By The Film & Tv team
As the upcoming academic year approaches, whether you're a new or a regular writer, why not get to know the 2022-23 Film & Television team? We can't think of a better way for you to get to know us than through our favourite films and series. Judge away.
Evelyn Heis, Film & Tv Editor
My name is Evelyn, I’m a third-year English student, and I am this year’s Film & Television Editor. Having been writing for the section since my first year of studies, I’ve become extremely attached to all things Film&Tv, it’s true, and so I am overjoyed to not only run the section, ensuring to encourage content that showcases less-heard voices in the industry, but also working with other enthusiastic and creative individuals to produce an excellent section.
To ask me to condense the extensive list of my all-time favourite films to just one may actually be harder than the degree I’ve been doing for the last three years. As a libra, I simply can’t make decisions, either. Nonetheless, I’m determined to try.
As I sit here with a La La Land (2016) tattoo, it would be dishonourable not to mention how much I adore Damien Chazelle’s filmmaking abilities; his unique cinematography, particularly the overhead drum shots in Whiplash (2014), his vibrant colours, and heart-wrenching plots get me every time.
Speaking of heart-wrenching and psychological films, Leon: The Professional (1994), Parasite (2019), Gone Girl (2014) and Black Swan (2010) are also some of my favourites, with each one beautifully made, the distinctive characters and storylines within these films make them ones I want to watch time and time again.
My heart also holds a special place for Ari Aster’s wonderfully wicked mind and Jordan Peele’s original screenplays, but if I were to name a television series that I could not live without, it would have to be Sam Levinson's Euphoria (2019-) or Amy Sherman-Palladino's Gilmore Girls (2000-2007).
If my taste in film and television hasn’t scared you away yet, be sure to check out "Ev Says": my designated monthly column where I write about my life in relation to Film & Tv.
Jake Tickle, Deputy Film & Tv Editor
I’m a final year English student, and although I have many favourite films and series, I will have to say my favourite film/tv series has got to be the HBO series Big Little Lies. I say this because out of anything I’ve ever watched, this series truly resonated and stuck with me because it highlighted so many themes to me and curated some of the best and morally grey characters I’ve ever seen on screen.
Big Little Lies, based on the book of the same title by Liane Moriarty, came out in 2017 and came to my attention not because I knew about the book – in fact, I’d never heard of it – but because of the incredible cast of women at the forefront of the series. Reese Whitherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, Meryl Effing Streep... Need I say more?
This series is perfected and elevated by its incredible cast. This isn’t to say it is carried by the cast; the plot and source material is stellar. The subject matter of Big Little Lies becomes a little dark in some parts, and yet it is handled (particularly by Nicole Kidman) in such a way that is careful, sensitive, and faithful to the reality that a lot of women face.
Big Little Lies handles motherhood, class, gender, grief, abuse, bullying, marriage, and so much more in such a way that translates perfectly on screen. It’s a flawless phycological expression of humanity and femininity.
Amelia Jacob, Digital Editor
I’m a second-year English student and (perhaps controversially in this section) vastly prefer television to the silver screen. As much as I love cinema, TV has a way of infiltrating the cultural psyche, allowing the time and space for more creativity in characterisation. Out of all the TV shows I have watched, there is one I keep returning to year after year: Will Sharpe’s dramedy Flowers (2016).
Despite the light-hearted connotations of the show’s name, it privileges the gnarly, thorned relationships that are cultivated in environments soured by troubled family dynamics. Flowers depicts the eponymous family, headed by Deborah (Olivia Colman) and her husband Maurice (Julian Barratt), as they attempt to wrestle with Maurice’s mental health issues.
Their eccentric family includes two troublesome adult twins, Shun (Will Sharpe), a Japanese illustrator for Maurice’s books who Deborah firmly believes is having an affair with him, as well as a range of larger-than-life side characters and elements of magical realism.
Sounds complicated? You’d be right, but Flowers cuts right to the core of what it means to be loved, despite it all. ‘We don’t want to be too happy, we’re not mad!’ Deborah announces maniacally. I firmly believe it’s a must-watch.
Kalila Smith, Investigations Editor
Picture an extroverted, preferably more female-looking version of Ben Rickert from The Big Short, and you have me. I am a third-year History Student who is just as cynical and distrusting of society as Ben is, but fear not, I do not catastrophise on the same scale as him.
Adam Mckay directed The Big Short, and he is my favourite director because he faithfully approaches films with hard-hitting irony and unapologetic political didacticism. One of my most-loved films, however, is quite the opposite. American History X, starring Edward Norton, is gorgeously shot like a Neo-Noir and so, naturally, one of my favourites. It thematically focuses on the ‘Man v the System’ and will reduce you to weeping and partial howling by the end.
Hopefully, Bristol university does not have the same effect on you, especially not Freshers’ Week. Rather, these next few years should be just as chaotic as it is transitionary. I would call it the most ideal time for exploration. Explore your subject, yourself, your ambitions, friendships, and your alcohol limit. Before mortgages and student loan bills start creeping into the picture, get as involved as you can during your time at Bristol.
Claire Meakins, Subeditor and Film Critic
I’m Claire, I’m a final-year English student and incredibly indecisive, so choosing just one favourite film would be an impossible task for me. The first few films that come to mind as favourites, though, are Amélie (2001), Black Swan (2010), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Fight Club (1999) and Parasite (2019), but the list is constantly growing and changing. I am generally more of a film person than a TV person, although there are definitely some series that have wormed their way into my heart, such as Fleabag (2016-2019) and Better Call Saul (2015-2022).
I’m very open-minded when it comes to what I watch, and I love broadening my horizons: whether that be through watching foreign language films, supporting new up-and-coming directors or just working my way through the classics. I’m also definitely not above watching some very trashy films that don’t deserve to be mentioned in print!
I find myself drawn to complicated, morally questionable characters, creative, playful cinematography, writing with a sense of humour, and themes that make me question all of my life choices. I am always looking for new films to watch, and so recommendations are more than welcome!
Featured Image: IMDB
Stay tuned for more Film & Tv content from us this year!