Meet the Editors: Justin Fortes

Justin Fortes

Surprise! Welcome to an additional Meet the Editors post for this semester, where we are introducing our new Foreign Horror Film Blogger, Justin Fortes.

Justin is a senior majoring in physics at Lewis University, with a minor in mathematics. He is a Resident Assistant at St. Charles Borromeo, as well as co-director for the a capella group, Harmonic Uprising. Back home, he works part-time as a pharmacy technician at Jewel-Osco. In his leisure time, Fortes enjoys sitting around the table with friends fighting against ogres and saving fair maidens in the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons. Fortes also enjoys listening to a variety of media (political podcasts, metal radio, and DIY home improvement videos just to name a few).

His selection of literature varies and is consistently expanding. He has read a handful of books from his favorite physicists, authors, and playwrights including Stephen Hawkings’ A Brief History of Time, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain. Fortes is always searching for the next big scare in the international horror scene. He hopes to one day travel the world to experience what it has to offer, as well as gain better insight into the fear each culture faces and to better understand what it is that inspires each unique style of horror film.

Below is our Q&A with Justin Fortes:

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?

Justin Fortes here. I’m a fourth-year undergraduate studying physics with a minor in mathematics at Lewis University. I blog for Jet Fuel Review as a foreign horror film reviewer and analyst. You may find my bi-weekly updates under “Fear Needs No Translation.”

What book might we find on your nightstand right now?

Per the recommendation of a friend, I’m currently reading Black Prism by Brian Weeks. You may also find a variety of physics textbooks, or even a copy of The Wall Street Journal.

If you had the chance to co-write with one author, who would you choose? Why?

Michael Crichton. No question about it. The man is a literary genius, having found the perfect balance of suspense and science fiction. Crichton takes thoughts most people would dismiss and creates a whole world behind it.

Describe your perfect reading atmosphere.

Wearing my favorite scrub pants and sweatshirt, coffee in one hand, and whatever book it may be that I’m reading in the other. Some lo-fi music playing in the background and absolutely no one to interrupt me.

What might your personal library look like?

My library would cover a wide range of my favorite topics. You would find physics texts covering everything from classical mechanics to string theory and beyond. I’ve had an interest in politics, so there would be a section devoted to government and current events. Part of the library would be dedicated to books on wood crafting, cooking, blacksmithing, and other artisan activity. Lastly, there would be a section for my favorite books, regardless of topics. Somewhere I could walk up to and blindly grab a book, knowing that whatever it may be, I’m going to enjoy it.

If you could remake a poorly write move that was based on a book, what would it be?

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013). There may be a handful of people that would argue with me on this, but I don’t feel that this rendition of the movie did the book the justice that it deserves. The book is a classic and should be treated as such.

What piece of literature can you reread over and over again?

I thoroughly enjoy Malcom Gladwell’s Blink. A very informative book, the insights that Gladwell brings from his sociological studies has always been fascinating to me. He’s able to put his research in terms that the layperson can understand, which makes it easily relatable and applicable to my own personal life.

Give us a quote from your favorite (or any) book/movie.

“I’m bad, and that’s good. I’ll never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.” — Ralph, Wreck-It Ralph

If you were invited to have coffee with any fictional character, who would you most like to meet? Why?

I would be extremely interested in meeting Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman. Though he can sometimes be cold and ruthless, Loman experienced what I feel is one of the greatest character developments in the history of literature.

Share your top five favorite pieces of writing (anything included, be it movies, books, etc.).

In terms of music, I can never go wrong with “Evergreen” by Knuckle Puck, a Chicago-based pop-punk band, and “Critical Acclaim” by Avenged Sevenfold. Hitchcock’s Psycho is also a visual masterpiece. The Guillermo del Toro-produced Spanish horror The Orphanage is a movie that will always have a special place in my heart, with it being one of the first foreign horror films I watched of my own accord. Of course, I can’t forget about Death of a Salesman. I can never turn down reading such a wonderful piece of work.

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