It’s midterm week, and everyone on campus are studying their butts off and feeling a little more stressed than usual. But even during hectic weeks like this, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and get some relaxation in between last minute cram sessions and long hours in the library. Now, I could recommend some inspirational films to get students in the mood to succeed, but what fun is that? Here are 5 films that will provide a temporary escape and allow for a little daydreaming…
1) “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (dir. John Hughes, 1986)
It’s every young student’s dream: taking the day off, on their own terms, and getting into every kind of crazy shenanigan they can think of. Matthew Broderick’s wonderfully irreverent Bueller is the kind of character anybody would love to be, and the crazed antics of him and his small group of friends is an absolute riot. What better way to cool off than watch a movie about skipping class – though I will add that you shouldn’t try this at home.
2) “Rushmore” (dir. Wes Anderson, 1998)
Wes Anderson is my personal favorite movie nerd, and “Rushmore” is his early comedy masterpiece. Starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, “Rushmore” tells the story of a young student named Max, his friendship with the wealthy Herman Blume, and their collective love for a young elementary school teacher. It’s blissful, hilarious and has style to spare. It might not be your typical school-focused comedy, but it’s better for it.
3) “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” (dir. Edgar Wright, 2010)
Wouldn’t it be great to live in a video game, where everything has checkpoints, extra lives and easily accomplished resets? Especially when you forget to fill out that back page of the test? ‘Scott Pilgrim” takes that idea and blows it wide open, telling the story of bass player Scott Pilgrim and his mess of a romantic life. A pitch perfect combination of action, comedy and romance, “Scott Pilgrim” is the kind of movie that anyone can get into, even if video games aren’t your shtick.
4) “2001: A Space Odyssey” (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Maybe laughing isn’t quite what you’re feeling this week, and if that’s the case, “2001: A Space Odyssey” might be a bit more your flavor. A contemplative and surreal sci-fi by the master, Stanley Kubrick, “2001” is the kind of cinematic poem that a viewer can sink into. My senior year of high school involved watching this one an astonishing 37 times (it was a stressful year). The mixture of the sweeping orchestral score, borderline pop-art visuals and a barebones story meant to make audiences think. “2001” is a great flick for relaxing and doing a bit of film-oriented mediation to prep for your exams.
5) “Mad Max: Fury Road” (dir. George Miller, 2015)
Sometimes, you want to laugh. Sometimes, you want to relax. And then are are times that you want to see things blow up. “Mad Max: Fury Road” might be the fourth movie in the series, but it’s also easily the best. Miller knows how to shoot an action film, and “Fury Road” is one of the finest pieces of action filmmaking the industry has ever seen. The rapid pace and near constant destruction is a blast, and the subtle comedy gives it that extra push into easy-watching territory. If you’re a fan of films like the “Fast and Furious” series or superhero flicks, give “Fury Road” a chance to show you how it’s done. And hey, you can always imagine that it’s your stress that’s being blown to smithereens.
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