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September 17, 2019
Black Panther made all sorts of history — as the first Marvel production to feature a primarily black cast and the first superhero movie to receive an Academy Award nomination. For Zahida Sherman, a writer and college administrator, taking her students to watch the movie in theaters felt like participating in a historical, cultural moment. “It was just black joy, all day long,” she recalls. In portraying a wide range of black identities — both superhuman and mortal — Sherman says the movie offered her permission to be herself and see that anything is possible. Sherman is the director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Oberlin College. She was formerly the assistant director of black student success at the University of the Pacific. Find her writings on race, gender, and adulthood in Bustle and Blavity. Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/ Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
September 10, 2019
Ratatouille is a Pixar feast. The tale of Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming an excellent chef, is a delight to experience in all five senses. One particular character — Anton Ego, the restaurant critic — brings A. O. Scott back to the heart of his own work as a New York Times’ chief film critic. He says Ratatouille changed how he understands the work of criticism. This conversation is not just about food; it’s a reminder to return to our love for our craft — whether that’s food, movies, or something else altogether.
September 3, 2019
Groundhog Day is a classic movie for two groups of people: Bill Murray fans and anyone who was alive in the ’90s. But writer Naomi Alderman falls into a wholly different category of fandom. The author of The Power first watched Groundhog Day when she was 18 and has seen it dozens of times since then. She says the movie has offered her solace for her existential angst and helped her devise a routine for the times when she’s stuck in a rut.
August 16, 2019
Our podcast This Movie Changed Me is coming back with a new season of movie magic, featuring conversations about favorites old and new — from Groundhog Day and Black Panther to Coco and The Exorcist. New episodes coming to your podcast feed Tuesdays in September. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.
October 30, 2018
You don’t see many Asian leads in Western cinema, that’s why The Joy Luck Club’s all-Asian cast was so radical. Its portrayal of complicated mother-daughter relationships and the immigrant experience spoke to Amy Choi as a child — and again as a mother.
October 16, 2018
Movie characters can rewrite the possibilities for our lives. That’s what Uma Thurman’s role as The Bride did for Lauren Wilford. The character redefined Lauren’s idea of femininity — helping her find her inner strength, determination, and persistence.
October 2, 2018
For Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla, the classic German film Wings of Desire transformed how he makes music. It showed him the value of silence and space in sound — qualities he embraced in his music for movies like Brokeback Mountain and Babel.
September 18, 2018
As an Indian-British-American girl, Rajpreet Heir didn’t feel like she fit anywhere. But Bend It Like Beckham spoke to her across continents. The movie helped her embrace an important truth — that she was never defined by a single identity.
September 4, 2018
Complex portrayals of women with mental illness are rare. But that’s what Vulture’s Angelica Jade Bastién saw in the Bette Davis feature Now, Voyager. Angelica says the movie saved her life, giving her hope and encouraging her own healing.
August 17, 2018
Looking for some chill in your life? For the 20th anniversary of The Big Lebowski, Scott Oliver talks about how the movie helped him keep perspective in a time of chaos. In typical Dude fashion, he remembered “nothing is f***ed,” even if it felt that way.
August 7, 2018
Siblings. Love them or hate them, if you had one — or many — odds are they played a big role in your life. Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway talks about his relationship with his sister, and how You Can Count On Me shaped the type of brother he wanted to be.
July 24, 2018
From bodybuilding to thriving in the male-dominated Goldman Sachs, Jacki Zehner turned to Wonder Woman to become the leader she is today. In leading a campaign to bring her hero to the big screen, Jacki embodied the power of women to change the world.
July 10, 2018
Movies can fundamentally shape the course of our work. That’s how the 1940s noir-Western “The Ox-Bow Incident” transformed salsa musician-activist-lawyer Rubén Blades. It taught him that it wasn’t enough to speak about justice — he had to defend its ideals.
June 26, 2018
What movie helps you reckon with the loss of a loved one? Jamie Berube turned to “Interstellar” to cope with the death of her father. Matthew McConaughey’s character showed that her father’s love was still alive, beyond the dimensions of time and space.
June 12, 2018
“Toy Story” helped Monsignor Charles Pope through a time of personal crisis. From ego to failure to self-acceptance, Charles Pope embraced his inner Buzz Lightyear and in the process, himself.
May 29, 2018
For Samantha Powell, the pressure to be the perfect adult felt like a stranglehold. But this all changed with “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” The movie loosened the grip of perfectionism, and taught her she didn’t need to be flawless to be happy.
May 15, 2018
What movie mirrors your life so perfectly you think it was made about you? For Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican, that film is “Avalon.” The story of a Jewish immigrant family reminds him that families are so much more alike than they are different.
May 1, 2018
Naomi Shihab Nye uncovers poetry in the everyday, an art practiced in Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age classic, “Boyhood.” Naomi found herself “living inside” the movie — seeing her daydreaming-childhood-self and life as a mother on screen.
April 17, 2018
Love is an ability, not just a feeling. “Dan in Real Life” brought this lesson home for meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. The story of Steve Carell’s flawed but loveable character echoed Sharon’s own work — to realize love as a capacity within ourselves.
April 3, 2018
Dear Sugars’ Steve Almond talks about the liberating vulnerability of this Robert Redford classic. It taught him to embrace the complexity and pain in his own family, and in the process, move towards a more meaningful life.
March 20, 2018
Sexual tension? Romance? Teen angst? Sounds like a typical ’80s movie. But The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman says “Say Anything” is different, even radical, in its portrayal of women and men as friends.
March 6, 2018
If you could, would you erase memories of past lovers? This idea is at the heart of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and Chaitanya Kumar says he wouldn’t. Still, the movie made him rethink the way we experience and remember love.
February 20, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text’s Casper ter Kuile talks about this classic Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie, one he always watches with a pint of ice cream. It shaped the world he longed for as a 14-year-old, and later on, even the kind of man he would marry.
February 6, 2018
The Nightmare Before Christmas helped writer Ashley C. Ford accept life’s imperfections. As a kid, the movie taught her that it was okay to be different and to embrace the weird and the creepy.
January 23, 2018
David Greene, co-host of NPR’s Morning Edition and Up First, shares how Star Wars: Episode IV instilled a sense of wanderlust and adventure in his life and ultimately made him want to become a foreign correspondent.
January 12, 2018
A sneak peek into This Movie Changed Me, a new podcast from On Being Studios hosted by Lily Percy.
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