Top Ten: Kids in Film


My first foray into adapting Top Ten lists into the video format came in a bit overlong, but I feel it was worth it to list some Honorable Mentions and to savor the moments and gestures that define the range of my choices. While the bulk of the films listed are told from the young protagonist’s point of view, they’re surprisingly still considered adult movies, whether because they’re silent or from a non-English-speaking country or “old,” but I see them all as perfectly suitable for viewers within the protagonist’s particular age range. The demographics broke down to six boys (seven if you count the duo as two) and four girls, with an even wider gender disparity if one counts the Honorable Mentions. Personalities run the gamut from moody introspection to energetic exuberance, but each kid exhibits a healthy range of these traits in response to his or her dramatic circumstances (which I tried to highlight with my choice of clips).

The actual audio-visual editing, matching music and sound to image, came mostly intuitively, even if final tuning ended up taking a while. Except for three choices (one of which is from a semi-remake of the film, and two of which are explicitly featured in the films), the accompanying music was written expressly for the movie, making the aesthetic mesh easier to pull off. I arranged clips to my liking first then overlaid the music, and certain edits and congruences seemed to pop up like magic. The final product exhibits less overall design than mere serendipity.

Enjoy the cinematic unfolding of my Top Ten Kids in Film just as you would my usual words, and let me know the good, the bad, and the ugly of this new experiment.

Top Ten: Kids in Film from Adam Kuntavanish on Vimeo.


About Author

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.

  • Holden Caulfield

    You left out Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild – her performance was spectacular. Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit (Cohen Bros.’ version also deserves a shout out

  • I left out lots of great performances. Those two are certainly a few of the more notable recent ones. Maybe I should have a set of Honorable Honorable Mentions!