I’ve said it over and over on this blog: I love film. I love being able to learn more about myself, the world, and the Lord through stories depicted on a screen. I love how each piece of the film – the colors, the music, the word choice, the camera angles – adds meaning and depth to the story. Its a place for me to escape for awhile into a story other than my own, but when the lights come up and the credits start to roll, somehow my story has changed too.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
A genius film a teacher that cares deeply about his students’ stories – an experience I hope each and every one of you have had before. What does it mean to live a good story, to follow your dreams, and to set new standards? Words and ideas can change the world. What will your verse be?
One of Robin William’s best – a whole dimension of depth is added to in in light of Mr. William’s suicide a few years ago.
This film speaks heavily to the questions of what is truth and what does it mean to exist? Are you relevant if you aren’t connected to popular culture? Is the true you the version you put on your social media pages, and if not . . . what is the “real you”? It’s shot and edited to seem that it is all in one, long, sweeping shot. Our culture and our understanding of film has taught us to take life in short blips and segments – what happens when there is no break from the tension?
Fascinatingly mocking our Marvel-centered culture, each of the main actors have starred in superhero movie – Alejandro González Iñárritu has one of the most creative minds I’ve seen.
Up In The Air (2009)
If I had to sum up this movie in four words it would be “People need other people.” Life is messy; how much of it do we need to be vulnerable and share it with others?
Jason Reitman, who also directed Juno, has incredible soundtracks to his films, usually featuring songs with simple melodies, acoustic guitars, and powerful lyrics.
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
If you’ve even got a pinch of feminism in you – or even if you are skeptical of the feminist movement – I highly recommend this movie to you. Where is a woman’s value? Her husband, her household, her schoolwork, her status? And while we’re asking deep questions – what is good art and who decides?
Feminism aside, I’m a huge fan of the 1950’s. The music! The cars! The clothes! *swoon*.
Not to set your expectations too high, but I think this very well could be my favorite movie of all time. The film parallels Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), both films set in outer space, that challenge ideas on what it means to be human. Each struggle with the questions of where fault lies, technology or humanity, as well as other concepts such as control and love.
Things to keep your eye out for: Watch Cooper’s wedding ring (did Chris Nolan borrow a theme from his previous movie Inception?), characters’ names and what they could mean (*cough cough* Dr. Mann), and Anne Hathaway’s kickbutt pixie cut (just because it’s gorgeous.)
My list extends far beyond these five movies, but this should keep you busy for the first few weeks of summer – or let’s be honest – when you’re procrastinating on studying for exams.