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Lifestyle Mar 22, 2020 3:45 PM EST

Classic films for a coronavirus binge

To combat the quarantine doldrums, I delved into the cinematic archives and find some classic gems I never had time to see. Now, of course, we've got time to burn.

Classic films for a coronavirus binge
Dounia Royer The Post Millennial

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

As my city closed down and sports seasons ended before they began, I finally realized this COVID-19 was about to change how I lived my life for at least the next few weeks.

I didn't go frenzy buying; I'm too frugal for that. And, outside of building a cool fort in my living room, I don't know what I would do with 365 rolls of toilet paper.

At first, I decided to make the best of it, staying in doing those chores I always put off and getting some good 10k runs outside. But just like when I was a kid on a time-out, it didn't take long for boredom to set in.

There's only so many times you can clean your living room before you start self-diagnosing yourself with O.C.D. and over evaluating your furniture placement.

I turned to Netflix, but I had already watched all the series that interested me, and watching the news has become coronavirus tedium.

To combat the quarantine doldrums and save my mental health, I delved into the cinematic archives to find some classic gems I never had time to see. Now, of course, we've got time to burn.

The Godfather (1972) directed by Frank Coppola, delves into the story of the original organized crime family, based on the books by Mario Puzzo. I've tried to watch The Godfather and its sequels a few times, but they always seem like other things to do than watch hours upon hours of Italian crime drama.

Enter quarantine week, what a better time to get through the trilogy that gave us such incredible lines such as "I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse." And "…sleeps with the fishes." Marlon Brando notoriously stuffed his cheeks with cotton to get the sound and look of the infamous crime boss. Other stand-out performances include Talia Shire, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, and James Caan.

Citizen Kane (1941) is the epic tale of a publishing tycoon's rise and fall. Every one of my friends who studied film speaks about this movie being THE movie that changed cinema. To finally feel cinematically literate during gatherings and cocktail parties, when we eventually get back to those, will be excellent. Also once I watch this, I will finally know the significance of "rosebud," and how it changed cinematic history forever.

The Dark Knight (2008) is the movie that critics say elevated the Batman franchise from a cartoon favourite into a haunted dark tragedy. I shied away from seeing this movie because of of Heath Ledger's death, which tinged the whole thing with sadness. Time to get my big girl pants on and see what all the hype was about concerning this movie, and how the villain became the ultimate anti-hero.

Pulp Fiction (1994), directed by Quentin Tarantino, is a cult classic. Violent, inter-locking stories with a twist on language that influenced pop culture in the 90s and gave Travolta his career back. Travolta's interplay with Samuel L. Jackson alone would have spurred more memes than the internet could hold, if the internet was even a real thing back then. I was too young to watch this movie when it came out, but now that my parents can't refuse the view, it's on.

Casablanca (1942) is seen as one of the best romantic dramas of classical Hollywood cinema. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingred Bergman as lovers separated by war, set in an illegal casino in Morocco, the film gave us the classic lines "Play it again, Sam" and "Here's looking at you, kid." Bergman sealed her fate as Hollywood royalty with her portrayal of Ilsa, and while it was originally intended as a B-grade film, it's a true classic. I put it on my list simply to have a night of tears and smiles.

Dead Poets Society (1984) is a drama directed by Peter Weir. Robin Williams plays an English teacher at a boys' pre school who inspires his students to break free from the conformity in their lives, to love literture, and to follow their hearts. Dead Poets Society  appeals to my inner 16-year-old rebellious spirit. That part of me that still wants to tell my boss, my kids, "You're not the boss of me," and search out my dreams to follow them wherever they lead.

Silence of the Lambs (1991) is a psychological horror film done the way only a twisted mind can make it—an F.B.I. Agent teams up with a cannibal killer to understand and help catch a serial killer. Just the trailer for Silence of the Lambs alone used to give me nightmares as a child—what better time than a week of being in your safe space to confront your fears. Although on second thought, maybe I don't need nightmares during a quarantine.

The Graduate (1967) is a romantic comedy cum bildungsgroman tale that reveals the coming of age and learning about love of a 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock, played by a young Dustin Hoffman. If you've ever heard about Mrs. Robinson, this is the film she came from. Braddock is seduced by an older woman, falls for her daughter, and has to figure out how to embark upon a career, all at once. A not so typical love story, I chose it merely since I'm between both ages of the women and can't wait to see how I respond to both characters.

Do the Right Thing (1989) directed by Spike Lee, was incredibly controversial when it was released. This powerful film follows memorable characters during a single day on a block in New York where the heat, high racial tension culminates in actions that will change their lives forever. With a cast including Rosie Perez, John Turturo, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, and Ruby Dee, it's got to be pretty good. This movie made the list simply because I wanted to see how and if the world has changed from the racial tension standpoint of years past.

Ratatouille (2007), is an endearing animated-adventure. How can a movie about food, Paris and a rat named Remy go wrong? Plus we could all use some cooking tips now that going out to dinner is just not on a the table.

As I pop some corn and get ready to immerse myself in The Godfather trilogy, I wonder if I have forgotten any classics that should have made the "keep the pandemic doldrums at bay" list? What would be on your list?

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