Movie Fridays: A Quick Fix
Yay it’s September 1! said no movie-obsessed student ever. School may be interesting and everything (cut us some slack as we try to scramble some enthusiasm not to make you all depressed), but with the snazzy Venice and Toronto film festivals marking the homestretch for the Oscars season, the piling-up homework doesn’t usually leave us cinema buffs much time to indulge. Feel a lump in your throat yet? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. There’s a way out, and it comes to us *cue the celestial light and the angels singing* in the form of YouTube. Whether you’re up for some procrastination action or just fancy a little break from racking your brains, here’s our best-of-the-best of the ‘Tube (and no, there’re no cats videos involved).
This wouldn’t be a movie column if we didn’t start with a movie channel, right? How predictable of us, but not really, because our first recommendation, Alien’s Guide, is not your usual plain-vanilla movie sanctuary. Embarking on a truly gargantuan mission of ‘explaining human stupidity’, the show’s own host, the mercurial and lusciously-browed representative of unknown alien species Garyx Wormuloid, does so by condescendingly giving our earthling movies an obliterating analysis that, we must admit, proves his point, but still offers a real good laugh.
So do check the Alien Guide out for its pleasantly scathing irony and clever cinematic studies, and if you happen to know any aspiring directors, please let them know that the majority of film content the humankind comes up with is just downright drivel that makes us a laughing stock among our intergalactic neighbors and something needs to be done ASAP.
Great Big Story
Putting faces to stories, spilling light on the curious origins of the most boring things of our daily humdrum, and dismantling ‘the grand chessboard’ to the little bricks of news that really matter: in its own words, the Great Big Story global media company is a poet of ‘the untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing’. With its kaleidoscopic storytelling, quirky narratives, and beautiful cinematography, this YouTube channel can teach you lots of useful curios.
Did you know, for example, that ‘Pinky and Brain’, a popular 90’s animated TV series starring two devious (well, one devious and one less so) mice dreaming of world domination, was created by none other than the swashbuckling cult director Steven Spielberg, and that brunch, our universal guilty pleasure, was invented by a 19th century Englishman who just couldn’t face a big early breakfast the morning after the night before? And that’s just some of the revelations this channel has brought upon our unsuspecting heads. So… Join the club!
What supernatural ability would you like to have? Apparently, when asked that weighty question, 37% of the world population’s wistful response is: reading other people’s thoughts. We bet you already possess that talent as you sure have guessed that we may have taken this estimate out of our heads. But we digress. You can’t read other people’s thoughts, hate to break it to you, but if you’d like to increase your understanding of your fellow humans in a more legal and realistic way, we have something that could help you with that.
With its video reel aiming to ‘bridge people together through compelling stories’, Jubilee is the perfect place for all scholars of human nature. We especially commend their Middle Ground series that sees people with opposing opinions engage in a discussion tackling their apple of discord. Don’t worry, everything goes swimmingly, there’s no X-rated violence involved and participants even hug each other in the end. Sometimes.
Ready to move from one hamletian subject to another? Let’s talk food, then. Yep, nobody said it’s gonna be easy. An offspring channel of Cut, a media outlet slash viral videos conveyor belt, HiHo Kids features a group of funny and epigrammatically blunt kids trying foods from different countries and giving their expert opinions. The channel also runs a rather thought-provoking series where the kids meet people from different backgrounds and walks of life. Despite a simple premise, it’s an amusing, interesting, and appropriately moreish watch: we must have spent more than an hour at one point clicking on one video after another (but that happened during a very stressful thesis-writing season, so don’t judge). The bottom line is, HiHo Kids is a great divertissement; just don’t go in there on an empty stomach.
Abroad in Japan
Abroad in Japan is a brainchild of a twenty-something Englishman Chris Broad, who unashamedly exploited his native-speaker background to move to Japan to teach English and now spends his time exploring this unearthly country with his Japanese bros Natsuki, who has gained a cult following that pressurized Chris to come up with an hour-long Natsuki biopic, and Ryotaro, who has a suspiciously smooth British accent and a certain James Bond flare about his mysterious persona.
Tune in to discover that Japan is even weirder than you might have expected, but that’s what makes it so flippin’ great. A word of caution, though: there’s a high chance you’ll want to pack your bags and leave for the ramen kingdom on the next flight. As if we ever needed an additional nudge to visit Japan, duh. But you might also like Abroad in Japan even if you don’t give a hoot about this country; it’s just bursting-out-loud level of funny, especially when Natsuki’s involved.
Enjoy! Yours truly, ITMO.NEWS