Todd Perkins: Film connoisseur

Todd Perkins
Todd Perkins

By Julianne Field, Staff Writer

When you’re looking for a good movie or trying to decide whether to see one in theaters you may base your decision on a critics’ review. Where better to look than to Armstrong’s own Todd Perkins of the Inkwell newspaper.

A native to Savannah, Perkins graduated from Armstrong with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Film. He is currently working on a Master’s in Education. His future plans are to teach English and Film at a high school level, and eventually at a University level while continuing to write reviews. Perkins’ experience in film began early in his education. “I took numerous film theory courses in middle school and high school, while also minoring in Film at Armstrong, so I definitely have a background in film criticism and philosophy.” He started writing reviews as the online film critic for Savannah Morning News on the Movies Now at Savannah Now section, which he did from July, 2009 through January, 2011. In August, 2011 he began writing for the Inkwell, which he continues today.

Perkins first sparked a love for film study at a very young age after watching a 1942 black and white comedy “Who Done It?” starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. “I really did not want to see an “old” movie and my parents made me sit and watch it with them, but as soon as it started I was hooked. Watching that film at four years old was literally the moment I became addicted to studying film.” he said. He grew up watching his father’s film collection which surrounded him in older and contemporary films. This exposed him to movies that most young audiences wouldn’t see and may have helped in giving him a versatile interest in genres. “I love all genres of film. I can watch anything as long as it is good. If I had to pick one, it would be Horror films, but that does not mean that I don’t also love romantic comedies or chick flicks.” Perkins stated there were several movies that made a huge impact on him growing up. However, the two crucial works that affected him the most were those of Steven Spielberg, “Jaws” and “E.T.” “Those are my two favorite films of all time.”

To fully absorb a movie, Perkins advised to let go of preconceived ideas about it and view it with an open mind. Any film of any genre could end up being a great movie. He said, “To me “An American Werewolf in London” is just as good as “The Godfather” and “Die Hard” holds its own against “It’s a Wonderful Life”. That doesn’t mean that there is not a recognizable line between escapist fun and intelligent art when it comes to cinema, there is difference. The trick is not to limit yourself by automatically dismissing an action movie as fluff simply because it does not treat itself too seriously or aim to be the next “Citizen Kane”.” He also discussed a critics’ role in publishing reviews. “When reviewing films, it is simply the job of the critic to relay how that film affected him or her when watching that film. A good critic should be able to discuss a film that they hate, and yet, someone which that movie would appeal to should be able to read that review and discern from it that he or she would enjoy it.” Perkins’ works can be found in the Movie Section of the Inkwell and through online podcasts named “Film Rant” at Call It Something I Ate .com.

Whether you are a film study major or a recreational viewer, using Perkins’ approach in observing movies can give you a newfound appreciation for the art and aid you in becoming a critic yourself.