Campus Cinema: What not to miss

Campus Cinema: What not to miss

animal house toga

College is a time of growth and learning for eager students, making a college campus the perfect setting for many films. Just as young people develop socially and intellectually in college, so too do the characters in films. Faced with conflicts between peers and professors, universities have served as a well of material for screenwriters since the early days of cinema. There is a nearly limitless supply of films concerning life on campus, but here are a few that are required viewing for anyone currently in college. This list is not a top list and by no means definitive but should serve to entertain Mercer students through a now-familiar setting.

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

Although this is not a “top” list, if it was, National Lampoon’s Animal House would be number one. John Landis’s (Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London) quintessential college comedy follows the Delta Tau Chi fraternity at Faber College, as freshmen Lawrence “Larry” Kroger (Tom Hulce) and Kent Dorfman (Ste- phen Furst) attempt to join. The movie served as a starting point for several future major Hollywood players, including Karen Allen and Kevin Bacon. With hilarious, laugh out loud antics, memorable one liners and fantastic performances from actors like John Belushi as John “Bluto” Blutarsky and John Vernon as Dean Wormer, Animal House has gone down in history as perhaps the most famous college comedy of all time. Not only was the film selected for preservation by the United States Library of Congress in 2001, but it also topped Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies” list and was recognized by the American Film Institute as the 36th funniest film of all time.

Memorable Quote –

Bluto: “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

The Social Network (2010)

Before “The Social Network”, David Fincher (“Fight Club”, “Se7en”) was best known for films that featured more violence and psychological thrills and terrors. “The Social Network” is based on the real life events surrounding the creation of Facebook and the subsequent lawsuits. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg, the young Harvard student who created the social networking site that would take over the world, so to speak. The film is not interested in college life directly, rather focusing on the relationships between former best friends and business partners Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and their rivals, the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer). This focus allows the audience to develop a connection with the characters and how their relationships evolve and diminish, just like the relationships most college students have experienced at some point.

Memorable Quote –

Tyler Winkelvoss: “We can do that ourselves. I’m 6’5”, 220, and there’s two of me.”

Horse Feathers (1932)

There are few comedy acts that surpass the hilarity of the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo. “Duck Soup” may be Universal Pictures their perennial classic, but “Horse Feathers” is another great film by the Four Marx Brothers, putting their trademark stamp on the college setting. The film is about a prestigious college that starts a new football program, hoping to win the opening game. For Mercer University students, the plot should sound rather familiar this year. The Marx Brothers are on top of their game in “Horse Feathers”, and with its timely plot, it is a must watch for Mercer students – even if the Bears’ football games do not involve chariots, as they do in this movie.

Memorable Quote –

Professor Wagstaff: “Tomorrow we start tearing down the col- lege.”

The Professors: “But, Professor, where will the students sleep?”

Professor Wagstaff: “Where they always sleep: in the classroom.”