Tuesday, 16 September 2014

My Uni Life in Film, TV and Music

Time for a change of pace. I don't often write anything about myself personally on this blog, and prefer to keep things strictly about the films or TV shows I'm talking about at that time.

That said, at the present moment I want to write something different, for today at least. This is because my life is moving from one phase to the next, and I wanted to put into words some reflections on the phase I'm currently leaving behind.

Over the weekend, I graduated from uni, officially ending life as an undergrad. Degree in hand, the working world is the next challenge to face, with coursework and lectures a thing of the past.

Before writing this post, I asked myself one question - what media to I associate with my time at uni? Which film, show or album clicks in my brain and transports me to those long days in the library or late nights on campus. Essentially, I wanted to reminisce in a way that encapsulates the past three years through media.

So, to tie this back in with the theme of my blog (film and pop culture), let's talk about some defining pieces that meant something from during my time at uni.

Film


Picking out one singular film that I would encapsulate my time at uni is not an easy ask. In fact, it's impossible. After all, I've spent the majority of my degree writing weekly reviews on the movies I've seen at the theatre and at home.

But, as is the case for everybody, there are a select few films that have provided context and commentary on what life was presently throwing my way - for example, Perks of Being A Wallflower was a great film for this as it dealt with themes of loneliness, growing up and self-acceptance. Super 8 was a great Spielberg homage that explored themes like childhood lost and made me first consider writing about the films I watched. I remember the last two Harry Potter films being a big deal back in 2011, as was the first Hunger Games. Films like Submarine, Senna, The Avengers, Back to the Future, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Hot Fuzz all also fed into the inspiration I had for kicking this blog off in my second year of uni, so I suppose I should mention them in here as well.

Others, like Singin' in the Rain, Double Indemnity, The Cabinet of Dr CaligariBicycle Thieves and Kill Bill will always be associated with uni owing to that one film studies unit that made us deconstruct them to no end. Ugh, it's really hard to enjoy a film after picking it apart and rewatching over and over for an essay. That, and the two David Lynch films we had to watch. I tell ya, watching Lost Highway felt like the longest class I've ever had. Nevertheless, the class informed the way I approach writing this blog so alls well that ends well.

In many ways, writing this film blog is the first thing I associate with my time at uni. Driven by the desire to have something extra-curricular on my CV, starting a blog about film came from the kind of things I was writing, reading and studying at uni, so in a way they both fed each other.

Without that atmosphere around during my everyday life from now on, it's going to feel weird writing about movies after work and not having my regular friends, tutors and lecturers around to talk with them about it. But hey, at least I won't have to juggle coursework and the blog any more - that's a plus.


TV


This one is easy. For me, only one show encapsulates so perfectly my time at uni. And that's Community.

Whilst I may not have had such a perfectly cast band of misfits for friends, Community seemed to be pushed onto my radar at exactly the right time for it to really click with me. It might seem obvious (seven strangers finding a path through community college) but the show had the right blend of wit, meta jokes and lovable characters to resonate perfectly with me. It still does, and is easily one of my favourite shows (the troubled Season 4 included). From Abed's persistent movie references to Troy's transition from jock to nerd and Annie's desire to fit in, the characters in Community have come to encapsulate my uni experience.

Also, I should mention shows like Fresh Meat (a British Channel 4 comedy that also happens to focus on a group of uni students - detecting a theme yet?), the BBC's wonderful Sherlock, Parks and Recreation and endless reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the latter of which proved to be the most effective pick-me-up a downtrodden and tense student could've asked for.


Music 


I don't often talk about music on this blog (my wider knowledge of 'pop music' just screams uninitiated'), but I still wanted to include it here.

This probably because it's the most powerful media I associate with conjuring up thoughts and feelings about uni - the amount of time spent huddled over textbooks and laptops in the library with my eternally loyal iPod doesn't bear thinking about.

Essentially, without resorting to clich├ęs, these albums form a 'undergrad playlist' for the last three and a half years.

These include, but are not limited to, A Different Kind of Fix by Bombay Bicycle Club, Coexist by The xx, Come of Age by The Vaccines, Suck it and See by Arctic Monkeys, Is This It? by The Strokes, Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave and Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs (to name a few).

I've put together a quick Spotify playlist below to share some of these with you - enjoy!





Anyway, I think that's enough rambling from me - I hope you enjoyed reading my musings on life as an undergrad, as experienced through film, TV and music. I look forward to having time to dedicate to this blog and write more and more now that full-time work is the only thing on my plate. 

I'll stop being nostalgic now - service as normal will resume from....now.

10 comments:

  1. Lovely stuff man, got me thinking about the movies and TV shows I've used to procrastinate over the years =D
    On another note, I only just heard about Submarine! Watching it soon, have to see Moss from the IT crowd's directing skills.

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    1. Thanks Jamie :) Submarine is a really great and quirky film, definitely check it out :) Moss (or Richard Ayoade) has directed a couple of movies now so I'm keen to see what he's done after Submarine :)

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  2. Congrats on finishing school! Having also graduated this year, I thoroughly understand the relief. However, I decided to dive right back in (and still haven't decided if that was a good thing!).

    Also, love The Vaccines!

    Thanks for always entertaining!

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    1. Thanks Tanner - I don't think diving right back in even crossed my mind I was so keen to leave :) Nah, just kidding, I really loved uni and will maybe go back one day. I just need to get busy with something else - making money rather than spending it!

      The Vaccines are ace :D Glad to hear they've made an impact Stateside :)

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  3. Great post, and congratulations! I've only just started watching Community but I'm already in love just 4 episodes in :)
    - Allie

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    1. Thanks Allie :) You'll have to keep me posted on what you think of Community! It's my favourite show - so glad it's going to be coming back for a sixth season. Seeing as you're only four episodes in, you're in for a whole host of gems. Paintball, zombies, Westerns, buddy cops - you name it.

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  4. Congratulations! I'm quite envious of you! Coincidentally, I also began a film blog at the exact time I commenced university (I'm only a first year). I'm studying law so I don't get a chance to study film at uni sadly. I started my blog mostly to keep my love of the cinema alive. I'm so glad to hear that you watch and love Fresh Meat. One of all time favourite television series' ever! Jack Whitehall and Kimberly Nixon are hilarious :)

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    1. Thanks Angela :) I'm very relived it's over and I can get on with a job now. Don't be too envious though - in about two years time you'll wonder where the time went. All the best with the rest of your course!

      Oh, and on the topic of Fresh Meat - don't forget Joe Thomas! He's awesome and hilarious too :)

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  5. Congratulations on graduating! My time at gaining credits for my eventual university transfer is almost over, and I totally empathize with your excitement and trepidation. Perks of Being A Wallflower is one of my favorite movies to help me through school right now. I hope you're able to enjoy the graduating phase and I look forward to seeing your post in the future of associating film, music, and tv with your post-graduate life. :)

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    1. Thanks Katy :) So far so good! No assignments means plenty of time for catching up on blogging, which is always good.

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