I’m once again patting myself on the back for my movie-parenting skills while pointing to a good piece about this topic (and particularly the omnipresence of corporate family fare) from N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott. (It ran this morning.) He worries that “the dominance of the family film has had a limiting, constraining effect on the imaginations of children. How are [kids] going to grow if the images they see are carefully vetted for safety and appropriateness by the film industry? Parents of America, take your children to the movies you want to see!
“Within reason, naturally. I cringe at the sight of strollers at Apocalypto or Saw III. But I also cringe at the timidity and cautiousness — the hypersensitivity — that confines family viewing to movies with a plush toy or fast food advertising tie-in. At their best, movies not only offer glimpses of fantastic imaginary worlds, but also inklings of what is, for children, the most intriguing and enigmatic world of all: the world of adulthood.”
Two years ago Jett and I co-authored a piece for iVillage editor Beth Pinsker that, when you boiled the snow out of it, was basically about how to raise a film buff. The actual title was “Kazan for Recess? Kubrick for Snack? How to Create a Passion for Film in Your Kids.”
Sample graph: “You can’t necessarily create a cinephile. There’s no protecting them from kids’ programs on TV, which are largely about greed and toy-buying and cheap highs. And you also can’t instruct or guide a kid into loving movies deeply. But you can help to shape their vistas by keeping them away from poor-quality films and by exposing them to the good stuff — and more is better.
“Good films expose kids to intangibles, and once the fundamentals sink in, your kids will respond more to great movies and less to crap on the tube.”