Young people are extremely hard to please. A simple word or sentence can just throw our interest out the door. So, what do picky eaters have anything to do with increasing young people’s interest in film criticism? Well, young people don’t like being limited to just a few options. They would probably feel more comfortable if they were able to pick a genre or movie that was right up their alley and then work on improving their writing with regards to other genres as time goes on. If you tell a child to read a book, there is probably only a 50% chance they will read it. Not everyone appreciates or can handle the pre-picked list that is given to them. Yet, if we can pick up a book without ever being told to read it, well, now we are getting somewhere. 

Although young people can be picky eaters when it comes to digesting food and films, what could be done to enhance their interest? More film festivals and plays in schools! Add it to the curriculum! Let’s say the focus of the film festival was Halloween favorites. The film festivals could include a variety of upcoming new horror movies and older ones as well. This way, the young person won’t feel limited in their choice of film. The young people should be allowed to pick their favorite film if they are assigned a film critique and then enjoy the rest of the film festival festivities. As for the plays: in high school and college we read plays, but it would be more beneficial to either act out the play or watch an adaptation of the play. There is an old phrase, “Learn by doing.” Many individuals in this small world of ours have a variety of types of learning, so actually taking part in a play and reading the words out loud can allow the student both a visual and hands-on experience to the text. For example, there are so many old and modern adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that people can choose to write about. If the schools embraced art, music, and film a little tighter in their curriculum, there would most definitely be more interest among students. Or maybe we just need to bring back drive in movies? That would definitely be a sight to see.

Usually when people hear the word “critic”, they ask, “Do you mean Anton Ego from Ratatouille?” So more awareness of film criticism and what it stands for would help. Many young people may still believe that movie critics are snobs and do not know a good film when they see one. To spread more awareness about film criticism, therefore, we need to make more videos about movies: short, funny, and up-to-date videos that will pique young people’s eyes and challenge them to think about film criticism all day. It is important for critics to be up-to-date on the newest fad amongst us young people.

Now to conclude, where would you plant these videos? Schools, critics’ websites, Instagram, and at social events. With the advent of social media, our attention span is that of a prairie dog: we stare for a long while only if the topic is interesting enough. I am pretty positive that consistent videos about film criticism will work, especially if the video is catchy and unforgettable. Overall, to interest young people about film criticism, more videos about film critics need to be made on a daily basis. Film festivals and plays in schools would also help to pique the young person’s interest. 

Before this mini essay comes to a close, I’d like to note that sometimes, young people have a lot to say about a film they had just watched. Yet, their viewpoint can be different from the person they were just sitting next to. It is oftentimes scary to share a unique vision on a film piece, only to immediately be shut down. What adolescents do need to learn, either on their own or by experience, is to overcome their own apprehension and express their own points of view. Fearlessness is doing so while knowing that judgment could very well be on the other end of that conversation.

Raven Valdivia

Raven Valdivia

I attend San Francisco State University and am currently a Junior. This would be my first semester at SFSU as a transfer student. I have a newfound interest in Cinema, although I have always enjoyed musicals and plays of all sorts! The first movie I fell head over heels for was The Nutcracker Prince 1990 film and Peter Pan all versions and adaptations. I have a dream to be a screenplay writer, writer, social media content writer and or a movie critic. I have a powerful love for literature and writing! It will forever give me butterflies!

One Comment

  • Liana says:

    Raven really brings up an interesting point of view on how students should continue to learn and interpret films and use criticism to be able to do so. I learned something new from how important it is for all students to be able to grow from their learning experiences from her ideas! I really enjoyed reading this essay and would recommend it.