Interview with a “Cinephile”: An Unexpected Love for Film As Told By Melina Mendez

If you’ve ever seen a film that has captured your heart, made you afraid to leave the lights off, or made you want to take a trip to Rome, you’d understand what it means to be a lover of film. However for the 22-year old university student, aspiring writer for SNL, and creator of the blog The Cinephile, Melina Mendez says she initially

“…Never saw it as a form of art.”

Since then she’s gone to admire and review numerous films of various genres. In a short interview with Melina, you’ll read about her found passion for film and tips for others who find film a blessing from the Universe:

 1. When did you first find your appreciation for film? (Where did it stem from?)

Fifty years of its creation, films were not appreciated or accepted as a form of art. I did not learn this until high school where I saw a documentary about comedy and films. Like everyone, I watched films my entire life, but I never saw it as form of art. Since then, I do not just watch film for entertainment purposes, but I try to analyze a film just as I would a painting or any piece of art.

Ultimately, my appreciate for films stem from not appreciating them as art.

2. How has film influenced your life then? (Ex: Career wise? Values?)

Academy Award winning picture, Moonlight, contributes to the list of films that have influenced my life. Watching films about significant topic, such homosexuality and race, greatly influence my life. Any great film has the power make you reflect on your own life and appreciate the all that you have and the beauty around you. Moonlight affected me emotionally and provided me with a new perspective.

 3. What is 1 film that you’d recommend for uplifting the spirit or that has given you a reason to appreciate life?

That’s an excellent question. I’ve seen lots of uplifting films, but the one that comes to mind is the Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom. The ending is absolutely beautiful and it reminds me how beautiful love can be. The song playing at that moment and the dedication Wes Anderson leaves for his girlfriend, leaves me in tears but uplifts my spirit. You can find this film on Netflix.

  4. What are 2 tips on interpreting film that you’d give someone else interested in film as an art?

Pay attention to the cinematography: the use of color, sound, camera angles, etc. Also, pay attention to the dialogue for for any hidden meanings. Sort of a ‘read between the lines’ technique.

  5. Bonus Q: what’s your FAV film genre??

I love comedy and aspire to be a writer for Saturday Night Live. But I have to say my favorite film genre is ‘Drama’ I always appreciate a good ‘Stream-of-Conscience’ drama.

Lover of films, lover of life, Melina is a 22-year-old college student studying English at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She dreams of becoming a comedy writer for Saturday Night Live, like her role model Tina Fey (she actually has written some SNL scripts that are hiding in a box somewhere). However, in the meantime,  she seeks a realistic career in law. Melina became a cinephile because she believes it is the only outlook that celebrates what it means to live a life.Big lover of comedy, Melina secretly contains a playlist on YouTube of every online video that has made her laugh, including material from known comedians such as  Conan O’Brien to unknown comedians like J. Cyrus. While she is not watching films, Melina enjoys traveling and discovering new places.

To read more about film and enjoy reviews and celebrations of old and new motion pictures, click right here to Melina’s blog. and don’t forget to drop down in the comments, what your favorite film genre is!




Till then,





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