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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

An Update: Where is Cinephile and Science Teacher Michael Tang Now?

Cinephile+and+science+teacher+Michael+Tang+spends+time+with+his+podcast+group%2C+Job+Ang%2C+Paul+Hsu+and+Albert+Liu.+%E2%80%9CI+believe+that+I+am+the+Nick+Fury+of+this+group%2C%E2%80%9D+Tang+said.+%E2%80%9CI+assembled+this+group%2C+and+these+are+people+that+Ive+met+over+the+years.+I+had+all+these+individual+chats%2C+so+I+started+this+group+chat.+Not+everyone+was+friends+with+each+other%2C+but+now+we%E2%80%99ll+watch+movies+together%3B+we%E2%80%99ll+hang+out+with+each+other.%E2%80%9D
Courtesy of Michael Tang
Cinephile and science teacher Michael Tang spends time with his podcast group, Job Ang, Paul Hsu and Albert Liu. “I believe that I am the Nick Fury of this group,” Tang said. “I assembled this group, and these are people that I’ve met over the years. I had all these individual chats, so I started this group chat. Not everyone was friends with each other, but now we’ll watch movies together; we’ll hang out with each other.”

Two years ago, Portola Pilot interviewed cinephile and science teacher Michael Tang to unravel his love for the silver screen. Today, his film enthusiast persona (and Letterboxd) continue to grow through classic and upcoming blockbusters.

As a busy parent of three, Tang works hard to maintain an average of 120 films per year. Strictly planning his daily schedule allows him to make time for movie watching.

“We’re all working adults,” Tang said.  “So, it’s hard to commit to every single year. The secret is, my kids go to bed at 7 p.m. They have a very early bedtime. That gives me a four to five-hour window to spend time with my wife [watching movies].”

Over the past few years, Tang has focused on growing his podcast, the “Weak & Foolish Movie Podcast.” He hosts with the friends and fellow cinephiles he bonded with during the release of “Interstellar” in 2014. The podcast now serves as a platform for sharing their collective movie experiences and opinions, complementing Tang’s earlier movie review blog.

“A bunch of us would write blurbs online about films, but when you love something so much you want to talk about it,” Tang said. “No one reads blogs, not anymore; it’s all about new media. I feel like if you just have a conversation with somebody, that’s just more free flowing. It’s more fun when you’re talking with each other.”

Something that hasn’t changed for Tang is his admiration for science fiction movies like “The Matrix.” The way in which the film pulled from an array of inspiration from previous movies and reinvented the cinema world — from stunning visuals to powerful fight choreography — continues to captivate Tang to this day.

“I don’t think I’ll ever change,” Tang said. “As a science teacher, I love when they blend science concepts into films. I feel like sci-fi movies and horror movies too — they use a lot of imagination. For me, I have a very active imagination, so I tend to gravitate towards things like that.”

As for aspiring cinephiles, Tang suggested that they subscribe to the Criterion Channel, an organization dedicated to restoring and broadcasting older films. Tang believes that exposure to a wide range of content on platforms like Criterion is a great way to both pay tribute to the history of cinema and to discover great films.

“When I started watching older films, I started to realize how many movies today are just copying,” Tang said. “I would say watch all the old stuff and discover new filmmakers; you go through their filmography. There’s plenty of online communities, or you can start your own. Cinema is just a great way to connect to people, especially now where I feel like a lot of adults might feel lonely or disconnected.”

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About the Contributors
Catherine Li, Staff Writer
Catherine Li is a staff writer for her first year on the Portola Pilot. If she’s not stressing over her art portfolio deadlines, you can find her reading up on dead roman guys and having a moment to Jeff Buckley’s music. This is her first year in Portola High and she looks forward to putting forth her best work into the Portola Pilot!
Ruhi Samudra, Sports Editor
Ruhi Samudra is the Sports Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She’s looking forward to being her best social butterfly self this year and getting to know all sorts of people on campus. When she’s not counting the days until she can cover a game again (yay sports!), you can find her obsessing over her purple dinosaur, inhaling all of the cereal-scented candles at Target, or investing her entire life into memoirs just to avoid accepting her own bewilderment.
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