Watching films is just as much a part of student culture as attending lectures, but with unlimited movies at our fingertips you can be forgiven for not knowing where to start. Luckily, Oscar Harding advises us on ten films that should be on every student’s watch list.
One of the indisputable facts of Student life is that you will inevitably spend the majority of your time at University watching films – tonnes of them – rather than making that very expensive student loan worth it. You’ll see them in a fragile, hungover state. You’ll watch them as research for essays. You’ll see them with your mates over pizza and beer. You’ll put up with them in order to get closer to that special someone. So, which movies should you be watching? Which movies should you watch now to avoid social embarrassment later on when you admit to having never seen this film or that film?
There’s the obvious choices that you see on countless posters all over every campus in the country – The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs, Taxi Driver, Predator, The Notebook, Mean Girls… and whilst they are all phenomenal films worthy of your praise, let me offer you some alternatives: movies that every student should watch, but have not necessarily heard of. Watching my suggestions will fill you with street cred among peers… or at least, y’know, some kind of cred. And I intend to provide something for everyone, boys and girls alike, in a variety of genres. So, in no particular order…
You have to include a Wes Anderson film – this is essential. So many to choose from, but perhaps the most accessible is Rushmore. Quirky, endlessly quotable, and starring Bill Murray. What’s not to love?
Comedy is the dominant genre of film that students will consume, so let’s start with the obvious choice: Anchorman. I couldn’t bring myself to leave this out, and you might be surprised to know that not everyone has actually watched this classic, much as they might like to quote it. And never forget which country you’re studying in – for the best of British comedy in recent years, try Four Lions. And perhaps the best comedy ever made is The Jerk, which contains Steve Martin’s funniest performance accompanying this sweet, charming love story that won’t have you reaching for a bucket.
We need to include a super-violent, cool-as-a-cucumber thriller with an iconic lead character. But rather than going for Tarantino, try Drive – who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling? It’s got a kickass soundtrack, looks gorgeous and has a bizarre love story at its heart, so it’s not all blood and guts.
Speaking of blood and guts, we have to include at least one horror. For a trashy cult classic, give The Evil Dead a shot (the original, not the remake). It’s also quite funny, so it’s not going to terrify the faint-hearted that easily.
Or you could go for something a bit more emotional with Dead Poet’s Society, a proper tear-jerker and, frankly, it’s a movie that everyone should watch at least once, whether they’re a student or not. No movie list would be complete without a couple of obscure movies. The Matador and A Town Called Panic, provide the token animation entry. Both damn good movies, unlike anything you’ve seen before. They’re fairly recent, so the fight to make them beloved student classics begins with you, dear reader!
Oh, and every essential student film list has to include a minimum of one Liam Neeson movie. I think it’s actually a law. That movie has to be Taken. Happy viewing!