Emily Fazio announces her five favorite films
November 30, 2018
With production on the 2018-2019 PHS musical “All Shook Up” underway, production coordinator Emily Fazio is hard at work ensuring that everything is ready for the musical’s debut this January. With her eye for theater and drama, I recently sat down with her to talk about her five favorite films, Broadway, and the Academy Awards.
“A Beautiful Mind”
“A Beautiful Mind” was the first movie that I saw before it won the Oscar for Best Picture. It came out, I think, when I was in high school, in 2001. I just think the story is so fascinating, and I think the acting is phenomenal, the directional choices are interesting. I think that was the first movie that made me think about analyzing film in the same way that we would analyze literature and I think it’s a really interesting movie and John Nash is just such an interesting character.
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Beauty and the Beast.”I’m a child of the 80s, so “Beauty and the Beast” was the first movie I ever saw in the movie theater. I’ve seen it probably 150 times. I loved the live action version from last year because it was so magical, and I kind of want to be Belle, actually. I’ve always really liked Belle because she’s unlike other Disney Princesses, I think she’s like a human in her own right. She has, intelligence, she has hobbies that she enjoys. She wasn’t giving away her voice to get married like Ariel, right? I just like her, I think she’s neat, and she loves to read and so do I, so she’s just great.
“Mean Girls” is actually my favorite movie. I know “Mean Girls” by heart. I think it’s hilarious. Tina Fey is an American treasure. I love that movie, it’s hysterical. Lindsay Lohan is my age and so the movie came out when I was in high school and I think this is so high school. It’s so true. Everything about this is true about girls in high school and I just thought it was the most hilarious parody.
SP: So you chose at least two movies that already are or have been at least adapted into musicals. Do you think that’s stems from you being the musical director here? I know Mean Girls and Beauty and the Beast have both been musicals at some point. Have you seen “Mean Girls” on Broadway yet, or do you plan to?
EF: I haven’t seen it yet because it’s on Broadway and I haven’t been to New York recently. Mrs. Klingner, who directs our musical, did see Mean Girls this past summer, and she said it was really, really good. The women in it, their voices are just incredible. I also love that Tina Fey, an empowered woman, writes about empowering other women.
Even in a profession so dominated by women (actresses are kind of a dime a dozen; many more women go into theater than men), the majority of roles, good, meaningful roles on Broadway still go to men. So I think that it’s neat that Mean Girls is about women and gives a voice and power to women.
“Sleepless in Seattle”
“Sleepless in Seattle,” the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan rom-com. I love romantic comedies. I was really excited when Netflix came out with like four romantic comedies this summer, even though they’re like they’re so formulaic. They’re just fun, you know; they’re nice to watch. I love Tom Hanks, he’s like, my favorite human and “Sleepless in Seattle” is a delight. I just recently watched it again because it’s so good.
“Moonlight” I chose as a movie that I don’t know that I would actually want to watch again. I saw it one time and it meant a lot to me and it also meant a lot to me when it won the Oscar which was controversial; this great dramatic moment in Academy Award history. The fact that the cast was African American, the director was African American, it just had so much social weight. But even before that happened, when I first saw it, I loved the movie.
SP: I noticed a lot of the movies that you chose fit into specific fields and there’s always two movies for each of those field. You have two Best Picture winners, two musicals, two romantic movies. Do you think those are the movies you tend to gravitate towards?
EF: I mean, yes. Because movies win best picture for a reason, right? Because they’re good movies. So I suppose yes, that’s true. I guess when I chose those two movies, I chose them knowing they won best picture and in some way both of those movies became more meaningful to me because of that, and I think that’s especially true for “Moonlight.”
I loved it before, and even maybe if “La La Land” had won, I still would have loved “Moonlight” even more for that reason, you know what I mean? In the same way, some of my favorite books are Pulitzer Prize winning books, because these are the the humans who are the best judges of these sorts of things.
Of course they’re going to choose the best. But both of those movies I saw before they won. Still love them.
SP: You mentioned “La La Land” and and “Moonlight” being nominated in the same year, “La La Land” being a straightforward musical and “Moonlight” being kind of like a musical, thematically and artistically speaking, without any of the actual singing. Do you see it that way as well?
EF: I’ve never thought of it that way, but yeah, I suppose that could be the case. Of course, if you compare those two movies, I think I’m not a fan of “La La Land;” I don’t like it. I was done. I think it was the escapism that our country was looking for exactly when it was released, and so that’s why it became so popular when it did.
I mean, it’s fun, but it’s meaningless. And I think there are a lot of things that it could have done better, whereas “Moonlight” was so much heavier, and you’re right, it does use music very effectively. So I think that’s really interesting. I never even thought about that before. I like that.
SP: Are there any non-musicals on this list that you’d like to see adapted into musicals like, “Mean Girls” just recently was?
EF: Like Sleepless In Seattle, the musical? I think that would be great. It would be hard, but you could make it work. There’s so many settings, so from a directors standpoint, yeah, that’d be great. “A Beautiful Mind,” I don’t know. It would be a great play. Maybe it has been adapted into one already, but that would be a great plan.
SP: As the director of the musical here, do you tend to enjoy the theatricality of movies, like a lot of the over the top kind of stuff?
EF: Absolutely. I love all of the planning that goes into it. That’s why I love “Shape of Water,” because everything in every scene feels so grand.