Though the summer has come to an end, and it may feel like your freedom and amusement has gone with it, it is always a good idea to take a couple of hours every day, for yourself, to simply unwind. To do so, there is virtually no better way, than to watch a movie. Movies are beautiful pieces of art that can take you to a different time or place, stopping you from remembering that you have returned to your dreaded classes. That being said, not just any movie will do to satisfy your longing to escape so below is a list of movies that will suit every cinema lover.
If you’re a lover of dark comedy, then there is no better back-to-school movie for you than the 1988 cult classic, Heathers. Directed by Michael Lehmann, and starring 80s symbol Winona Rider and heartthrob in his day Christian Slater, this comedy is not the greatest work of cinema history; it contains cheesy one liners, a cheesier score, a quirky melodramatic plot, and some over-exaggerated acting. However, it is a strangely loveable slice of cinema, perhaps because of its witty satirical take on High School cliques, and the sheer ridiculousness of the way each character thinks. The movie, on its surface, tells the story of a young teenage couple who target a group of popular mean girls who are all named Heather. The seemingly innocent couple also spends their nights staging the murders of fellow students as suicides. Yes, the plot sounds strange, but if you’re willing to put up with its quirks, it will somehow creep its way onto your list of all-time favourite movies.
If you would like to remind yourself that some students have it worse than you, then the perfect depressing movie for you is by far Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 feature film, Black Swan. It tells the story of a young dance student, so obsessed with perfection, that she completely drives herself mad to obtain it. As if dealing with that struggle isn’t enough, she has to deal with an overprotective mother, competitive dance students, repressed sexuality, and a dance teacher who is both overly harsh and completely inappropriate. The movie is basically flawless with its incredible score, expert sound-editing and an Oscar-winning performance by lead actress Natalie Portman. Be warned, however, this movie is not for the faint of heart, and may leave you pondering your own sanity for a few days to come.
If you think yourself a complete cinephile, then what could be better than exploring some Truffaut? Arguably the first piece of the French New Wave, François Truffaut’s 1959 feature-film, Les Quatre Cent Coups (400 Blows), will take you back to your days of elementary school. Following the life of a young rambunctious boy (portrayed by Jean-Pierre Léaud), the movie boasts a witty screenplay and cinematography sure to inspire any aspiring filmmaker. It’s loosely based off of Truffaut’s own childhood and includes both relatable struggles of home life and in the classroom. The movie is also a nice place to start you on your way to becoming a true cinema connoisseur.
Though there may not be a broad selection of well-made horror movies that take place in schools, Carrie will forever remain a classic. Based off of the Stephen King novel of the same name, the movie centers around an outcast who develops telekinetic powers, has to deal with an abusive religious mother, and gets revenge over her cruel classmates. Between the chilling plot line and score, and Sissy Spacek’s meek, yet terrifying appearance, the movie will send chills down your spine until the very last second. Keep in mind though, if you are the type who will find its effects outdated, it is more worth it to skip over the film entirely, than it is to watch the 2013 remake.
Finally, for those of you who are heavy studiers and don’t have much time for movies, watching a few shorts is always a good idea. Take Andrea Arnold’s 2003 short Wasp, for instance. It is only 26 minutes in length but tells a full story and allows you to delve into the life of a single mother.
No matter what your tastes, movies are always a good way to distract yourself. Just be sure not to take it too far and put them before your studies.
Written By: Franca G. Mignacca
Originally published: August 2015