Film Friday: The Revival

The Update’s Film Fridays were a classic staple of our weekly posts, but in recent years, they have fallen into oblivion. This year, we are reviving Film Fridays with a twist: instead of just one film, we’ll usually recommend 5.

So, with the pressures of school beginning to increase as mocks, tests, and EE proposals get closer and closer, what better way to relax than by procrastinating all that work and watching a movie?

This weekend, our theme is Classic Directors, and just as a special treat, we have a double showing special: we’re recommending 10 movies! It’s hard to pick just 10, but these are the standout candidates that introduce the directing style of each of these famous people. Plus, we’ve added extra recommendations of films by the same directors just in case you’ve already seen these classics. Please note that most of these films have a R rating, so viewer discretion is advised.

1. Starting off strong, a movie that went down in history, Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino

This movie has an intricately woven plot that defies any timeline. It follows the lives of several criminals and how they’re all caught up in each other’s webs, and was a film that changed cinema forever. It has some of the most famous movie lines ever, and is always a great Halloween costume inspiration, and its brilliantly written and constructed. It’s a well-loved classic, but it does have very mature content, so we wouldn’t advise watching it with anyone younger.

Pulp Fiction, credit: IMDB

If you like this movie, try another Tarantino classic, Inglourious Basterds

2. Interstellar: Christopher Nolan

Interstellar is a modern-day classic that examines how mankind is going to cope with our rather grim future. However, it doesn’t present a pessimistic worldview, instead, it gives us a strange sort of hope. It’s beautifully shot, with one of the most heart-wrenching scores of all time, by Hans Zimmer. Watch out for the waves scene- it’s a fan favorite.

If you like this, try Inception, another mind-bending movie

Interstellar, source: Story Lit Films

3. Virgin Suicides: Sophia Coppola

The Virgin Suicides is not for the faint of heart, and is often misunderstood. It follows the 5 Lisbon girls growing up in suburban America, who all commit suicide by the end of the book. Coppola uses beautiful cinematography and a dreamy soundtrack by Air to portray the male gaze and the difficulties of female adolescence in a truly original way. Again, this movie has very mature content, so please don’t watch it with younger kids.

If you like this, read the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, or try Lost in Translation

The Virgin Suicides, source: IMDB

4. Taxi Driver: Martin Scorsese

Taxi Driver is another cinema classic, in which nothing much really happens, until the very violent ending. It’s a study in character, a film where the central character is more interesting than his surroundings. Without giving too much away, it’s about a New York cab driver who becomes increasingly disgusted with the crime and filth of the city, set against the backdrop of an important election.

If you like this, watch the Wolf of Wall Street, another brilliant character study, and one in which a lot more actually happens

Taxi Driver, source: IMDB

5. Spirited Away: Hayao Miyazaki

Spirited Away is a childhood favorite for many, along with the other Studio Ghibli movies that Miyazaki has directed. Chihiro, a young girl, is separated from her parents and forced to live in a fantasy world full of very human qualities, like greed, corruption, and capitalism… Apart from being a not-so-sutble commentary on our society, it’s beautifully animated and luckily, has a happy ending.

If you like this, try other Ghibli movies like Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, and many more!

Spirited Away, source: BBC

6. Fight Club: David Fincher

Fight Club is another completely misunderstood film, but an absolutely fantastic one. Any description of it will spoil it completely, but it’s a startling depiction of our current materialistic society, and how capitalism has affected our lives. Everything from the sets to the costume design to the famous soundtrack (think Where is My Mind by the Pixies) contribute to its grungy, dirty atmosphere and harsh message.

If you like this, you can watch Seven, another very violent movie, and Gone Girl, an equally disturbing film

Fight Club, credit: Netflix AUS/NZ

7. O Brother Where Art Thou?: the Coen brothers

O Brother Where Art Thou is a hilarious movie that’s based off Homer’s Odyssey, but set in Mississippi in the 1930s. George Clooney plays Ulysses, who’s just made a prison break with his friends, and embarks upon a perilous yet comedic journey to return to his loving wife. It has amazing music, and is extremely quotable.

If you like this, Raising Arizona is another great watch

O Brother Where Art Thou, credit: IMDB

8. The Breakfast Club: John Hughes 

The Breakfast Club is an 80s movie that signalled the rise of rebellious teenagedom and the pressures that teenagers have to face. Five kids are put in detention on a Saturday, all completely different, and forced to write a 4000 word essay (like an EE…) about who they think they are. By the end of the film, their perceptions of themselves and the other kids has changed completely.

If you like this, try Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, another coming-of-age movie, but with more parades

the Breakfast Club, credit: IMDB

9. E:T. : Steven Spielberg

E.T., another 80s movie, is still magical today, even though its special effects aren’t up to the same standard as they might have been 40 years ago. Spielberg brings a special feel to this film, and it’s perfect to watch with younger siblings or for a family movie night, as parents are sure to remember it nostalgically.

If you liked ET, Saving Private Ryan is another great movie, although not a family film!

E.T., credit: IMDB

10. And finally, the Shining: Stanley Kubrick

The Shining is a film that revolutionized horror forever. It uses psychological horror and spine-tingling cinematography to evoke constant dread and terror, so if horror is your favorite genre and you haven’t seen it, give it a watch.

If you liked this one, A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey are must-watches- although 2001 is long, it did have a bigger cultural impact than almost any other movie ever made.

The Shining, credit: Rotten Tomatoes

And those are the 10 movies that express those director’s best talents, along with our extra recommendations sprinkled in for fun. After watching, tell us what you think in the comments below!

Written by Meera Shroff Feldman

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