Dr. Rhodes’s enthusiasm for Cinema Paradise is undeniably in keeping with the caring nature of his profession and the humanitarian works he sponsors both in the U.S. and here in Jamaica. He’s partial to films that explore the human condition: documentaries, biographies and live action shorts. His favorite films of 2017 were the wildly unpopular Dinner with Beatriz and biographies of Emily Dickinson and Jane Goodall. He doesn’t much care for hyped-up blockbusters, but he does have a soft spot for absurd comedies and animated shorts…and for popcorn. He likes to watch movies alone, sitting up close, front and center for as immersive an experience as possible.
If he loves a film he will see it a second, possibly a third time (Dunkirk), or more (Avatar, five times!). He studies films to get a deeper understanding of their plots, scripts, characters, cinematography, editing, sound mixing, costumes, the whole megillah. (His friends accuse him of being either insatiably curious or terribly slow.) He encourages his med students to go to the movies whenever they can, to approach them as vehicles for the study of human nature and psychology. He doesn’t curate the films that get screened at the Portie Film Festival, but he relishes the panoply of Jamaican films, filmmakers and cinephiles that the festival draws to our island corner of the world.