Peeking at professors’ must-watch films

From horror to the classics, we’ve got you covered

Hearing professors talk about various movies can be a common occurrence among many students. Whether it is a reference that goes over the heads of many young people or a brief quote that sounds sort of familiar, the disconnect between students’ and professors’ movie knowledge is real. So, we at the Trinitonian have attempted to bridge that gap, compiling a list of must-see, professor-recommended films that pack an influential punch.

Glenn Kroeger, geosciences professor, offered his five picks for must-watch films.
All but one of Kroeger’s suggestions are black and white films. So, even though these films are a little older, Kroeger insists they are must-watches.

The top-ranked film on Kroeger’s list is “Citizen Kane,” the 1941 film directed by Orson Welles.

“[‘Citizen Kane’] is part of the fabric of the culture,” said Kroeger.

This fictionalization of the life of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst is full of commonly referenced and often quoted material.

“Citizen Kane” (Welles 1941)
“To Kill a Mockingbird” (Mulligan 1962)
“Harold and Maude” (Ashby 1971)
“A Night at the Opera” (Wood 1935)
“The Last Picture Show” (Bogdanovich 1971)

Katherine Troyer, assistant director for Programs for the Collaborative for Learning and Teaching, chose her top five horror films that she believes students should view. Each of these films represents a different type of horror movie. From horror comedies to psychological thriller films, Troyer’s suggestions include a vast spectrum of scary topics.

One of the lesser-known horror films, “One Cut of the Dead,” is a Japanese student film released in 2017.

“I think it’s important for students to see that not everything has to be big-budget,” said Dr. Troyer.

While this student-made zombie film starts slow, “One Cut of the Dead” is definitely worth a watch on your next movie night.

“Ginger Snaps” (Fawcett 2000)
“One Cut of the Dead” (Ueda 2017)
“Get Out” (Peele 2017)
“American Psycho” (Harron 2000)
“Shaun of the Dead” (Wright 2004)

Benjamin Stevens, a Classics professor, chose five influential films relating to the ancient world. These films span almost 50 years, covering vast topics ranging from a comedic interpretation of a classic adventure to contemporary examples of ancient stories.

One of Stevens’ movie choices, “O Brother Where Art Thou,” is a comedic adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey that takes place in 1930s America.

“[‘O Brother Where Art Thou’] is an interesting way of invoking the ancient world by pointing back to, loosely speaking, the ancient history of America,” said Stevens.

One of the more lighthearted films on this list, “O Brother Where Art Thou” provides a comedic way of engaging with commonly referenced classical stories.

“Contempt” (Godard 1963)

“The Piano” (Jane Campion, 1993)

“The Virgin Suicides” (Coppola 1999)

“O Brother Where Art Thou” (Coens 2000)

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Mitchell 2001)