Jon Espino

I’m a 20-something writer with a degree in Journalism and Advertising.  I’ve known that I wanted to be a film critic ever since I saw my first episode of “Siskel & Ebert.”  I was too young to completely understand the context, but I saw these two men fervently defend their views on a film.  The power behind differing interpretations of a film filled me with joy.  In high school, I was my newspaper’s features editor and film critic, getting my first taste at something that would become a big part of my life.

Before his passing, I was able to meet one of my major inspirations and influences, Roger Ebert.  He gave me advice that I try to incorporate into my writing to this day.  He believed in diversity in all things, and to factor in a filmmaker’s intention, not just their execution.  We can talk film aesthetics and plot devices all day, but I also want to talk about a film’s social, political and even economic views, and how they affect our society.  Does the film show an accurate view of diversity and does it transcend mere stereotypes?  Would it pass the Bechdel test or does the film’s male gaze view female characters as just support for the development of the male characters?  These are the questions we should also be asking, and they are only a few of the ones I usually do.

Never be content with the status quo. Challenging it is the only way we can encourage filmmaker’s to create films that will not only pass the test of time, but may also provide inspiration to create changes during our times.