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7 Classic Movies Everyone Should See

Culture

Throughout history, film has become one of the most expressive art forms ever. With thousands of movies being released every year, it's easy to forget about the classic movies that created the market for films today. Everyone reaches a point in time where they need a good movie. Whether it's to have a releasing cry or relax, a movie is a staple in a person's life. It doesn't matter if you are a romantic, imaginative, or in need of a thrill; there is always a classic film fit for you.

For the romantic: 10 things I hate about you

Do you adore the enemies-to-lovers trope? Then this film is perfect for you! A headstrong female protagonist accompanied by a trouble-making nuisance turned lover is the modern take on the Shakespeare play The Taming of The Shrew. Decorated with a riot-grrl soundtrack as an ode to Seattle culture, the movie is pleasant on the ears as well. Kat Stratford, our main character, is an iconic, powerful leading woman, who defies cultural norms and finds herself in an interesting situation: love. 10 Things I Hate About You portrays the reality of teenage affairs, and hits viewers deep in the heart. It can be found on Disney Plus, but is also available on other streaming sites for a couple bucks.

For the horror fanatic: Psycho

Filmed in the 60s by the infamous Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho is an absolute classic for fans of the horror genre. It's critically acclaimed for a reason; this twisted tale follows Marion Crane into an eerie motel. Marion finds herself in the company of a rather unsettling man, and the two form a disturbing friendship. The film is referenced in a plethora of separate films, such as Scream and Halloween. The filming style of Psycho inspired even more movies, Shutter Island being one of them. Its impact on the film industry is undeniable and is a must-see for those looking for a creepy experience. Psycho is currently available for free on Tubi and Peacock!

For the academic: Dead Poets Society

With the idea of dark academia growing, people long for a tight-knit academic community. Dead Poets Society portrays just that. Follow a group of boys influenced by their insightful English teacher in their attempts to live every day to the fullest, "carpe diem". An emotional story, this film allows you to romanticize school just a tiny bit. Robin Williams' depiction of a down-to-Earth teacher causes tears to well in my eyes every time. Maybe it's just the Robin Williams effect, but this film is both heartwarming and heartwrenching. The intimate feeling of each scene allows people to truly connect with the story. Based on the book of the same title, Dead Poets Society is up for rent on both Youtube and Amazon.

For those in need of a thrill: Goodfellas

This 2-and-a-half-hour saga follows an Italian mafia in New York operating for 3 decades. Every minute will leave you on the edge of your seat, literally. While watching, I could feel my heart accelerating because of the genius directing of Martin Scorsese. The supreme duo of Joe Pesci and Robert Dinero exemplify this film and its non-stopping action. Goodfellas utilizes the true story of Nicholas Pileggi to explore organized crime and masculinity. With extravagant filmmaking, we follow Henry Hill through his life and see firsthand how deception warps lives. This staple in mafia films is public to view on HBO MAX.

For those wanting to think: Memento

The notoriously confusing Memento spectates a man named Leonard who suffers from short-term memory loss. He dedicates his life to finding the man who hurt his wife, but due to his condition, he has to organize information in an unusual way. To solve his problem, Leonard turns to tattoos and compulsive writing, and this strategy causes a repetition in the film. Endlessly thought-provoking, the story causes watchers to obsessively attempt to figure out the real killer. However, with an unreliable narrator, that job proves to be difficult. For the prepared viewers, the labyrinth of the film Memento is on HBO MAX.

For the angsty: The Breakfast Club

Arguably the most legendary coming-of-age film, The Breakfast Club explores the unlikely friendship between 5 different high school archetypes. The Popular Girl, the Geek, the Trouble-Maker, the Jock, and the Goth come together to act against the school system. These differing personalities realize that they aren't so different after all and that they are just teens trying to make it through high school. Inspiring in many ways, this film could pave the way for people who separate themselves from others because of surface-level differences. It reminds us that what we see on the outside doesn't mean people can't be similar internally. The Breakfast Club is accessible for purchase on Youtube and Amazon.

For the imaginative: Spirited Away

While animated films could be considered a niche, Hayao Miyazaki's use of 2D animation amazes viewers across the world. Spirited Away is full of breathtaking visuals, enchanting music, and a fascinating plot. Chihiro, the protagonist, is sucked into the spirit world after her family ventures too far into magical lands. She needs to return to the tangible world, and manage to save her parents at the same time. The world is full of references to Japanese mythology, along with interpretive symbolism throughout the film. Each frame is capturing, with the climax scenes propelling emotion to the front. Expressing adolescent experiences in an imaginative way is difficult, but Studio Ghibli does it with ease through Spirited Away. The Oscar-winning film is attainable on HBO MAX.

Now that you have some knowledge of the world of classic films, you're ready to cozy up and eat some comfort food while watching one! Before watching, please make sure to check the content warnings of each movie, as many of them contain mature topics and scenes which may be triggering.

Ayla Miller
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Ayla is a current high schooler with an admiration for all things expressive. You can find her reading, writing, and rewatching Gilmore Girls. She is always thinking and reflecting.