'The perfect antidote to May Week madness'KIRSTEN DREW ON UNSPLASH

Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995) is the perfect antidote to May Week madness. This tender and understated rendering of young-love-found-abroad is a filmic deep breath sure to slow you down, all while fuelling you up with enough wistful yearning for a whole summer of maladaptive daydreaming (though do bear in mind it’s unlikely every stranger you encounter on holiday will be as charming as Ethan Hawke or Julie Delpy…). To those leaving Cambridge for good this term, the film is an apt reminder to cherish time spent, and conversations had, with friends both old and new. Granted, a pensive promenade past Gardies doesn’t have quite the same charm as a romantic stroll through Vienna’s Baroque palaces, but luckily, the beauty of authentic human connection is universal. - Imogen

As much as May Week is a time for celebration, it’s also a time where I find myself thinking… is time even real? Somehow it feels like you’ve been toiling away in libraries for somewhere between three and eight years but simultaneously C-Sunday still feels like yesterday. One film that I think takes this (somewhat discombobulating) feeling, but renders it almost comforting is Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women (2016). Call it meandering, even shapeless, but that’s part and parcel of how the film (quite wisely) imagines life and time to exist; not as a straight line leading us from one point to the next, but as a messy jumble of half-formed memories, a continuum of unfiltered experience. It’s one made up of misremembered quotes we once read; of photos of photos; of the strange habits our parents have that we think are normal until we discover that it might just be them; of songs and dances; of pasts lived and futures unwritten. It’s a pretty special thing. - Isaac

Right at the top of my May Week watchlist is Max Barbakow’s Palm Springs (2020), starring the endlessly charismatic Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. The sunny Californian setting makes it perfect for a summer’s day, and the light-hearted comedy makes it perfect to watch with all your friends, who finally have enough time to stop working and start hosting film nights. Palm Springs is perhaps the most watchable, and indeed rewatchable, film I’ve seen in recent years, and I’ve never shown it to anyone who hasn’t loved it. The relentless Cambridge terms often make me feel like I’m stuck in a time loop, so this film is almost as relatable as it is hilarious. - Sam

Once this year is over, I am really looking forward to actually letting my hair down, and no film embodies letting loose like Greg Araki’s cult classic B-movie, Nowhere (1997). The film is a love letter to a truly free vision of youth culture; in other words, it’s a 90 minute visual storm of all the things I have to repress to meet my supo deadlines. Unlike the cast of Nowhere, my May Week partying will not hopefully not become a harbinger of the apocalypse, but I will definitely be checking back in with the movie to remind myself what it actually means to let loose. - Heidi

May Week is meant for partying after a term of intensity, but it’s also for decompressing and finding peace in Cambridge without the workload. For me, this makes Jessica Swale’s Summerland (2020) the perfect watch. Period dramas and queer joy do not tend to coexist, but Summerland challenges this otherwise demoralising dichotomy. Gemma Arterton is a reclusive and disenchanted academic who must navigate life with an evacuee and returning memories of her past lover, Vera. The coastal setting and Sapphic romance are ideal remedies for the high-pace Cambridge term, providing the comfort and contentment that should be a part of everyone’s May Week. - Olivia

Whilst May Week gives us distance from the fever dream of exam season, I couldn’t recommend Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) enough, in all its exquisite chaos. The Daniels' movie is exactly what you need after the exhausting repetition of eight exhausting weeks. It’s breathlessly down to earth, offering the opportunity to immerse our stressed-out souls into the life of a stressed-out laundromat, where intergenerational trauma, incomprehension and all their absurd, devastating side effects collide. The film’s touching conclusion administers a healthy dose of catharsis and closure that makes it perfect for May Week, where all that’s jumbled and unspoken is left at the door. - Anja


Mountain View

Refreshing talent on display at CUFA's Fresh2Film premiere

I’d recommend Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993), a film set on the last day of school in 1976 in Austin, Texas, showing an ensemble cast enjoying the first day of the summer vacation. There’s no main character, which I think works to its advantage, as the characters weave in and out of each other’s lives; different perspectives allow for a variety of stories to be told, which means everybody will find something to relate to. It’s the kind of film you can dip in and out of and watch over and over again, finding something new every time. - Matthew

The title of Pedro Almodóvar’s most comedic film, seems at first, more reminiscent of the toil and trouble of exams than the catharsis of May Week. But, at its Carmen Maura-filled core, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), expertly embodies the ruling element of May Week: mania. For, with the abrupt end to a year of work by way of a pitiful online exam, you will be left completely aimless and irreparably insane. This film will match your delirium and will reinject you with a much-needed dose of passion that should leave you stronger than Pepa’s sleeping-drug-infused gazpacho. The film will also provide you with examples of feasible coping strategies for when you inevitably reunite with your ex-situationship in the Revs smoking area, which include burning furniture in fits of fury and motorbike chases after the unfaithful Iván. - Inês