As all of the freshies get their first glimpse of Ithaca’s “lovely” weather, I give them a quick guide to fun indoor activities in the form of cinematic enjoyment this O-Week (because we will inevitably face another downpour at some point…like, tomorrow probably). First off, I would ask all new students to turn to Cornell Cinema. I mean, it’s free for you guys this week, and what is better than free? Nothing? That’s right!
Every O-Week Cornell Cinema offers great movie classics in a quick crash course into some of the most critically acclaimed (for better or worse) films of the 20th century for film buffs and newbies alike; sometimes they throw in something new and fresh. This year definitely has some of both. In the realm of classics are Citizen Kane, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Dr. Strangelove and Casablanca; all heavy-hitting films starring old Hollywood royalty such as Orson Welles, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Sellers and good old Bogey. Then we have some of the summer’s blockbusters with The Great Gatsby and Star Trek Into Darkness. Some great eye candy there, just saying.
The best part of all — besides the fact that Cornell Cinema is on campus — is that the Cinema has undergone some cosmetic surgery this summer. A new screen has been installed along with a state-of-the-art digital projector for our viewing pleasure. In addition, the space is going back to its roots and will be showcasing live student theater throughout the semester. At the same time, it has not lost its quaint and cozy feel that is so often lost in giant movie theatre chains. Just sitting in the chairs transports you to some bygone era. And hey, maybe some of our famous alumni have left their butt imprints there once as well.
Speaking of quaintness, for those more adventurous and willing to escape to the Commons, I recommend hitting up Cinemapolis. Ithaca’s small, independent movie theater boasts buzzy independent films and documentaries for all kinds of tastes. For this week, I definitely recommend watching the coming-of-age film, The Way Way Back. Written and directed by Jim Rash and Nat Faxon (they also wrote The Descendants, and how can you say no to Dean Pelton?), the film takes place in a slightly antiquated New England beach town. The story follows 14-year-old Duncan as he finds those who think of him as more than just a 3 on a scale from 1-10 (like his mother’s douche of a boyfriend calls him). Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell deliver great comedic performances and, despite some intense awkward moments, the movie is quite the feel-good film for the end of summer.
Along a similar vein of coming-of-age stories (I mean, isn’t that what we are all supposedly doing in college anyways?), The Spectacular Now will show this weekend. This time, the story focuses on young love. Relationships are hard in general, but more so when you’re young and are told that you don’t know what you want and that life takes you all over. But why worry about the future so much and not just enjoy the spectacular now? (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.) In any case, this movie looks like another great one to close out the summer months. And hey, that girl from Secret Life did a pretty good job in The Descendants in my book, so let’s hope she holds on to those acting skills that seemed to come out of nowhere.
And if coming-of-age is not your thing, Woody Allen’s latest Blue Jasmine and Oscar bait, Fruitvale Station, are also playing if you want something more serious and gritty. In any case, go out and explore. Go back in time to WWII or to high school. Expose yourself to new things and people in the spirit of O-Week and check out a movie with Cornell Cinema or Cinemapolis.
Original Author: Natalia Fallas