The Round Up, Vol 2: High School Edition

This week I’ve gone through a high school movies binge, probably because I’ve been living alone in Sheffield all week with only revision and coursework to keep me company. Movies such as those in this list, it turns out, are perfect for lifting your spirits and giving you that sense of community while your housemates are elsewhere (like mine were).

So on here are films that everyone should have seen and are fantastic for passing the time on those moody Sundays evenings. A few are bound to be old favourites, so why not revisit them and keep those spirits high, so to speak?

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused

Recommendation of the week.

Dazed and Confused might have been set in Texas in the summer of 1976, but the feeling isn’t all that different from Scunthorpe in the summer of 2010. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that no matter what year or place it was that you spent getting wasted in the woods during summer, giving older kids money to buy your booze, falling in love, having fights etc., this is the film that will fill you with all kinds of nostalgia. Full of fantastic characters played by pre-stardom actors such as Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Milla Jovovich, Dazed and Confused will force you to remember a time where you said “If I ever refer to these as the best years of my life, remind me to kill myself.” And if you’re still at that stage now? Don’t worry, you won’t.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club

Dark in many ways, the Breakfast Club is an all-out teenage anarchist movie about five very different kids, all sentenced to a Saturday detention where they end up bonding over their social imprisonment. Under siege of a dickhead teacher (Dick, assistant headteacher), the kids simmer and boil behind their fronts and barriers until they explode with naked truths about the strain of expectations. But although it can be difficult, it’s in no way a depressing film. Watching Bender get himself into more trouble than anything was worth reminded me of myself, where the objective of school wasn’t to learn but rather to fuck over as many teachers as possible.

School of Rock (2003)

School of Rock

Pure rock fanaticism will always be annoying, but instead of creating propaganda in favour of the genre, Richard Linklater channels the soul of rock into a tight-knit private school to remind you that yes, your child is a human being and restricting their spirit is wrong. Dewey (Jack Black) wants you to know that it’s punk that built our current society, and we only have AC/DC, the Ramones, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to be thankful for. Only the first half of that is true, however, but there are few greater sights than a man you can identify with leading troops into battle to fight for a cause he believes in.

Black Narcissus (1947)

Black Narcissus

Happy movies not your thing? Try an old Powell and Pressburger movie about crazy nuns and shit. We got shown this the other day for our exam, and it’s pretty great. Its use of colour and scenery were massively ahead of its time, and visually it even exceeds many films release 20-25 years later. It’s also bursting with melodrama to the verge of comedy, with a weird horse lurking around the final scene that tops it all off.


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