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Films about childhood innocence resonate

On October 24, 2017

BY DEEJ OSTER
VN CO-EDITOR

I have always connected with stories of childhood.

Told by friends, seen in movies, they all have the warm blanket of innocence and  wonder.

Seeing “The Florida Project” made me think of other movies of innocence, so I could specify to myself why I liked it as much as I did.

On a late summer's night before freshman year of high school, my older brothers and their friends where headed to Marketplace 20 to see the latest installment of the "Final Destination" franchise.

I could not join them, thanks to an early morning school orientation the next day.

Instead I hooked up the projector I had received for Christmas two years prior and screened Rob Reiner's "Stand By Me."

Castle Rock on my bedroom wall, warm air creeping in the open window; in the dark room I was moved.

Their summer is ending with a grand journey to find a "dead kid's body" and ultimately become heroes, a thing most boys wish or have wished to become.

The great Stanley Kubrick hit on this topic in an interview, saying “The very meaninglessness of life forces a man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre (a keen enjoyment of living), their idealism ‐ and their assumption of immortality.”

The group of boys in “Stand By Me” embark on an adventure that will ultimately lead to their last moments of innocence.

But it was their innocence, their willingness and their quest for fulfillment in friendship and good fortune that naturally resonates in film -- and in me.

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