Muse’s cinematic exam survival guide*

*Disclaimer: we cannot guarantee your survival and take no responsibility for your marks, or lack thereof

Here we are again; the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and we’re not allowed to see any of it, because we’re stuck inside revising. Exam stress gets to us all, unless you’re one of those students, who has apparently escaped the May misery. We in the Film & TV section believe, of course, that films are the solution to all your problems. We can’t guarantee you a first, but we can offer you a bit of inspiration, or at least a distraction from your current state of despair.

Image: MGM

There are several approaches to beating the revision blues. The first is simple: be inspired, and who better to inspire you than Robin Williams. The beloved actor gave one of his best performances in the heartfelt school drama Dead Poets Society. If by the end you don’t have a desperate urge to stand on a table and shout, ‘O captain, my captain!’ then you may as well accept your third. You know who wouldn’t have accepted a third? Elle Woods. Nobody believed in her, but Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde protagonist proved that regardless of what you’ve done in the past, you too can get into Harvard Law and win a murder trial (what, like it’s hard?), or at the very least pass your degree.

Even with all the inspiration in the world, sometimes you just need a break. Have you been in the Library for 12 hours straight with nothing but remnants of a meal deal to show

Image: Paramount Pictures

for it? Have you recently sustained an injury from banging your head against your laptop? Have you been inside so long you haven’t interacted with the geese for over a week? Well maybe, you just need to escape from university. Run away from your problems like Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, taking the time to enjoy life (and gatecrash a parade).

Or alternatively imagine what it would be like if your education was just one big musical number, as in Pitch Perfect or High School Musical. Follow the lead of the Barden Bellas and practice some acapella in the library (only in a ‘studious buzz zone’, mind you), and don’t forget that we’re all in this together.

Image: Fox Searchlight

If this doesn’t work, then maybe what you need is just a bit of perspective. After all, your life could be a lot worse. Your 48-hour exam might feel as drawn-out and excruciatingly painful as sawing your own arm off. But at least you’re not actually sawing your own arm off, as in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. The prospect of Week 5 finally coming round might make your skin crawl with fear. But at least you’re not being chased around campus by a psychopath with a Ghostface mask and a very large knife, like the characters of Scream 2.

At times university might feel like an exercise in torturing young people by making them viciously compete. But at least the government isn’t literally forcing us to fight to the death on a remote island. as in Battle Royale (OG Japanese Hunger Games).

Image: New Line Cinema

Failing all of this, there is only really one option, submit yourself to hours upon hours of useless procrastination. Don’t lie to yourself, it’s bound to happen anyway so you might as well do it properly, immersing yourself in a thrilling cinematic world. Our personal recommendation would be to while away the hours with a back-to-back marathon of the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions. Still have time after this 12-hour task? Why not revisit The Hobbit for good luck? Fuck it, we’re all doomed anyway.

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