Last Wednesday, Hurricane Productions and Cinematic Art Commission joined forces once again to bring staff and students free screenings of the year’s top films.
Although it is undeniable that films watched on a big screen in front of a large audience provide a different experience than watching them on a TV or computer, most people opt for the latter to avoid the price of a movie ticket. One of the perks of being a UM student, however, is that every semester, these two organizations provide students with the opportunity to enjoy the best films of the season without ever having to leave campus.
Jan. 22 marked the first film of the semester: the Best Picture nominee “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” staring best-buds Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt with the appearance of the always-stunning Margot Robbie. This is Quentin Tarantino’s 10th feature film, although he would disagree. The director counts this as his ninth, given that “Kill Bill Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill Vol. 2” were worked on as one single film.
Tarantino’s filmography is remarkable. Whether having seen the film or not, most are familiar with the iconic “Pulp Fiction” poster featuring Uma Thurman lying in bed with a cigarette. Tarantino’s legacy has oozed its way into pop culture, and with him repeatedly claiming retirement after his 10th film, there is more pressure than ever to watch what may be his final burst of genius on the big screen.
This could explain the big turnout for the Cosford Theater’s first screening. With a packed theater, the film enveloped the audience into a story all movie-goers can all recognize as Tarantinian (which, according to Urban Dictionary, is in fact a word). A film about the film industry, how it treats its stars and what it means to have some fame, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is full of references to history as well as Tarantino’s own body of work.
The audience– movie buffs and casual viewers alike– appreciated how insanely good DiCaprio is at acting and had a great time watching the combination of comedy and classic Tartantinian violence unfold on screen.
German Orellana, a senior engineering student, beamed with excitement post-screening. “I’m not a film buff, and I know there’s a lot of references in the film, but God was DiCaprio so good,” he said.
Not to spoil anything, but if you’re a big Bruce Lee fan, please go watch this film. The full film-roster for this semester is linked here. Joker, The Lighthouse and Parasite– all Oscar nominees– are among those scheduled.
The Cosford Theater is located on the second floor of the Dooly Memorial building. To quote famed director Martin Scorsese: “Please, please, don’t watch these films on your phone.”