Film and TV: A summer preview

Ellie Siora looks to offset the post-term blues through film and TV

Photo: Wikipedia

The post-vac feeling is never quite describable. You spend eight weeks relishing in the anticipation for the moment you won’t have anything to do. With every essay you submit, lecture you run to or tute you blag with nearly no knowledge of the subject, you wait for the day you’ll have nothing to do at all. The day you’ll be half-hanging out the bed, refreshing the same Instagram feed that’s failed to provide anything of interest for the last five hours, with your mouth hanging half-open in indolence.

However, when that day comes it’s not quite what you expected. You’re suddenly itching because you have nothing to do, nowhere to be and no goal to run towards. You thought you’d escaped conforming to Oxford’s culture of productivity, but it got you right where you weren’t expecting it – in your own family home. What has happened to the languorous pleasure of bingeing through on the same two seasons of ‘The Office’ for the seventh time? Have you simply stopped enjoying wasting time for the sake of it?

First up, why not take a sloth-like scroll across the channels of Vimeo? Vimeo attracts more than 100 million unique visitors per month and more than 22 million registered users. It is a treasure trove of shorts, made with passionate and thought-provoking direction. Not to mention that it’s free. A good channel to start with that has a diverse range of worthy films is Independent Filmmakers by the Novelist Studio ( https://vimeo.com/channels/31259 ). Promoting short documentaries to thrillers of indie directors who deserve the recognition. A must-browse-through for the seasonally bored.

Or if you’re looking for a more committed way to waste your time, hunting through the internet’s web-series collection turns up some perceptive and funny series ready to provide hours of clicking ‘Watch Next Episode’. The best source for these would be www.webserieschannel.com . A personal favourite from this being Rugged Rock (http://www.webserieschannel.com/rugged-rock/ ) , particularly if you’re missing the days when you missed the Office. Rugged Rock is a Mockumentary UK web series about a group of actors working for a touring Theatre Company. It’s sweet, comical and tasteful – and a testament in itself of how the un-extraordinary and what is seemingly time-wasting has its own important impact in its sphere of influence.

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If you’re looking to actually leave the hovel of your room for some reason – there are glorious ways to waste time in the world outside as well. Cinema screenings may remind you of your thirteen year old days when summer boredom led you to finding your thrills in deciding which colour Tango Ice Blast you would buy. However, the culture of cinema screening is changing – and an idle amble to the cinema is actually pretty thrilling. For you southerners The Nomad Cinema is one to keep an eye on ( http://www.whereisthenomad.com/ ).   Fitting its venues to the theme of its films the location is just as much of an event as the screening itself. What would be more apt than to screen Hitchcock’s chilling The Birds at Brompton Cemetery? Running screenings till the 24th September, catching one of these films is definitely a must.

On considering what there actually is to see this summer, I’d say Chazelle’s La-La-Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and due to come out this summer is one to look out for. For me, it’s the perfect balance between easy-watching and quality. Following a cliché story of a jazz pianist falling in love with an aspiring actress in Los Angeles in the showy parcel of a movie musical – you could liken it to Mamma Mia, and didn’t that put you in the summer mood back in 2008? However, the film is potentially cinematically worthwhile as well. Following semantically in the footsteps of Chazelle’s previous film Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, which was widely acclaimed as successful, there is great possibility in its successor.

Finally, if time-wasting has really been beaten out of you and you can’t accept you do it – there’s a loophole. You can get involved in that medium that ate up so many of your hours over the years. Oxford Student based project WMAF (We’re Making A Film) are voyaging on a six-film summer project that you can be productive towards. This project was set up to make a space for people to play with film and learn things from slightly older and more experienced peers from across the country. People can get involved in many ways; signing up to audition involves submitting a bio and headshot to be added to the actor pool (this is a document of actors who are keen on WMAF and is less intimidating for new directors to approach when casting than the wide world). Alternately, you can email kseniakulakova@btinternet.com to get involved in any capacity you fancy. Finally you can submit blog posts or screenplays, where the former would be published and the latter hopefully made. And if you’re looking to be less active but equally passionate – a small donation to the crowd funding page of the project would be your done-something-today box ticked.

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It is unsurprising that, after experiencing the pace of an eight-week term, your method of time wasting may have simply changed. Oxford is a city that’s unabashedly unusual, due to its unique aesthetic, varied history and us weirdos that inhabit it. But I assure you that your desire to be unproductive need not. The long, hazy days of your 2016 summer lie ahead ready for you to relive the glory of teenage time-wasting – and so there are a few suggestions to fill these days as such whilst still tickling your expanding unconventional tastes.