The phrase “Come hell or high water” means that no matter what happens, nothing will stop you from achieving a goal. The movie, “Hell or High Water,” is great for those who love action, crime, and learning about the US.
It explores Texas, it’s people, their struggles, and everything they are willing to do to succeed. In a way I think it’s very good for international students. It truly fleshes out its characters while still minting traditional roles that repeat in old western films. It is also never afraid to address issues of racism in a manner of fact way that is also quite humorous. It also very obviously highlights the decline of rural America and its struggle to remain relevant in a changing economy.
If you have ever seen any western movie like “No Country for Old Men” or “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” you are sure to enjoy this one. From what I’ve seen international students tend to be rather familiar with old western movies.
Though he probably wasn’t the first to think so, filmmaker Woody Allen is known to have said “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Others since have gone on to say “90% of success is just showing up” and other variations of the same idea. My brother and I found this out to be true when we created a short film together and submitted it to an LA film festival, even though neither of us had any experience in the field. A couple weeks after doing so, we receive a phone call notifying us that our short was accepted to premiere at the film festival. Being the naive filmmakers we were, we thought getting accepted would get our foot in the door of the film industry but, as it turned out, getting a film to premiere at the festival only played a minor role in our exposure to the industry. Getting “our foot through the door” was actually much simpler than we had ever thought.
The first day at the film festival was absolutely packed. You had to squeeze your way through a tight crowd of strangers, and occasionally a celebrity, just to get a cup of water. Soon enough, my brother and I began to chat with other filmmakers and fill up our contact lists in our phones. Just on the first day, my brother and I made a vast network of connections with very hard working artists who carried the same love and passion for cinema as we did, all while not having seen a single film yet at the festival.
This having just been the first day, we were so eager to see what would become of the rest of the week. Oddly enough, every single day between opening and closing night had a only a minuscule fraction of the attendees show up. This puzzled me at first because the in between days were when all the films were screening. I had thought that the entire point of a film festival was to watch films and network with people whose work you admired and vice versa. It turned out that one didn’t even need to have a film screen at the event, so long as one was present and engaging with the people around them. There were, in fact, many people at the festival who hadn’t worked on any projects; they just came to increase their network.
Being a USC student, going out to the movies can be quite the struggle, mainly due to a lack of time and transportation options. However, it is awards season and the biggest ceremony of the year, the 88th Academy Awards (or “Oscars”) are coming up quick, Feb. 28th! I always make it a point to watch some of the nominated films beforehand so that I’m familiar with the contenders. This makes watching the awards more fun! If you need a break from school and you love movies as much as I do, the next two weeks is a great time to catch up on those nominations. The following is a list of the films with the most nominations. I recommend seeing these first to really prepare for the big show.
The Revenant (12 nominations)
Mad Max: Fury Road (10 nominations)
The Martian (7 nominations)
Carol (6 nominations)
Bridge of Spies (6 nominations)
Below are my two favorite spots to watch a movie in Los Angeles.
Regal Cinema LA LIVE
This choice is made of convenience, but it’s also a really great place for a movie escape. The Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live is only about an 8 minute drive away. If you don’t have a car, Uber is a great option and relatively cheap. Cheaper yet, there’s a bus and a train that will get you here as well. The F Dash bus will drop you off right in front of L.A. Live, while the Expo Line light rail train station is only about two blocks away. Both modes will pick you up on the edge of campus and get you to the theater in about 15 minutes.