Put away your textbooks and get out your popcornanncapictures / pixabay.com

Stressed out from revision? Fear not! The Film & TV team, along with other Varsity members and students, have compiled a list of our favourite ‘wind down’ films provided to let you neglect your Shakespeare, your land law, your case studies and your flash cards.

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future is now repetitively familiar to me but this is a large part of its charm and what makes it such a good film to de-stress. Anticipating its jokes and jolts perhaps mirrors the bizarre quality of time travel itself, of knowing what’s going to happen, but it is also, for me, a less dramatic turning back of time to Christmas holiday sofas and childhood rainy day afternoons. Light-hearted if somewhat comically dated, Back to the Future never fails to remind me of a past before the stress of exams, but also that there is a future after them!

Emily Finston, 2nd Year English

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Some may call it mind-numbing entertainment. I consider it rest and relaxation. Skip the judgement and confess that the fake-relationship-to-catching-feelings pipeline never misses. I’m ashamed to admit that this Netflix Original has me stifling my laughter and rolling my eyes. After an eight hour day in the Seeley, there’s nothing more comforting than bundling up with layers upon layers of blankets and reminiscing on your past (questionable) crushes. With Asian-American representation, a stellar soundtrack and a fast paced plot, this 99 minute motion picture is short enough to keep your DoS happy and your viewing guilt-free.

Sarah Abbas, Fashion Editor

Practical Magic (1999)

A tale of magic, mystery and (most importantly) ‘midnight margaritas’. Lulling me into a spell-like trance where I stray away from my English texts, this film reminds me of cozy autumn afternoons, as my mum would play this on the kitchen TV as she made pumpkin pie. Though this seems terribly clichéd, this wickedly witchy film truly does whisk me away from Paradise Lost and The Waste Land and back to childhood Halloween nights. If having a mid-exam-margarita seems too hedonistic for you, then watch this charming classic instead.

Tabitha Chopping, Film & TV Editor

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Sometimes we all need to spend a day in our dressing gown and kick back with a White Russian. For ‘the Dude’ — the main character of the Coen Brothers’ cult classic, The Big Lebowski (1998) — relaxation is a way of life. The Dude’s cool indifference to everything the universe throws at him should be a lesson to us all. In the face of life’s ‘strikes and gutters, ups and downs’, he keeps his cool and rolls with the punches, White Russian in one hand and a bowling ball in the other. For me, The Big Lebowski is the ultimate stress-relief film. But, then again, that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

Ryan Keys, Film & TV Writer

Dazed and Confused (1993)

My first favourite film was Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993). I remember watching it in high school and thinking it was the coolest movie in the world, with its 1970s American high-school aesthetic and rock‘n’ roll heavy soundtrack that still stands the tests of time. It features a star-studded ensemble cast of all your favourite actors before they were famous: Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Renée Zellweger, and (although maybe not your favourite, still notable) Matthew McConaughey. So, if exams have you feeling dazed and confused, this film might be the perfect antidote.

Jude Jones, Film & TV Writer

What We Do in the Shadows (2019-)


Mountain View

Varsity Valentine’s: recommended romantic films

Nothing beats going from stress crying to crying from laughter. That’s why my ultimate pick for the exam season is What We Do in the Shadows (2019-). Every time I think I’ve lost it, I realise that someone else has lost it even more: four vampires and their human familiar. They were meant to gain dominion over New York but have spent the last few centuries sitting around at home instead. Sounds like you and your degree? Then this mockumentary is just what you need to destress. It’s basically Peep Show on steroids. If you learn to write and improvise as well as them, you might just ace all your exams.

Rebecca Stoll, Film & TV Editor