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University’s Film experts’ Top Picks

Film Studies academics at the University have been sharing their top films they would recommend trying in these socially distanced times if you have some spare time on the sofa:

Mikel Koven, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Film Studies, recommends:

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966): “While literally any film by master Sergio Leone is worth watching, this is my go-to film. The final three-way shoot out, accompanied by Ennio Morricone’s ‘Ecstasy of Gold’, is simply one the most beautiful moments in world cinema.”

Seven Samurai (1954): “Kurosawa Akira was one of the key directors who got me into film studies. And I remember the first time I saw the full-length version of this, at an art gallery in Toronto, and despite its four-hour running time, the film never lagged.”

Betty Blue (1986): “I was fortunate enough to interview director Jean-Jacques Beineix at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I recall asking him what, in his opinion, made for a great film. He thought for a moment and then said “any film which makes me dream”, which I thought was a lovely reply. Betty Blue is a film which makes me dream: erotic, passionate, tragic, funny, and beautifully shot French masterpiece!”

Carl Sweeney, Associate Lecturer in Film Studies, recommends:

Rear Window (1954) – “In Hitchcock’s classic, James Stewart spies on the activities of his neighbours during a long period indoors. You might be able to empathise.”

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – “At present, I’m really missing the familiar rhythms of family life. If you are too, this classic Judy Garland musical might provide some comfort in that regard.”

Atlantics (2019) – “This doesn’t necessarily have a lockdown connection, but I don’t think enough people have seen Mati Diop’s supernatural drama yet. It’s currently available on Netflix.”

Daniel Brookes, Associate Lecturer in Film Studies, recommends:

The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988) – “A great Dutch mystery film with the perfect ending (no spoiler!). You’ll never look at service stations the same way again.”

American Animals (Bart Layton, 2018) – “Both a drama and a documentary at the same time about a real-life heist. Not everything you’re seeing is true…but does it matter?”

Vip Artpradid, Associate Lecturer in Film Studies, recommends:

Shutter (Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004) – “If you enjoyed Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998), you’ll love this work of contemporary Thai horror that just might redefine the relationship you have with the camera on your phone.”

Into Great Silence (German: ‘Die große Stille’, Philip Gröning, 2006) – “A painstakingly produced documentary that is perfect for quiet contemplation on life. Two and a half hours of life in a Carthusian monastery – what’s not to like?”

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