FX Excursions

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Movie Watchlist

by Aoife O’Riordan

Feb 20, 2023

Image credit: © Vasiliy Budarin | Dreamstime.com

While nothing can compare to my collection of books and the growing number of books read, I have lately been watching more films I often see referenced culturally, whether it be in a TV show or in a book or even in conversation. This means watching both the classics and more contemporary films. After all, books, movies and shows are so interconnected, especially today, it’s almost impossible to fully appreciate and understand one without delving into the others.

popcorn

Image credit: © Vasiliy Budarin | Dreamstime.com

I started with a short list of films I wanted to watch as soon as possible, mixing older films with ones from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s I had always been interested in but never got around to watching for one reason or another.

Yes, this means I sat through the more than three hours of Gone with the Wind, a film I had heard so much about and somehow not yet actually watched. We have all heard,“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” but I finally got to see the context of this iconic line and appreciate the dynamic between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara.

Some of the other classic films I watched in the last year include Casablanca, Citizen Kane and Rear Window. I have yet to watch other classic films like A Streetcar Named Desire, The Birds, Psycho and The Quiet Man. I don’t expect to enjoy them all, but I want to decide for myself and apply my opinions of each film to future books I read, conversations I have and shows I watch.

As for more contemporary films, I have seen more of these recently. I watched The Banshee of Inisherin, an Irish film starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, two actors I love. I believe everyone needs to watch this film. When it first ended, I found myself slightly unsure what to think, feeling unresolved and wishing for a more climactic ending. But I soon spoke about the film with my dad, who watched it with me, and we found strong parallels between the events and relationships of characters in the film to the events and relationships of those during the Irish Civil War in the early 20th century. Friends turning against one another not so much out of hatred but out of different purposes in life became clearer.

This film is also beautiful to watch. Much of it was filmed on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands off the coast of west Ireland. I have been to Inis Mór many times and even camped there, by the sea. If you look closely in the film, you can see Dún Aonghasa, a great prehistoric hill fort located at the edge of a nearly 330-foot cliff, in the background of some scenes.

I also recently watched Netflix’s The Wonder with Florence Pugh, another film set in Ireland about an English nurse finding out the truth behind a girl who supposedly hasn’t eaten in weeks and still appears normal and healthy. This was an unsettling film that left me thinking about the many internal conflicts women and families faced in Ireland in the face of religious and societal expectations.

I think some of the next films on my list will include Parasite, the 2019 film that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Gangs of New York and 1917.

— Aoife O’Riordan, associate editor

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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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