Here is '5 good 5 bad' films done for the Vice 2007 Student Guide.
By the time you get to University this will be ‘seminal’. It is a weak, plotless meander through various insecurities about life and growing up that thinks it is dealing with way more than it does. Oh, and it has The Shins in the soundtrack. So minus the Shins it is essentially my thought process as I’m taking a crap in the morning.
Now here’s a film about life and growing up you can get behind. A boy and his bird. Admit it, you choked up when Jud killed the kestrel. This is a harrowing, bleak depiction of the inevitability and drudgery of the northern working classes. It is also brilliantly acted and shot which sort of makes it the opposite of the guy from Scrubs moaning about being on too many anti-depressants.
Right, here’s how it is: if you are guy you have to hate Gallo. He makes his own films, releases records on Warp, has curated his own fucking ATP (wtf?!) and your girlfriend loves him. One day she will bring this innocent looking but shockingly bad drudge through more insecurities around to your room and spend the whole hour and a half going on about how ‘convincing’ and ‘intense’ Vincent is. He just shouts a lot and does crazy eyes. Least convincing badass ex-con on the run with his girl ever.
Bonnie & Clyde
Much more like it. These two just don’t give a shit. It’s the depression but damned if they aint gonna have some fun. Watch as Beatty’s funny face breaks into a maniacal laugh as he shoots people. The ending is awesome and Faye Dunaway is like Eve on a spring day but permanently.
Students love to bang on about Tarantino the auteur. Sorry but am I the only one who thinks he lost it after Reservoir Dogs? I get the whole pastiche/self referntialism thing but the problem is that it works in True Romance perfectly because the dialogue and acting are incredible. This bloated parody however is what happens when you let a total movie-buff geek go wild like a paedo at break time and he makes an awful version of something he loves simply by trying too damn hard. Like those adults dedicated to making perfect replica railways. They look sort of cool going round and round but the whole thing just ends up looking fake and a bit creepy on closer inspection.
Now here’s the flick Quentin should have made. Park Chan Wook is the master of the revenge film. This is part of a trilogy whose uniting factor is that someone has been wronged and they will crack skulls till they feel better about the whole thing. You will never look at a hammer in the same way. Paranoia followed by unrelenting brutality, perfect.
At University lots of people start taking pills for the first time. For someone who has just taken their first E and lived on a farm in Hertfordshire until they left boarding school this film probably seems really edgy and ready to confront real life issues. To everyone else it is about as interesting as crabs.
Adam & Paul
Although you are far less likely to develop a skag addiction in Halls this is one of the only films about drugs that is actually worth watching. No glamour, no girls, no Stooges. Just pissing, shitting, puking and trying to survive. All in the course of a day. The only problem with watching it with students is that they will probably try and compare it to Beckett. Just tell them to die.
Withnail and I
This is probably the most watched student film of all time. Generations of loan-fed twats have justified their terrible standards of living and alcoholism with misquotes about bohemianism and Camberwell Carrots thanks to this George Harrison funded oddity. What is their deal anyway? They clearly finished University years ago. Richard E Grant is already going bald.
Withnail and I
The only problem is that it also happens to be one of the funniest, most re-watchable and insane British films ever. It’s far more like a Hunter S Thompson novel than the any of the actual films of his novels and watching a guy rub Deep Heat all over himself just to stay warm while gargling lighter fluid to stay pepped up never gets old. Maybe I should go back to being a student?