Coming-of-age is one of the great narratives in art, and young people have only become more flushed with disposable income to pump into cinemas and for DVDs, so it’s no surprise that youths are some of the most frequent subjects of movies. From Chaplin’s The Kid with title character Jackie Coogan and the Andy Hardy cycle starring Mickey Rooney, to a host of 2012 releases like Moonrise Kingdom, I Wish, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, films that explore a pre-adult’s emotions and perspective are plentiful but rarely rise above the for-kids-only heap of juvenile junk. So we’re here to celebrate the greats, the kid characters and performances that most fully explore that endlessly fascinating and excitingly crucial stage of life, childhood. Celebrate the start of 2013 by letting us know your thoughts on my first list topic of the year: kids in film.
Cinema transcends boundaries of time and space and thought and emotion; at its best it communicates the experience of being truly alive. I've been transfixed by the material ghosts of the movies since an early age, and I can't seem to shake them. Since reading and writing and talking about films are the next best things to watching them, criticism became a natural fit. Whether new or old, foreign or domestic, mainstream or cult, all movies are grist for my mill. Be forewarned, I'm an inveterate list-maker, so look out for rankings, topics, and opinions of all kinds. The AFI's got nothing on me.