Looking Through The Lens

How film has influenced me: from the contributions of my dad and Quentin Tarantino


Submitted by Lauren Spakowski

A picture of me at age 7 standing with the Toy Story 3 sign before the film was released.

Lauren Spakowski, Co-editor-in-chief of Talon Yearbook

As a kid going to the movies was one of my favorite things to do. Throwing open the doors of the theater, with my parents hands in tow, I would race to the counter to be greeted by a welcoming face behind a glass screen. As I tried to patiently wait for my parents to receive our tickets I would press my face against the glass trying to get a better look, only to be swooped up by my dad’s arms and carried inside. The bright lights, ripping of tickets and popping of popcorn was what I lived for every time. But as I’ve gotten older and less distracted by the childishness appeal of what the theater brings before you enter a movie, I’ve realized the true importance of what movies are all about, the experience of what is contained in a movie. 

For as long as I can remember, my dad has always talked about how movies create memories, they inspire you, and allow you to be a kid again. Everyone loves feeling like a kid, no one really likes growing up and having to face the harsh realities the world throws at you once you become old. But when you get sucked into a movie from your childhood it’s like being brought back to that specific moment in time. Back to when life was a breeze. You were allowed to just live a simple life.

One story I still remember to this day is of the first time my dad went to go see Star Wars: A New Hope. At the age of 4, he went to the movies with my grandma and became mesmerized by the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi. He represents the old man, the wizard, the sage. The one who knows the truth within himself. Truth of source, truth of the force. And the older he grew the more my dad drew inspiration from this character, he wanted to play into the archetype of what Obi-Wan represented in the movie. 

Now you may be wondering, Lauren, what all does this have to do with you? 

Well, everything. My dad raised my sister and I to appreciate the characters and the stories that were exposed to us on those movie screens. He wanted us to be exposed to the great world of film and allow us to find our own Obi-Wan Kenobi’s. Although I still have yet to find my own inspiration from a character, I’ve grown to find an appreciation for the artistic side of movies. 

In seventh grade I watched my first rated R movie. It was a big deal, at least to me. Out of all of the movies on Netflix I chose to watch Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction was definitely an obscure choice however, this movie became the so-called “gateway drug” to what is my present-day addiction. Back then in 1994 when the film was released, Quentin Tarantino was coming down from a very successful Reservoir Dogs, only to launch him back up which I believe gave him his legendary status as a director and writer. But what made, and makes, Tarantino such an incredible director wasn’t his original ideas but his ability to take the best ideas from every best movie made and jam them into his own. Why try and create your own techniques when the best and most successful ones are right within the tips of your fingers? That is what I love about the artistic side of movies. Yes, I love cinematography and dialogue that has been so perfectly crafted by some person that is no different than you or me, but it is the feeling. Cinematography and script have the ability to show true beauty and provoke the feeling of bliss. Finding pure happiness in something you love is unlike any other. For some, that is through sports, fashion, whatever, mine is film.

Now as I sit in the same dimly lit theatre as I once did those many years ago when I was just a kid with my parents, the feelings are brought back. As the screen fades to black and the credits begin to roll I know my time is over. One experience gone,but another coming. I exit through the same double doors I previously entered, passing by the same ticket booth, no longer with a glass screen but just the open air.