Weekly Watchlist: Week 1

This is Weekly Watchlist. Weekly, (or bi-weekly, depends on how many movies I’ve seen), I will be posting an article detailing the movies I’ve watched during the week.

Why peruse the Weekly Watchlist? Because I’m a film major, *shrugs shoulders* I watch movies almost everyday, and I’ve got some things to say about them. Some are really nice, while others are trash; my job is to help you, the reader, avoid the trash. 

Before we get into anything, I need to give a shoutout to the app Letterboxd. Letterboxd is a free app where you can log the films you’ve watched, rate/review them, and see what your friends think of films. I use this to keep track of everything I watch and this series is loosely based off their online process.

Monday (2.11.19)

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – 3.5/5

  • A fistful of Clinty Beastwood & some pretty nice/old-style cinematography; watched this for a film classics course I’m enrolled in and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for Wild West films and will sit through one no matter how slow it is sometimes.

Tuesday (2.12.19)

The Lobster (2015) – 4.5/5

  • An extremely interesting and unique story created by Greek film director Yorgos Lanthimos; this is his first feature film in all American-English and he does a marvelous job. The plot is so well written and obscure; the acting is well-executed by the great cast. The cinematography was done by frequent collaborator Thimios Bakatakis and was extremely impressive. 4.5/5 stars.

The Social Network (2010) – 4.5/5

  • I’ve wanted to see this for the longest time but unfortunately it’s not on any streaming sites. Fortunately, I found it on 123Movies and was able to watch it with only mildly sh**ty audio. Extremely interesting and amazing acting all around. Makes the world realize how much of an a**hole Mark Zuckerberg is.

Wednesday (2.13.19)

The Snowman (2017) – 1/5

  • Honestly did not expect it to be good in any way. But I also did not expect it to be this bad… Gave it 1 out of 5 stars because it seems that everyone involved genuinely thought they were making something good. Horrific editing, stupid and confusing story, and a rather waste of time. But plenty of memes can come from this

Thursday (2.14.19)

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) – 3/5

  • Not nearly as prolific as the original or the Lego Batman movie but better than the Lego Ninjago movie. Expected more from the pilot LEGO film sequel as it had a star studded cast and an exponential amount of ways the plot could’ve gone. The story was not nearly as great and it didn’t really impress me but I think it deserves a 2nd viewing.

Friday (2.15.19)

The End of the Tour (2015) – 4/5

  • Extremely introspective and offers a deeper analysis through a second viewing (that I probably won’t do). Well made and really interesting; the cinematography actually surprised me as to how well it was shot; the writing was also extremely nice. This movie made me want to actually read the 1,000+ page book that David Foster Wallace actually wrote. Heads up there’s an ending credit scene for some reason.

Saturday (2.16.19)

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) – 3/5

  • I first learned about this experiment in my high school psychology class; subsequently, this film came out in theatres in the same semester. My teacher recommended it to everyone but it wasn’t until this week that I finally sat down and watched it. The most interesting part is the character development (which is obviously the point of the experiment/film). Through watching, I found that the film did not really depict the horrors that the boys faced to the fullest extent. I read and researched far worse things than what was depicted in the film. Felt a little slow at times but this was full of young promising talent and fairly well done acting.

Sunday (2.17.19)

Pulp Fiction (1994) – 4.5/5

  • Put this on to watch a few iconic scenes but ended up just watching the whole damn thing. I don’t think I really need to go in depth as to how or why this movie is great and a classic that everyone knows. You can probably find 5,000+ word analysis’ of this film somewhere honestly.

Thank you for reading along this week’s Weekly Watchlist; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch.

Make sure to check next week to see what I watch.

Written by: Eduardo Orozco

Three Classic Films to Watch

Movies, just like other pieces of art, are important works that can say a lot about society and send important messages to the masses. Movies can also be political. There have been a plethora of important films since the medium’s conception, and many of them have vital political and social themes. So, here are some classic movies that I highly recommend.

1. “All the President’s Men”

This movie is a very excellent take on the important role that journalists play within the United States. It focuses on Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and the investigative journalism that they undertook in exposing the details of the Watergate scandal, which ultimately led to Richard Nixon’s resignation as president. This movie is significant, because it shows that within a democracy, journalism plays a crucial role in informing the masses and exposing them to information that they have a right to know.

2. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

This classic film starring Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier carries an extremely powerful message, as it deals with interracial marriage and racial tensions during the 1960s in the United States. It hones in on a couple that recently got engaged, and the events that ensue after the white daughter brings home her black fiancé to meet her parents. In the film, the white parents grapple with the idea that their daughter has chosen to marry a black man, which was something extremely controversial at the time and even illegal in some states.

3. “To Kill a Mockingbird”

This movie with Gregory Peck (who actually attended San Diego State back when it was a college for school teachers) is based off of the classic novel by Harper Lee. This film is an extremely important work, and even won Peck an Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Atticus Finch. It shows the unjust race relations that were rampant during the 1930s in the U.S. The movie focuses in on a black man who is unjustly accused of raping a white woman, and really showcases the racism that African-Americans had to endure during that time period (and still do now). This heartbreaking film is a classic that really sends a political message about the unjust nature of society.

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SXSW: A Brief History

South by Southwest, a conference for new ideas wrapped inside an art festival enclosed in a film festival and encased in a music festival. The best way to describe SXSW is that it is a lot of everything. The festival is on right now until March 20th, and the biggest names in art, film, technology, music, almost everything, are there right now. But how did this giant festival of life begin? I was curious if it had just started as a lowly music fest that grew and grew into what it is today. Turns out that the story doesn’t quite go that way.

It began in 1986 when Ronald Swenson, Louis Black (not the comedian), Nick Barbaro, and Louis Meyers met together in the offices of The Austin Chronicle to create a festival in order to attract attention to all the musical talents that Austin, Texas held. Their key idea was to create a way for the talent in Austin to get noticed. But they also wanted to make a festival for arts and ideas. In order to not make the event exclusive to Austin, to include the world, they named is South by Southwest. Thus, in March of 1987, the first SXSW was held. The organizers figured they would get about 150 people to attend. To their surprise and delight, 700 people came on just the first day.

It wasn’t until their 8th event that they added in SXSW Film and Interactive. In the film festival’s first year they managed to have two world premiers, 36 speakers, and 8 panels. That same year, the brothers that made up the band Hanson were brought to SXSW by their father to audition for music executives. They just happened to meet their future manager at the festival.

This brief history of South by Southwest barely covers all that the huge festival has done and has to offer. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on Austin when March comes around, because you never know if the next big band, film, or technological breakthrough is going to come through.