Arron Kennon, Editor
I have recently come to accept the fact that I am part of a cult. I am speaking, of course, about the cult of dedicated fans of Event Horizon (1997).
An absolute commercial failure as well as scoring 34% on Rotten Tomatoes and 35 on Metacritic, the film has largely been deemed as a hot, unintelligible mess. Yet among a special group of film lovers it has grown to become unimaginably important.
Like so many cult classics, it is the ‘messiness’ that makes it so compelling. Trapped on a spaceship that had previously been missing, the crew has to deal with an unseen and sinister force which slowly but surely manipulates each member through horrific visions and psychological attacks.
Daring and often grotesque imagery, combined with lofty philosophical ideas, the film operates magnificently on both visceral and cerebral levels.
Yes, it often does not make sense, it is highly illogical and the suspension of disbelief from the viewer is a requirement, but somehow the disparate parts of the film come together to form a uniquely cinematic experience that has proven overwhelmingly original, influential and powerful.
Lauren Durose, Co-Deputy Editor
With so many go-to shows and movies, picking the one most specific to myself was difficult. I have an obscenely deep knowledge of plotlines and characters in Death in Paradise (2011-2023), but ask me what my favourite movie is, and I’ll always say The Only Living Boy in New York (2017) and Knives Out (2019).
Now I sit here contemplating whether I want to continue to gatekeep my favourite show, or if Hustle (2004-1012) is too good and holds too strong of a hold over my life to not make it my introductory pick. I specifically remember how my parents were having a dinner party on the night of the show’s final episode in 2012, and I love it as much at twenty-one as I did at nearly ten.
Hustle, a BBC production, surrounds a team of grifters based in London lead by Micky Bricks (Adrian Lester) who take on the corrupt, greedy and those 'who want something for nothing'.
The show is about a chosen family, manipulating the dishonourable, and standing by your morals. I simply cannot recommend it enough. There isn’t a singular weak link in its ensemble and the guest stars always match the principal’s performances; plus, the writing maintains its high quality throughout all eight series.
My favourite episodes include when the group plans to steal the crown jewels, the targeting of two weight-loss entrepreneurs, and the aforementioned intense finale.
For me, there is nothing negative to say about Hustle. It is a show that has brought me joy for more than a decade and will probably do so for the remainder of my life (dramatic but true).
Sofia Webster, Co-Deputy Editor
There has been such a fantastic variety of films and TV shows released over the summer holidays, most notably Barbie (2023) and Oppenheimer (2023) which have been unbelievably successful hits at the box office.
A massive reason behind the undeniable success of Barbie has been the artistic talent of co-writer and director Greta Gerwig. Gerwig is one of my favourite directors due to her exploration of important themes like sexism within humorous and enjoyable formats.
I think she does just this in Lady Bird (2017), her directorial debut. Saoirse Ronan is fantastic in Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical debut - all with a flawless Californian accent.
Apple TV+’s Hijack (2023) was also a memorable watch this summer, just seven episodes of adrenaline-filled enjoyment that never failed to have both myself and my family immediately watching the next. Starring the ever-charismatic Idris Elba, this is definitely a show to add to your list for the perfect escape after a long day of lectures.
Sienna Thompson, Digital Editor
Teetering at the edge of summer with this pick, but just a perfect film overall, Aftersun (2022) is a heartbreaking depiction of the trials and tribulations of fatherhood, loneliness and growing pains.
Paul Mescal's performance as a young dad conveying his anxieties of losing his youth but straining for time with his daughter was equally as devastating as it is profound.
The character Sophie reflects on heartfelt moments with loved ones in an adolescent and idealistic manner as she navigates growing up with an absent father. Their tense but tender relationship was emotional if not hard hitting in the levels of honesty it spoke to.
Charlotte Wells truly captured this tragic story in such a beautiful manner, with touching found film segments and artistic frames.
Victor Bennett, Subeditor
Painkiller (2023) is a Netflix original series which explores abstract themes in a very real and close to home way. The series documents the prolific growth of Purdue Pharma in the early 2000s and its role in manufacturing the Oxycontin epidemic throughout the United States.
Focusing on the anecdotes of Richard Sackler, the president of Purdue Pharma; Edie Flowers, the brilliant lawyer working in opposition to Purdue; and the numerous victims of Oxycontin, this series brings moral issues of drug advertising, medical negligence and insatiable greed to the fore of political discussion.
As an ex- History student, period pieces will forever capture my interest, no matter the period or place. The King (2019) traces the coming of age of a naïve Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet), but with more pressing and history defining repercussions.
Faced with his father’s death and subsequent succession to the throne as Henry V, Hal must navigate the overt taunts of the Dauphin of France and the covert lies of his royal advisors. Laced with high-budget battle scenes, this film strikes a balance between jaw-dropping action and rigorous character development.
Whilst in The King, the English’s close relationship with the French is restricted to that of enemies, my interest in France and Francophone countries is more harmonious. Part French myself, I have always been intrigued by the French way of life.
Call My Agent (2015-2020) is a chic Parisian comedy series which traces the everyday dramas of four talent agents. Executed in such a typical French slapstick fashion, this series provides a romantic insight into the joys that Paris has to offer.
Featured image: IMDb
Which films and shows would you use to introduce yourself?