Freshen up on film: Use Spring Break to catch up on flicks

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Exceptional romances with soundtracks to match
Director Baz Luhrmann is a master at over-the-top romances accompanied by modern pop songs that will surely keep you singing and swooning. Some of our favorite Luhrmann movies are Strictly Ballroom (1993),
Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Moulin Rouge! (2001). Submarine (2010), Amelie (2001), In The Mood For Love (2000), and Harold and Maude (1971) are much quieter love stories for those looking for something whimsical. Fans of action will enjoy True Romance (1993), a modern day Bonnie and Clyde (1967) – speaking of which, is a great criminal duo movie.

Take the full week to marathons classic series
Prep for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) by watching the original trilogy, Stars Wars: A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1980). Unfortunately, only Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) is available to stream on Netflix, but if you really want a classic marathon, the ever-so-popular Harry Potter series (1997-2007) can be streamed on HBO Now. Ready to finally watch the godfather of movies? Lucky for you, all three of The Godfathers (1972, 1974, 1990) are now on Netflix. We’d recommend only watching the first and second, since the third was made decades after its predecessors and doesn’t quite meet the cinematic standards of the first two. Some other top notch series worth mentioning are The Matrix, The Bourne series, and as many of the James Bond movies as you can watch in a week.

Women’s History Month movies
Nine to Five (1980), starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda, is a comedy of working women standing up to sexism in the office that, although made in 1980, still stands today. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017), starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne, tells the story of two incredibly dynamic women on a mission. Some more aggressive female heroines can be seen in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (2003, 2004) and Thelma and Louise (1991) were women fed up with misogyny take the law into their own hands. A notable woman from behind the scenes is Julie Dash, who became the first African-American woman to direct a film distributed to theaters across the U.S., with her visually stunning movie Daughters of Dust (1991). For those looking for something more light-hearted, we recommend We Are the Best! (2013), an extremely relatable story of three young Swedish girls in the 1980’s trying to start a punk band.

Vibrantly original films
Movies that focus on aesthetics are Marie Antoinette (2006), The Fall (2006), The Florida Project (2017), and Amadeus (1984). What they lack in an engaging plot is made up for in creative cinematography and striking sets and costumes. Pretty much any movie directed by Wes Anderson, Studio Ghibli, Tom Ford, or Guillermo Del Toro will be immaculately stylish and distinctive in story. Our top picks are The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Princess Mononoke (1999), A Single Man (2009), and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) respectively.

Medium defining movies of the past
Dive into legendary films by legendary directors like Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) and The Third Man (1949), Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), Vertigo (1958) and North by Northwest (1959), or Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Shining (1980) and Clockwork Orange (1971). If you saw the recently released movie The Post (2017), All The President’s Men (1976) starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford is a must-see, as it tells the closely linked story of the Watergate Scandal from the same angle. Fan of La La Land? Revisit musical movie sensations like Singing In The Rain (1952), West Side Story (1961), and The Sound of Music (1965). Jaws (1975) popularized the blockbuster movie in the seventies, but films that created the blockbuster existed before. Check out original box office successes like Gone With The Wind (1939), Quo Vadis (1951), and Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937), which was also the first feature length animated film in theaters.