Neverending story

The Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA


Kirsten Read, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology, Santa Clara University

moderated by

Atalia Lopez

Frida Cinema Board Member; Instructor, Chapman University

The NeverEnding Story— Literature and neuroscience

Dr. Kirsten Read blends literature with neuroscience, delving into the profound impact of reading to children on their cognitive development. Discover the magic of storytelling as Dr. Read illuminates the pathways through which shared reading fosters imagination, learning, and social bonds in young minds. Uncover the hidden treasures within the film as Dr. Read guides us to recognize moments that serve as gateways to children’s cognitive growth. Prepare to be transported to a realm where words weave wonders and the power of storytelling shapes the minds of tomorrow. Experience an evening of exploration, enlightenment, and the enduring charm of The NeverEnding Story.

The Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA

Film Synopsis

A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

    On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called "The Neverending Story," Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by "The Nothing," a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive.

    Photo credit: Warner Bros.

    About the Speaker

    Kirsten Read, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University who teaches courses on child development and publishes research on the language and learning benefits from shared storybook reading with young children.

    Atalia Lopez is an Australian transplant, Letterboxd devotee, and Frida Cinema board member. She teaches classes on the intersection of film, literature, and the urban environment at Chapman University, and is proudly responsible for exposing hundreds of students to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Atalia completed her undergraduate studies in literature at Chapman University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford. You may also know her as the host of The Frida’s monthly Film Trivia Nights, where she invented the “fourth round stretch.”