black and white movie theater

In this current time of self isolation, many people are turning to movies to keep themselves entertained while in their homes. So what do the film experts of MSU recommend?

Media professor Timothy White said, “I think in depressing times like these, it's helpful to watch comedies,” and he recommends the following.

“Playtime” (1967) Jaques Tati

“Playtime” is a film about the adventures of a clumsy man perplexed by a technologically advanced society. The film serves as an interesting and funny take on modern life.

“Team America: World Police” (2004) Trey Parker

The film is a puppet-based satire about early 2000’s American foreign policy, and the general tone of American military responses overseas. The film follows an actor named Chris as he is tasked with stopping Kim Jong-il from taking over the world.

“Some Like it Hot” (1959) by Billy Wilder

The movie follows the escapades of saxophone player Joe and his friend Jerry as they try to escape Chicago disguised as an all female jazz band after accidentally witnessing a mafia murder. The film features legendary actress Marilyn Monroe as Sugar, a love interest for Joe.

“City Lights” (1931) by Charlie Chaplain

“City Lights,” starring Charlie Chapman, shows the story of a lovable tramp played by Chaplain as he falls in love with a blind flower vendor. He tries to save her and her grandmother after learning they are being evicted by trying to get money through wacky escapades.

“A Night at the Opera” (1935) by Sam Wood

“A Night at the Opera” follows the antics of the Marx brothers as they attempt to help a fellow singer win the love of another performer.

Media and journalism professor, Andrew Cline said he would recommend documentaries.

“Honeyland” (2019) by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov

“Honeyland” is an Oscar nominated documentary that follows a North Macedonian woman who practices ancient beekeeping techniques. Conflict arises when her neighbors attempt to do the same but do not follow her advice.

“Zero” (2020) by Carbon Trace Productions

A documentary made by MSU students which follows basketball coach, Armando Johnson as he is set to retire when last season his team didn’t win a game. It is available for pay per view on vimeo.

“Florida Man” (2015) by Sean Dunne

A run and gun documentary about the human oddities and colorful characters that walk the streets of Florida.

“Rich Hill” (2014) by Tracy Droz Trago and Andrew Droz Palermo

“Rich Hill” is the story of three boys growing up in an impoverished town in Missouri.

“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2010) by Werner Herzog

“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” is about the film crew as they go into France’s Chauvet Cave which holds the world’s oldest drawings.

Professor Andrew Twibell said, “Given, well, everything, I opted to program a mini-marathon of movies with an apocalyptic vibe, and it may get dark at times, but there’s also a lot of humor and catharsis.”

“The Happening” (2008) by M. Night Shyamalan

According to Twibell, “Someday we’ll get a movie about Mark Wahlberg punching out the coronavirus, but for now we’ll have to settle for him taking on nature itself.” “The Happening” follows Marky Mark as a science teacher battling the spread of mass suicide.

“Shaun of the Dead” (2004) by Edgar Wright

A spoof of zombie based horror movies, “Shaun of the Dead” entails the underdog story of the titular Shaun played by Simon Pegg as he tries to grow out of his childish behavior during the zombie apocalypse. 

“The Invitation” (2015) by Karyn Kusama

“The Invitation” is a slow burn movie about paranoia as a man begins to believe his ex wife and her new husband have bad intentions for the rest of the guests at a dinner party.

“Snowpiercer” (2013) by Bong Joon-ho

From the director of the critically acclaimed movie “Parasite,” “Snowpiercer” depicts an Earth hobbled by environmental calamity, forcing the few survivors into a nightmarish life aboard a train running an endless loop around the frozen planet.

“Encounters at the End of The World” (2007) by Werner Herzog

“Encounters at the End of the World” is a documentary about a team of scientists in Antarctica that uncover frozen creatures that detail how crazy the world is.

Professor Bobby Lewis went a more personal route, citing stories made by him and some of his friends.

“Slomo” (2014) by Josh Izenberg

“Slomo” is a short documentary about an odd elderly man known around the beach of San Diego as Slomo who skates around on rollerblades all day.

“Amar” (2011) by Andrew Hinton

“Amar” is a mini documentary about a boy named Amar, who is at the top of his class at 14, but also works two jobs six days a week to support his family.

“Richard Twice” (2017) by Andrew Salton

“Richard Twice” is another small documentary about Richard Atkins who, in the 70s, was on his way to stardom with his band Richard Twice, when he suddenly and mysteriously walked away from it.

“The Umbrella Man” (2011) by Errol Morris

Made for the 48th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, “The Umbrella Man” goes into the story of man seen standing under an umbrella on the scene.

“The Trees are Falling” (2020) by Bobby Lewis

“The Trees are Falling” is Professor Lewis’ passion project about his father.

If movies aren’t your thing, Assistant Professor Dr. Holly Holladay recommended a few shows to binge.

“Parks and Recreation” (2009-2015) by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur

“Parks and Recreation” is an optimistic comedy about local government and the colorful cast of characters who work in the parks department

“Veep” (2012-2019) by Armando Iannucci

“Veep” is a dark satire about American politics that follows the vice president as she tackles the political world.

“Friday Night Lights” (2006-2011) by Peter Berg

“Friday Night Lights” is a drama series about a football team and the pressure of small towns.

“Jane the Virgin” (2014-2019)

“Jane the Virgin” is an adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela that both embraces and pokes fun at the tropes of telenovelas.

“Atlanta” (2016-Present) by Donald Glover

“Atlanta,” for fans of Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, a “dramedy” about an up and coming rapper.

If you have a movie or show that you would like to share you can tweet it to @TheStandard_MSU.

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