Favorite Films with Frances: Connor Torres

Each month, I will be interviewing some of my friends and asking them about their favorite films! “Favorite Films with Frances” is my way of bonding with people about the art that I am most passionate about, but also to see what film has a special place in their hearts and how amazing and influential cinema can be in all of our lives.

This month, I interviewed my friend Connor Torres, who is also a film major. He talked about Frank Capra’s endearing Christmas film Its a Wonderful Life and how this movie has taught him about love and how important each and every one of us are in making a difference in people’s lives.

Frances Divinagracia: What is your favorite film?

Connor Torres: My favorite film is It’s a Wonderful Life.

Photo courtesy of Liberty Films

FD: When was the first time you watched this film?

CT: I watched it in bits and pieces when I was in grade school during Christmas time, but I could never really get into it. The first time I watched it in its entirety was Christmas Eve my junior year of high school.

FD: I’m surely not the biggest fan of this film for a multitude of reasons, so did you like the film after the first time you watched it or did you have to watch it a couple more times?

CT: I definitely had to grow into it. It was a tradition in our house to watch it during Christmas Eve but I didn’t understand it all that much. I didn’t care for the style of old Hollywood movies either, and just thought it was way too long. Because of that, I sort of just put it off for years. Junior year though is when I finally watched the movie from beginning to end, and that’s when I fell in love with it. Everything about the movie came into fruition.

FD: What is your favorite scene, sequence, or quote from the film?

CT: [SPOILER ALERT] My favorite scene in the movie is the ending. George Bailey reunites with his family after a life changing event when a crowd of his friends from all over town to support him. They repay him the kindness that he has shown them for years. The moment feels earned and is one of the most beautiful moments put on film. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

FD: Why does this film mean so much to you?

CT: Not only does it have one of the best stories and acting that I’ve seen on film, but personally it has impacted me beyond words. It came to me during a very lonely time in my life. It changed my perspective on a lot of things. The movie is about being kind and the power of selflessness; it’s about why we matter; about the difference a life can make; about why we should stay alive.

FD: If you could spend a day with any of the characters in the film, who would it be and why?

CT: I would spend a day with the main character George Bailey. When he’s fun, he can be really fun. But he also has wisdom beyond his years. I would love to learn a thing or two from him regarding life. He’s also incredibly kind, selfless, and has a warm heart . . . I’m kind of realizing that my dad is a lot like George Bailey, because I’m basically explaining who my dad is already. I guess I got to spend almost every day with George Bailey after all.

Photo courtesy of Liberty Films

FD: Are there any last things you would like to say about the film and why you love it so much?

CT: As a film major, I hope to make a film like It’s a Wonderful Life one day. Yes, I know, that’s super ambitious and unrealistic, but hear me out. What I mean by this is, is that I want to create something that makes someone think, that makes someone feel, but most importantly to create something that makes it a little better for someone else, just the way this film has done for me. And if I’m able to do that for just one person, then that’ll be enough. On a wider note, I think the world needs more George Bailey’s, especially in a country with so many Mr. Potter’s. That’s how we’ll make it through any hard time really: with kindness, love, and a little bit of Clarence (hope).

FRANCES DIVINAGRACIA | New Year, New Me | KXSU Arts Reporter

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