By MARINA CAITLIN WATTS
Leaves are starting to change color, breezes will soon feel bone-chilling as opposed to refreshing and everyone will shift from iced coffee to the hot variety. As autumn starts to consume our final summer days, here are a few films you can curl up to, especially with a cup of tea when it’s too rainy to go anywhere. And if you’re not overwhelmed by prelims.
DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989): *gross sobs over Robin Williams* A film that takes place in New England, what could be more perfect? Probably a film that takes place in Ithaca. Nonetheless, the cinematography captures the beauty of the fall. English teacher John Keating (Williams) takes over a poetry class at an all-boys boarding school and inspires them to seize the day and make their lives extraordinary. With its powerful messages, this coming-of-age film is best watched during this time of year (and hopefully it inspires you to persevere through prelim season).
Any of the HARRY POTTER films: Let’s be real. At some point your friends have said “Your school is basically Hogwarts” while visiting you. When the Clock Tower chimes with Hedwig’s theme or you pass through the West Campus War Memorial that resembles the corridors of Hogwarts, it’s hard to deny. I’m incredibly biased because I grew up with Harry Potter, but these films could not be more perfect for the fall as we return to school for another magical year. But seriously — if you’re going to binge-watch any series of films when the seasons are ever-changing, it better be Harry Potter.
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989): The scenes in which the titular characters walk through Central Park make my heart endlessly yearn for Manhattan in the autumn. When Harry Met Sally is the story of two friends (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) who meet in college and reconnect at various points in their lives and try to figure out what love is, and whether or not a man and a woman can be friends without sex getting in the way. Best watched with a hot cup of coffee and curled up in your softest blanket, When Harry Met Sally will warm your soul when the Ithaca winds don’t. It is a classic, and the soundtrack is perfect for walking around campus as the leaves are falling.
LIBERAL ARTS (2012): Maybe it’s the How I Met Your Mother marathon I have been indulging in, but this film starring Josh Radnor is excellent. It tells the story of Jesse (Radnor), a 35-year-old who doesn’t feel like he is doing what he really wanted to after college. He returns to his alma mater because his favorite professor is celebrating retirement. During his visit, he meets a group of college kids and finds himself increasingly attracted to a student there (Elizabeth Olsen) who is 15 years his minor. Liberal Arts offers an honest taste of the uncertainty that college life offers along with the nostalgia we will forever have for our alma mater once we graduate.
GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997): Another film taking place in New England with Robin Williams — who could ask for anything more? This film also has a soundtrack that lends itself to this time of year. When janitor Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is found to have untapped genius potential, a professor (Stellan Skarsgard) offers to keep him out of jail given that he sees a psychologist (Williams). The bromance of Damon and Ben Affleck is captured perfectly in this film, as their loyalty rivals that of Hamlet and Horatio’s. This film offers an honest look at college life and describes the decisions we must make that will affect our years after graduating. With more of Robin Williams dropping his words of wisdom on those in need, Good Will Hunting is full of quotes to live by.
RUSHMORE (1998): Wes Anderson’s film takes place at the beginning of the fall semester for Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) and ends right before Christmas. This unconventional yet charming coming-of-age film follows the confident Max Fischer as he faces academic probation from every single extracurricular his school offers due to poor grades. He also tries to woo his teacher, Miss Cross (Olivia Williams). The cast also includes Bill Murray (because what is a Wes Anderson film without Bill Murray?), Luke Wilson and Seymour Cassel. Quirky and fun, this film will take you back to the time when you had a major crush on your teacher.
THE VILLAGE (2004): M. Night Shyamalan is famous for The Sixth Sense and Signs as well as his cinematography mysterious twists. In this film, members of an isolated village find themselves in danger when the environment in which they live turns on them. With a cast including Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody and Sigourney Weaver, this film is hauntingly perfect for autumn, and will make it difficult to leave your house late at night to wander around. Subtle but captivating, it’s infinitely more worth the watch than The Blair Witch Project.
All gifs courtesy of giphy.com
Marina Caitlin Watts is a senior in the College of Agricultural Life Sciences. In addition to writing for The Sun, she has also been published on various film websites along with The Daily Beast. She loves Frank Sinatra and hates decaf coffee. If you need her, she is waiting for Godot. She can be reached at [email protected]. Watch Me If You Can appears on alternate Fridays this semester.