Our Film and TV Editor, Toby Symonds, is here to go through what drew him to writing about the movies.
At the time of writing, it is in a few days my birthday. I’m about to reach the dizzy heights of 22. It’s a pleasingly dull age to celebrate after two ‘big’ and ‘significant’ numbers but one that has no less seen me consider my place in the world and my future hereafter. I’m basically going to be a nightmare when I hit 30.
As a cinephilic – which is to say, a lover of film – blogger on my own site: thefilm.blog, and wannabe journalist the sight of precociously talented, and usually depressingly attractive, young starlets is an image that I am all too familiar with. Sharing the date of my birthday (and a year younger to boot) is new Marvel hero Tom Holland, starring in Spider-Man: Homecoming this July. The young Brit, known also for The Lost City of Z, promises a fresh face for the franchise, with an entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe set to wind Spider-Man back to his high school origins. That said, his co-star in the film Robert Downey Jr was of even fresher face when he first appeared in a small role, aged just 5, as Puppy in his father’s 1970 feature: Pound.
One more British megastar in his early twenties set to feature in this Summer’s blockbuster season is, former One Direction member turned solo act, Harry Styles, who has a role in Christopher Nolan’s eagerly anticipated Dunkirk. The performance will mark an acting debut for Styles, seven years on from his ascension to household name status through the 2010 series of The X Factor.
Indeed, the world of film and television is peppered with prestigious progenies. Jennifer Lawrence was 22 when she won her first Academy Award for Silver Lining’s Playbook, whilst Mickey Rooney and Saoirse Ronan received two nominations in the same lifespan.
Many may find this depressing reading. Join the club.
On the other hand, I have the fortune to, this year, take the position of Film and Television editor for The Tribe and I can not wait. No, I’ve yet to claim my Oscar (step one: become an actor), but there are small victories in life every single day. For me, joining The Tribe has been a rather large victory for its day, a special moment in my journey into journalism, but wins can come from any walk of life. As a student at St Andrews, I wake up in a beautiful corner of the world, study at a UK top-three university and live just a short walk from a marvellous cinema in the New Picture House – and so do you!
Watching a great film, or devouring this month’s must-see television series offers me this sensation of joy too and its a remedy I would always recommend as a cure for student stress. Be it Stranger Things, returning to Netflix this October, or the BBC/Starz upcoming adaptation of Howards End on the small screen, or the premature final Star Wars appearance of Carrie Fisher in The Last Jedi come December on the big one, there’s something for everyone! It is, to quote Ryan Gosling in this year’s Best Picture La La Land: ‘it’s very very exciting!’
Are you ready?
You can contact Toby at email@example.com with article ideas, submissions, and questions!