2/1/2022 1 Comment
Folks, do we have a bite-sized piece of gabby gold for you! Today, we bring you a chat with Emily Lynch (aka AdequateEmily on YouTube and Twitter). We set out to discuss the world of video essayism in the year of the plague, but wound up chattering about the directorial efforts of the Monkees for approximately four hours. The following is a reflection on how her passion for cinema began. We hope you enjoy- we certainly did.
J: How were you introduced to film?
E: The way I got into film is very weird compared to most people, ‘cause for most people, it’s something they watched as a kid. They watched ‘Indiana Jones’ or ‘Star Wars’ as a kid and they got obsessed with it. I was interested in the idea of writing as a kid in general. I did not watch that many “great” movies as a child- I mostly watched ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks,’ or whatever was popular at the time. My upbringing was not very film-based; I actually watched a lot of cartoons. I never cared enough to put effort into learning how to draw better or character design, so I just put whatever interest I had at the time into wanting to write.
In middle school, I got really into reading YA novels and stuff. I was a huge ‘Harry Potter’ nerd (fuck JK Rowling by the way), ‘Percy Jackson,’ I loved ‘Artemis Fowl,’ all those books I read in sixth grade. I thought, “Maybe I want to be a fantasy novelist.” Then I got into sitcoms—’30 Rock,’ ‘The Office’— and I thought, “Maybe that’s what I’ll do. I’ll be the next Greg Daniels.” And then I discovered YouTube and was like, “Maybe that’s what I want to do. Maybe I want to be a sketch comedian or a Let’s-Player or something.”
Because I was watching all of these nerdy people talk about films and stuff, I thought, “Well, I should give that a chance— I shouldn’t be the person who’s never watched a movie. I should have a favorite movie.” So I decided to watch the Dark Knight trilogy… For as many problems as you can find in the trilogy itself, it’s a great introduction to a young person to getting into film because it hooks you into the idea of a kid going, “I like Batman!” If that’s all they get from it, it’s fine, but if you’re gonna be a person who’s going to be into film, then your first reaction is going to be more than that, like it was for me. I was like, “Huh. What are all these themes about political corruption? What are all these things about ideologies being able to change and shift as a person’s moral fiber changes? Why does the idea of this camera moving in have an emotional effect on me?” It made me want to dive more into it, and I got into a lot of YouTube film critics who,in hindsight, weren’t always the best film critics in terms of prose, but it was a good entry point.
J: What came next for you film-wise?
E: Because of that, I got into ‘Prisoners,’ ‘Gravity,’ Wes Anderson… I remember looking up and having that realization: “A lot of people talk about ‘The Shining,’ a lot of people talk about ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ IMDB says they’re by the same person… Maybe this guy is important!” The thing was, I wasn’t watching them in the “ideal” environment— I was watching them on my iPad Mini in my room- but whatever, I still loved it anyway. That’s how I watched ‘Fight Club.’ I watched it in the morning during summer vacation. I had to mow the lawn later that day, and I just kept thinking about it all day. After I came back in, I was having ideas for how I personally could write a film. Most of these ideas aren’t very good ‘cause they were written by someone who was going into their sophomore year of high school, but that was the first time where I was like, “Oh, I don’t just have an interest in this, I could write this. I could direct this. I have an idea for how things are structured.”
It was a good time to get into this, because that was the time when ‘Every Frame A Painting’ launched. The main way I could watch stuff was through streaming or On Demand services. The big thing happened when I eventually got to the point where I was looking and I found one. It was ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ and it said, “Presented by Turner Classic Movies.” Because of Turner Classic Movies and IMDB, I discovered so much stuff. Because of it, I saw my first film not in the English language– ‘The Seventh Seal,’ directed by Ingmar Bergman. It’s how I found one of my favorite films, ‘The Vanishing.’ It’s one of the most haunting films I’ve ever seen. (Do not watch the English language remake by the same director.) Because of weird internet groups, I started discovering new stuff, and I’m still discovering stuff every day. When I got into film school, I was like, “I’m the expert cinephile! I know who Michel Haneke is and I know who Andrei Tarkovsky is!” I was surprised to find out who Claire Denis is. I had gone through a few years of film school, and I hadn’t heard of this director before. They’ve now become one of my favorites.
J: At the end of the day, what’s it all about?
E: It’s important to realize the journey through loving art is never over. You’re never going to be an expert on anything because art is always fluid. You don‘t have the space in your brain to process the millions of movies that exist, so the important thing is to approach it in the manner of being happy to absorb and learn and be able to put it into your own life. That’s kind of what I hope to do when I discuss films both on my YouTube channel and when I make my own films, because if I’m able to convince someone to love art, make their own art, and get an emotional connection to the art, if they see me talk about a film and they have their own emotional reaction to it, I’m doing my job right and fulfilling the most important purpose of art, which is emotionally impacting other people and being able to get someone to love creating. *
For more of Emily’s work, please visit her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/AdequateEmily/about.