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Morro Bay High School Sophomore wins national recognition for his film review

Morro Bay High School

MORRO BAY, Calif. – Morro Bay High School Sophomore, Orion Elfant Rea, was one of nine student winners of the Eighth Annual New York Times Student Review Contest conducted in the Fall of last year.

His submission, "War at Its Most Pointless: 'All Quiet on the Western Front'", a review of Edward Berger's 2022 adaptation of Remarque's 1930 novel, was featured in an article alongside his fellow winners in February of this year.

Rea though learned of the honor when a friend discovered it after a google search.

“I was surprised because I wasn’t contacted personally and that was the first time I had heard about the win,” explained Rea.

Faculty at his school were less surprised.

“Orion is a gifted writer. When he joined journalism his freshman year, he already possessed all the skills necessary to craft insightful, engaging, and exciting critiques of popular culture including movies, television shows, and music. As an advisor, my role was simply to provide him a platform and then sit back and watch the magic happen. I'm thrilled that he is being recognized at a national level,” said Ryan Mammarella, a Journalism Teacher at Morro Bay High School.

Rea's submission detailed the adaptation's vivid visual contrasts, something Remarque's novel and the original film adaptation captured in their own times and in their own mediums. Perhaps most importantly, these palpable contrasts continue to inspire and connect with a new generation.

“It feels amazing and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s just an honor. I want to continue to write and analyze because studying humans through the media is an area I’m very compelled by," said Rea.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
All Quiet on the Western Front
Morro bay High School
New York Times
New York Times Student Review Contest
san luis obispo county

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Andrew Gillies

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