5. Back to the Future

Even though less relatable and not initially appealing to students Back to the Future should not be written off. The film is referenced so often that I cannot help but consider it a 'must see film'.

The Doc will remind you of at least one crazy lecturer, or that technician you see hovering around the chemistry department. Despite having been released in 1985, there is a delightful sense of nostalgia and light-hearted fun that can provide any student with their film fix.

Michael J. Fox plays Marty McFly, a teenager who finds himself stuck in 1955 and must force his parents together so his life can continue on course. This movie is immensely funny, energetic and refreshing. Within each student's chaotic attempt at time-management Back to the Future provides a visual escape from the present and is therefore, justifiable procrastination.

4. American Psycho

Batman has always been considered cool, since 2005 Christian Bale has made sure of that. However, add the letter 'e', a cocaine addiction and some creative ideas for power tools and suddenly Bale plays a character even more strikingly cool than Batman. That can't be right? Indeed, Bret Easton Ellis' antagonist Bateman is a successful, stylish and incredibly handsome businessman working on Wall Street during the 80's Manhattan boom. However, he is also a psychopath.

A product of consumerism and materialistic greed, Bateman's murderous soliloquies are so violently extreme that you almost laugh away the severity of the situation. Bale's phenomenal performance is so enchanting that you struggle to decipher the ridiculous from the unsettling. You will both adore Bateman's guile and wince with terror at the man's lack of empathy.

The film, which is now an A level English Literature coursework option will not only intrigue and challenge each student's search for educational merit within the film but, it will influence each individual differently; whether you are disgusted or amazed, watching it to find out is enough to satisfy any student's curiosity.

3. Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver is a shocking and powerful film that lingers in the memory long after having been viewed. Amongst a surge of epic fantasy and relatable comedy that caters to every student's movie needs. Taxi Driver is a particularly elusive classic within the student population.

Released in 1976, boasting Jodie Foster as a controversial 12 year old prostitute, a career-defining performance from Robert De Niro and a portrayal of violence to rival anything Tarantino puts before us. This film is anything but light-hearted student procrastination. Yet, there is a chilling realism to De Niro's portrayal of mental deterioration as a result of isolation, desperation and insomnia that most students on some level can't help but empathise with. You may find yourself disturbingly inspired.

2. (500) Days of Summer

Something a little less obvious, (500) Days of Summer is more than boy meets girl. The film is a testament to an enduring optimism that every student needs reminding of. Although something of a cliché, it provides the notion of one door closing in order for another to open.

A failed architect and fan of The Smiths, we can't help anticipate that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character is destined for anti-climactic happiness and adversity. He cannot comprehend that his 'girlfriend' does not believe in love, even if she openly admits it.

A realistic portrayal of not knowing what is around the corner (a feeling most students know all too well), we can't help but feel assured and positive after watching this coming-of-age tutorial. Put away initial pre-conceptions of what the film will be and how it is 'not for you' and give it a go. The soundtrack is brilliant too.

1. Fight Club.

It is, I know, surprising to most that the number one is neither Shawshank Redemption nor Pulp Fiction but this film does warrant special attention. The Pixies' 'Where is my Mind?' in the closing scene is devastatingly appropriate and also complementary to one of the greatest film endings ever.

Chuck Palahniuk's novel is translated onto the screen by powerful performances from Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, giving an entirely convincing satire of a capitalist society in a way that any educated young adult can appreciate.

Despite how a seminar tutor might make you feel this film leaves you, regardless of any individual academic achievement, well aware that 'you are not a unique and beautiful snowflake'. The concept of Fight Club is that somebody cannot be truly happy until they have reached rock bottom; a state of mind reached by physical pain and the subsequent self-realisation.

Much more than a classic developing anarchy and fight-the-system films, Fight Club is a glorious portrayal of psychological potential that will plant itself in any student's mind and stay there for a very, very long time.


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