Remember these names: Dylan and Ethan Itkin. These two 12 year-old twin brothers are the voices behind the blog, flick flack movie talk, two boys talking about film. I know the boys because they are in the same grade as my daughter, Darla. Also, their mother, Anisa Raoof, the new Executive Director of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, is one of the first people I met when I moved here, and as soon as we honed in on that creativity and the arts fuel us both, we became fast friends.
Dylan and Ethan are extraordinary in their love for film, and everything about film. These boys are serious–they make films, write screen plays, and review films on their blog. They do their homework, too. I remember once seeing stacks and stacks of books on film and film criticism in their room, and I know they can’t wait for the New York Times Sunday paper so that they can pore over the movie reviews there.
Last night, at the boy’s annual family Pre-Oscar Party (I told you they were serious–they once held the party Oscar night, but the adults were too noisy and they couldn’t hear the show, so now the party is the night before) we were treated to great food, conversation, and movie screenings of two Academy Award nominated films, 20 Feet from Stardom, and Frozen. And, a moment we all look forward to: Dylan and Ethan’s Oscar winner predictions. The boys prepared a speech about this year’s movies and their predictions, and a list of full predictions for each category. As the boys read their speeches with their dad Doug filming from the corner of the living room, I was impressed by their thoughtfulness and dedication to looking critically at film, and enjoyed hearing both their predictions, and their favorites.
I was also impressed with Dylan’s speech which included his beliefs about the movie, 12 Years A Slave. Here’s an excerpt:
But enough with all this talk…who’s going to win?
Well, I’ll cut to the chase: 12 Years a Slave. Sure, Gravity is as suspenseful and groundbreaking as movies get and American Hustle is the type of crowd-pleasing ensemble period-piece dramedy that seems like a shoo-in. But 50 years from now, voters will want people to look back at 2014 as the year the “Important Movie” won and 12 Years a Slave fits that bill.
Lately I’ve thought about how when I blog, I am coming from the perspective of someone who lived during the end of the civil rights movement. I realize I need to connect with some young voices and see how they view race. To see that the boys both noted the film 12 Years A Slave, and its actors in their speech, lets me know that they understand the importance of a film that tells the story of our American history, even when it’s as Dylan notes, considered difficult because of its “hard-to-watch controversy.”
Catch the rest of the boys’ speeches and predictions here, and browse their site for all you need to know about today’s films, as well as the films of yesteryear. As I said, remember their names. It won’t be long before we see them collecting their Oscars upon the Hollywood stage.
Nice work, Dylan and Ethan!