern audience and inserting new themes, I felt it was a magnificent retelling that captured the essence of the story beautifully. The movie was definitely not without flaws, but in the middle of the emotional roller coaster director Ava Duvernay was sending me on, I didn't notice them much at all.
Many people, critics and average filmgoers alike, have skewered the film, calling it too sentimental and lacking a story that makes real sense. But I wonder if the truth lies somewhere in the fact that this is a film made very specifically for the minds and heart of little black girls who long to be called upon as warriors...and just to be told by their crush that their natural hair is worthy and beautiful. Not all stories are created to cater to the 40-year-old white male. This is just such a movie, and partially because of that, I find it a great achievement.
What I Read
As I was browsing Instagram stories at the beginning of the month, I saw that my friend Claire had posted about a book I'd been meaning to read for ages but just hadn't gotten around to. I can't begin to express how glad I am that I finally made time for Creativity, Inc., the story of Pixar. While geared more for a corporate setting than for my own freelance lifestyle, the way author and Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull talks about creativity, fear and failure was incredibly inspiring, and as someone who is a trivia hoarder, I found the fun facts and history behind Pixar fascinating. But it was his perspective on looking toward the unmade future that really struck a chord with me.
"When filmmakers, industrial designers, software designers, or people in any other creative profession merely cut up and reassemble what has come before, it gives the illusion of creativity, but it is craft without art. Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft."
This book was a lesson in the unmatchable value of fostering new ideas, both personally and in a business, as well as embracing failure rather than fearing it. I highly recommend this book to anyone in a creative field and to anyone who is, or will eventually be, responsible for leading others in a company.
What I Listened To
Confession: I am a hopeless podcast junkie. I have been since I was 15-years-old and spent hours swinging in my backyard listening to a podcast about Harry Potter. So when I have my headphones in, odds are I'm listening to talking rather than singing. This month, I checked out a podcast I've been sleeping on for a while now, and, oh my gosh, it's a keeper.
On Sending The Wolfe, well-known film pundit Clarke Wolfe sits down one-on-one with a personality in the online movie space to talk about the significance, criticism and history of a film chosen by the guest off of the American Film Institute's Top 100 Movies list. And boy, do they know their stuff! My favorite episode so far was Episode 6: The Shining with Miri Jedeikin...and, to be honest, I may have even listened to it twice. Their conversation about the feminist and anti-feminist readings of the film was fascinating, as were their stories about what went on behind the scenes. Because the guest chooses the movie that is discussed, the conversation never remains surface level, resulting in a deep dive fueled by years of research and love for the film being covered. I highly recommend this podcast, particularly the episodes on The Shining, The Terminator and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to all the film fans out there.
Coming Up This Month...
I am currently reading a book called Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (weird, I know, but so interesting), a biography of Audrey Hepburn and a fantasy book called The First King of Shannara. Let's see which comes out on top (or finished) by May 1st! I am also working my way through a Marvel Cinematic Universe rewatch on the road to Avengers: Infinity War. Check back in May for my next Month In Media.