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This Movie Changed Me
27 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Bonus: Farewell From the TMCM Team
For this special bonus episode, we gathered everyone on the This Movie Changed Me team to talk about the role movies have played in our lives, and what we’ve learned from working on this podcast. We’re grateful to all the listeners and guests who have joined us across three seasons of this podcast and have shared their own stories of transformation through movies. Thank you, movie friends!Eddie Gonzalez — is director of engagement at The On Being Project and is a journalist, teacher, and chaplain interested in story and its role in individual and social healing. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and now lives and works in Queens, New York.Chris Heagle — is a producer and technical Director for On Being Studios. He has long been a passionate listener and creator in the space where story and music combine to help us understand and embrace our shared humanity. When he’s not in front of a screen, he is learning about the world through his two teenage kids.Liliana Maria (Lily) Percy Ruíz — is executive producer of On Being Studios and the host of This Movie Changed Me. She was born in Cali, Colombia, and immigrated to Miami with her family at the age of four. She proudly serves on the board of Centro Tyrone Guzman, the oldest and largest multi-service Latine organization in Minneapolis.Gautam Srikishan — is a producer for On Being Studios, a composer, and a lover of all things creative. He was born in the United Arab Emirates, raised in Illinois, and now calls Queens, New York his home. He’s a proud first-generation Indian-American immigrant.Lilian Vo — is an associate art director at The On Being Project. She thrives at the intersection of community building and collaborative design. With academic roots in international studies and anthropology, she seeks out projects that challenge and explore how to deepen human connection within and across communities.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
41 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Liara Tamani — Love & Basketball
Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball tells the story of two talented athletes who weave in and out of each other’s lives as they pursue big dreams. Monica Wright (played by Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall (played by Omar Epps) are sometimes friends, enemies, lovers, and competitors. Writer Liara Tamani first saw the movie in 2000 when she was a reluctant student at Harvard Law School. She says Monica’s dedication to pursuing what she loved was a revelation for her. “When [Monica] turned around and looked at Quincy and their child, I almost felt like she was reaching through the screen, asking me, ‘So what you ’bout to do?’”Liara Tamani is the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, which was a 2018 PEN America Literary Award Finalist and SCBWI Golden Kite Finalist, and All the Things We Never Knew, which was a 2020 Kirkus Best YA Book of the Year. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and lives in Houston.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
40 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Selena — Shea Serrano
Selena tells the true story of the iconic Tejano singer, played by Jennifer Lopez, who broke barriers in music and fashion until her untimely death at age 23. Like Selena the person, writer Shea Serrano is also a Mexican American from Texas. When he first saw the movie in 1997, he was captivated by all the things it got right about his world — the accents, dialogue, and intimate moments. When he watches it now, he finds new lessons on parenthood in the relationship between Selena and her father, played by Edward James Olmos.Shea Serrano — is an author, journalist, and former teacher whose work has been featured in The Ringer and Grantland. He’s the author of The Rap Year Book, Basketball (and Other Things), and Movies (and Other Things).Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
42 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Blockers — Emily VanDerWerff
Blockers tells the story of three teenage girls determined to lose their virginity on prom night; it’s also about their parents mourning the loss of their daughters, watching them grow up and learning to let them go. The 2018 movie, directed by Kay Cannon, has everything you’d expect in a sex comedy: vulgarity, ridiculous gags, and hilarious jokes. It also complicates notions of sexuality and gender in surprising ways. Emily VanDerWerff, a writer and critic-at-large for Vox, was deeply struck by the movie when she first saw it. She realized it was showing her something she never could have imagined: a life for herself as a woman.Emily VanDerWerff is the critic-at-large for Vox. Her work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Grantland, and The Baffler. She is the co-creator of the DiscoverPods-nominated fiction podcast Arden and the co-author of the book Monsters of the Week: The Complete Critical Companion to The X-Files.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
30 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
The Fly — Tony Banout
David Cronenberg’s The Fly tells the story of one man’s quest to develop teleportation — and everything that goes wrong along the way. The 1986 sci-fi horror movie stars Jeff Goldblum as Seth, the genius scientist, and Geena Davis as Ronnie, a journalist who falls in love with him. After an experiment goes awry, Seth begins a grisly transformation into a human-fly hybrid. Tony Banout, who works in interfaith dialogue, says he saw the movie as a cautionary tale about the dangers of an unchecked ego — and took lessons from it about grappling with death, decay, and grief. Tony Banout — is the senior vice president of Interfaith Youth Core. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he studied at the Divinity School and was a Martin Marty Center and Provost fellow.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
44 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Real Women Have Curves — Virgie Tovar
Real Women Have Curves tells the story of a young Mexican American woman walking between two worlds, trying to please her immigrant family and be true to herself. Ana, played by America Ferrera, dreams of leaving Los Angeles and going to college. But even as she wants out, she yearns for her family’s blessing and acceptance. This in-betweenness — and Ana’s radical acceptance of her body as it is — was powerful to Virgie Tovar, a writer and body image activist. She says the movie showed her that she could ask for what her body needs, no matter its size.Virgie Tovar is an author, activist, and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on weight-based discrimination and body image. She is the author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat and The Self-Love Revolution, and hosts the podcast Rebel Eaters Club.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
36 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
The Way We Were — Sophie Krueger
The Way We Were is a quintessential breakup movie. Told across decades, it stars Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford as two wildly different people growing together before eventually growing apart. Writer Sophie Krueger says the 1973 movie has resonated differently over time. As a child, she idolized Streisand and loved her portrayal of an independent woman charting her own course. As an adult, she recognized the stakes of any romantic relationship — and how the differences that excite you initially can become irreconcilable. PS (Movie friends — We’re hosting a live virtual event, and you’re invited! Join us for ‘Yentl’ Changed Me on Sunday, February 28th at 12 p.m. ET. Free tickets are available now.)Sophie Krueger — is a writer and pop culture-obsessor from Chicago. She co-hosts Girls Like Us, a weekly podcast about young adult literature. Follow her on Twitter (@kruegrrl).Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
42 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
The Color Purple — Danez Smith
The Color Purple is about the traumas and triumphs of a Black woman named Celie. Set in the Jim Crow South, the story radically centers complicated relationships between Black people, even as whiteness and racism loom in the background. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie adaptation of Alice Walker’s classic novel was released in 1985. Both tellings have been beloved companions to Danez Smith, a queer writer and performer. Smith says Walker’s story helped them embrace the messiness of life; “to let life exist best within that brilliant complication that lives somewhere between the joy and pain of a single experience.”Danez Smith is a Black, queer, HIV-positive writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. They are the author of Homie and Don’t Call Us Dead, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
39 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Lady Bird — Kyle Turner
As much as it is a coming-of-age story, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is also about the complicated relationship between a teenage daughter and her mother. Even as they argue, they want to connect; to be seen and understood as a complex and ever-evolving person by the other. Their on-screen dynamic resonated with writer Kyle Turner, who has had his own challenging relationship with his mother. He says Lady Bird helped him begin to develop compassion for her — and to explore the possibilities of expressing empathy.Kyle Turner — is a queer freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a contributor to Paste Magazine, and his writing has been featured in The Village Voice, GQ, Slate, NPR, and the New York Times.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org
4 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
This Movie Changed Me — Season 3 Trailer
Our podcast about how movies teach, connect and transform us will be back for its final season on February 2. Join us every Tuesday for a new conversation about identity, possibility, and self-discovery as told through the movies Lady Bird, The Color Purple, The Way We Were, Real Women Have Curves, The Fly, Blockers, Selena, and Love & Basketball. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.
1 minutes | Dec 17, 2019
This Movie Changed Me: What would you like to hear next?
Season 2 of This Movie Changed Me is a wrap! Before we go away to work on our next season, we’d love to hear from you. What did you love? How can we make the podcast even better? Go to onbeing.org/tmcmsurvey to tell us a little about yourself and what you’d like to hear next. Stay tuned for more episodes when we’re back with season 3.Subscribe to our newsletter so we can stay in touch with you about our next season: onbeing.org/tmcmletter.
24 minutes | Dec 10, 2019
The Wiz — Michael Strautmanis
“The Wiz” is a reimagining of the classic “Wizard of Oz” tale, complete with an all-black, all-star cast and Quincy Jones-produced soundtrack. Diana Ross stars as Dorothy, a 24-year-old school teacher who has never set foot outside her neighborhood in Harlem. When a violent storm transports her to a faraway place, she’s taken out of her comfort zone and yearns to find a way back. Lawyer Michael Strautmanis had never seen a movie that offered a warm portrayal of his experience growing up on the South Side of Chicago in a tight-knit African American community. His love for every aspect of the movie — from the iconic casting to the costume design and music — speaks to the idea that movies help us feel seen.Michael Strautmanis is a lawyer and the chief engagement officer at the Obama Foundation. He served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations and at one time worked for The Walt Disney Company, where he specialized in corporate citizenship. Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
26 minutes | Dec 10, 2019
The Wizard of Oz — Seth Godin
“The Wizard of Oz” is one of the most watched films of all time. When a tornado whisks Dorothy and her dog Toto from their Kansas home to the magical Land of Oz, Dorothy has to seek out its wizard to find a way home. Along the way, she makes new friends and encounters all sorts of obstacles — all made delightful by the movie’s iconic original music and use of color, which was groundbreaking at the time. Entrepreneur Seth Godin says the movie made a strong impression on him as a child: Seeing a young person take action inspired him to do the same. “It’s up to us,” he says, “and we could do it if we wanted to.”Seth Godin writes the wildly popular daily, Seth’s Blog. His podcast is Akimbo. He’s the author of many best-selling books, online and in print, including This is Marketing, Purple Cow, The Dip, and Linchpin. In 2018 he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame.Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
34 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
The Namesake — Nishta Mehra
The Namesake, an adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, is a moving exploration of the immigrant experience told through the story of the Ganguli family. The parents, Ashoke and Ashima, marry in India and emigrate to New York state, where they raise their two children, Gogol and Sonia. In tracing the lives of two generations of a family, the movie examines not just the opportunity and promise gained from immigrating to a new country, but also all that is lost from one generation to the next. The wholeness of this depiction offered solace to writer Nishta Mehra after her father’s death. For her, the movie mirrored back the parts of her parents’ lives she did not understand as a young person.Nishta Mehra is a parent, partner, teacher, and writer. Her books include “The Pomegranate King” and “Brown White Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion.” She serves on the board of Just City, a non-profit organization working to build a more humane justice system in Memphis, Tennessee.Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
31 minutes | Nov 26, 2019
Auntie Mame — Justin Sayre
“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” So declares the title character in the 1958 comedy Auntie Mame. She introduces her Bohemian world to her nephew, Patrick, who comes under her care after he is orphaned. The movie’s celebration of individuality and independence inspired comedian Justin Sayre to embrace his own — whether as a gay person or a queer artist. “You don’t have to do anything you’re told,” he says. “You just have to be kind. And you just have to never stop looking. That’s it.”Justin Sayre is a writer, performer, and a regular fixture of the downtown cabaret scene in New York. His comedy album is The Gay Agenda and he’s also the author of a series of young adult novels — Husky, Pretty, and most recently, Mean.Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
36 minutes | Nov 19, 2019
Malcolm X — Andrea Jenkins
Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” paints a nuanced portrait of a historical icon — as a human being who was constantly searching for his truth and who was willing to change his mind in public, over and over again. The movie takes us through the various chapters of Malcolm X’s life: first as Malcolm Little, then, in his early 20s, as “Detroit Red,” to his rise as Malcolm X, the activist preserved in history books today — and beyond. Activist and poet Andrea Jenkins related to Malcolm X’s experience of transformation and evolution portrayed in the movie. She’s a city council member in Minneapolis and was the first openly transgender black woman elected to office in the United States. She joined us for a live recording and screening of the movie at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis.Andrea Jenkins is a poet, politician, performance artist, and transgender activist. She’s the vice president of the Minneapolis city council. Her book is "The T is Not Silent: New and Selected Poems."Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
33 minutes | Nov 12, 2019
A League of Their Own — Jessica Mendoza
“A League of Their Own” is a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, formed during World War II. Geena Davis and Lori Petty play the competitive Hinson sisters, who are recruited to join the Rockford Peaches and play in the league. Since its release in 1992, the movie has inspired many young female athletes, including baseball commentator Jessica Mendoza. She grew up playing softball with her sister and went on to compete at the Olympics — including winning gold and silver. Jessica says one of the movie’s famous lines — “It’s the hard that makes it great” — offered her inspiration to break records on the field and off. Jessica Mendoza is a baseball analyst for ESPN and an Olympic softball gold and silver medalist. She also works for the Mets as a baseball operations advisor and is a full-time member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
25 minutes | Nov 5, 2019
Kes — June Thomas
Set in a coal mining community in Yorkshire, the movie “Kes” tells the story of 15-year-old Billy Casper, who is in many ways a victim of his environment: He’s picked on at school and at home, and the adults in his life have given up on him. But he begins to find freedom and refuge when he starts training a kestrel hawk. Podcast producer June Thomas, who grew up in a similar community to the one portrayed in “Kes,” says it’s this realism that helped her connect with her hometown in Northern England, even years after she left.June Thomas is the senior managing producer of Slate Podcasts. She co-hosts their show on gender, relationships, and feminism, called “The Waves.”Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
31 minutes | Oct 29, 2019
Coco — Monica Castillo
Coco is a heartwarming tribute to the spirit of El Día de Los Muertos, the Mexican celebration of remembrance. The Pixar movie tells the story of Miguel, a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician. When his family forbids him to perform at a concert on El Día de Los Muertos, he steals a guitar from the memorial of a renowned musician and finds himself journeying to the Land of the Dead, where he meets some of his ancestors — and learns more about the role they play in his identity. Writer and critic Monica Castillo was moved by the portrayal of family dynamics, forgiveness, and memory across generations that comes to life through the movie’s beautiful music and animation.Monica Castillo is a writer, film critic, and the president of the National Association For Hispanic Journalists’ New York City chapter. She has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, Cherry Picks, and Remezcla. Her newsletter is “Save Your Ticket Stub.”Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
33 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
The Exorcist — Mark Kermode
The Exorcist is known for being absolutely terrifying, but film critic Mark Kermode argues that it’s also a masterpiece. He was too young to see the movie when it was released and had to wait six years before he could watch it in a theater. Decades later, he has made documentaries about The Exorcist, written long essays and a book about it, and even became friends with the movie's director and screenwriter. But he says every time he watches the movie, he’s still taken back to the experience of transcendence and magic he experienced when he watched the movie for the first time. Mark Kermode is the chief film critic for The Observer, host of the podcast Kermode On Film, and co-host of Kermode & Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live. His books on film include Hatchet Job, It’s Only A Movie, and How Does It Feel? A Life of Musical Misadventures.Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/
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