Bennett Fort ’19
Imagine existing in a world for a while. Well, you don’t have to, since you already have; but imagine if you existed in a different, much smaller world. Imagine you had cemented yourself as a certain person in this world. For example, imagine you are an actor or actress, and you have gained a reputation, a good reputation. A reputation as a certain person. Then, one day, you decide to change all that. You say, “Hey, you know what I want, I want to write and direct a film.” So you do it. You write a film. Then you scrounge together some producers and make the film.
Then you sell it to a distributor. Then the film is released at a festival and people see it. Those people are blown away and more people see it and feel the same way. Your previous reputation as an actor falls away and now you have a new reputation. A reputation for being a pretty damn great first-time writer-director.
Well, 2017 saw two people go through that exact same thing. And having seen both of the films that they put out, I can say that they do have a new reputation. I am, of course, talking about Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig. At least one of those names should ring a bell. Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele fame, released Get Out last year to almost universal praise. Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig was an actress and writer in small films such as Frances Ha and others, and released Lady Bird, which was met with almost universal praise (though one critic on Rotten Tomatoes had to give a poor review and ruin its track record).
The point I’m trying to make with both of these people is, you can have a certain reputation and do something big that will grant you a new reputation. I know that’s not a very interesting lesson, but it’s true. Get Out and Lady Bird are fantastic, and if you have not seen them, you definitely should. One talks about race in our modern world in a way that I never thought it could be talked about and did it in a way that should make people re-evaluate the way that they interact with other races. The other presents a mother-daughter relationship that becomes universally relatable and heart-breaking.
Therefore, let the courage of these film writers serve as an example to you. If you’re thinking about doing something, do it. Because, hey, you could just make the next best thing.
Oh, and Hollywood Foreign Press, yeah, hi. I know what you did. Snubbing not one, but BOTH, of these brilliant directors for awards at the Golden Globes. UNFORGIVABLE!