Film Courage: How important is it for audiences to see themselves in the characters they see on screen?
Chris Gore, Founder/Owner of FilmThreat/Author/Filmmaker: How important is it for audiences to see themselves? I think they should see themselves in whoever the protagonist is but I think the thing that people confuse is that person should look like you. There are so many times I’ve seen movies where I identified with a character who wasn’t my age, wasn’t my gender, wasn’t my ethnicity and I think we live at a time now where people are so narcissistic. They look at movies like video games, whereas in a video game you can actually (for many games) design a character that looks like you. That looks almost exactly like you for certain video games. For movies I think what people are talking about is representation. I do believe that representation is something that is important. It’s important to have different types of people represented within a story where possible but if you are only capable of identifying with a character who looks mostly like you I would say that you’re a narcissist. I think that you would benefit greatly from identifying with characters who don’t look like you and quite frankly I tend to gravitate towards stories where I mean look, I spend all day with myself. I don’t want a story about me. I’d like to see a story about a character that takes me to a different place that is experiencing different challenges in life that I may never have faced so that I can safely experience that story through them and they don’t have to look like me. I think that there’s been an overemphasis put on that there needs to be characters that look just like you. Well what are we going to do? Go through every…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Chris Gore is a writer, comedian, author and television personality who has built a solid reputation as a hilariously outspoken voice in the entertainment world. As a teenager, Chris founded the brutally honest magazine Film Threat, which began as a fanzine while he was a college student in Detroit. As Film Threat evolved into a respected national magazine, he relocated to Los Angeles. The print magazine was retired in 1997 when it was re-launched as a web site. FilmThreat.com found a huge audience online and was named one of the top five movie web sites by the Wall Street Journal. Chris has appeared as a film expert on MSNBC, E!, CNN, Travel Channel, and Reelz Channel. Chis has also hosted shows on FX, Starz, IFC and G4TV’s Attack of the Show as the show’s film expert. His weekly movie review segment DVDuesday was among the most popular on G4. Chris is also an author, having written The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made and The Complete DVD Book. His book The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide is considered the bible of the industry and is required reading at film school.
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