Long before her byline graced the pages of Film School Rejects, we were very aware of the talent of one Kate Erbland. Back then we met over fried foods in the hustle and bustle of a South by Southwest Film Festival. We can barely remember which one, at first. In those days she was an editor at Gordon and the Whale, a site that has since been shut down and reborn. And in that period of shut down, our first thought was to extend an invitation to Ms. Erbland to become a member of our editorial team. She’s smart as a whip, sharp as a knife, always well organized and a constant ray of positive sunshine. Lucky for us, she accepted our invitation, and she’s been a huge part of our team ever since. In this week’s edition of The Reject HQ Blog, we take some time to get to know Associate Editor Kate Erbland. It’s a little feature we like to call Better Know a Reject…
1. Why did you want to write for Film School Rejects, as opposed to some other, more respectable publication?
Funny you should ask, because I actually do write for two other much more “respectable publications” – MSN Movies and Boxoffice Magazine – but FSR is what gets the bulk of my love, attention, and (I hope) talent. Why? Well, when the good ship that was Gordon and the Whale sunk (RIP), I knew that I needed to write for another publication that represented everything that GATW represented for me – independence, passion, talent, and humor across a group of bonded individuals that (ew, gross) felt like a family. Boom. FSR. There was no second choice for me.
2. What is your first movie memory?
As a child, I had a weird affection for both Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman - both terrible choices for a kid to watch, and both films I remember (quite clearly) watching at home. However, my first real “movie memory” of an in-theater experience was seeing the 1985 re-release of Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians at the ripe old age of just-over-two. It was my first movie in a theater, and I’ve forced myself to think on it obsessively so that I remember as much of it as a toddler can. I grew up in a very small town, with just a one-screen movie house, and I can still remember the seats, the popcorn, the screen. I also remember that it was located next to a Friendly’s, which might explain why I think movies and ice cream are an obvious pairing.
3. What unique qualities will readers of Film School Rejects find in your writing? What do you bring to the table?
I think that I bring a demented passion for film that includes great love for stuff like Singles and It Happened One Night in equal measure, paired up with wit and honesty that might land me in hot water every so often. However, I do value discourse and reader engagement, so even when I think I am R I G H T, I still want to talk it out with those who don’t agree with me. I’m also hugely modest. Also, guaranteed Oxford commas.
4. If you had to defend yourself, would you rather have Freddy’s claws, Bond’s pistol, or Rosebud the sled?
Bond’s pistol, mainly because I’ve never attempted to use claws or sleds as weapons – which implies that I know how to handle a pistol. Which I do. Tremble.
5. If you were forced to choose only one movie to recommend to everyone you ever meet for the rest of your life, what movie would that be, and why?
I’m frankly embarrassed that the first choice that popped into my head was Jerry Maguire. I’m a Cameron Crowe apologist through and through (yes, I genuinely enjoy Elizabethtown, for real), and I think that’s because Crowe’s movies guarantee an emotional response from me. I still get misty during the “you had me at hello” scene, and that may well be my favorite thing about film (or art in general) – emotional reactions to something that other people created. Thats what I think great films should do to their audiences – which is why I’d recommend Jerry Maguire for ever and ever, amen. Consider it a cinematic litmus test for emotional capacity.
6. What is your number one passion outside the world of movies?
Readin’ squares! Some of y’all probably know them as “books.” My first love has always been books, which (thankfully) go hand in hand with both watching movies and writing about them. If I’m not watching or writing, I’m reading, which allows me to both exercise my brain and stay terrifyingly up-to-date on what the next big cinematic adaptation is going to be.
7. What do you love about movies?
For more of our Better Know a Reject series, check out The Reject HQ Blog archive.