Last time, Film School Friday taught loyal readers how to choose cinema snacks. If you currently have a strange swelling in your stomach that moves when you touch it, there’s a strong chance the dried squid you ate in that Korean cinema contained squid eggs that are now hatching inside of you. If that’s true, then I really appreciate that you’ve chosen to ignore your family and loved ones to instead spend your last few moments on earth reading my writing. I genuinely can’t think of a better way to end it all.
For those of you not infested by the calamari from hell, summer is winding down and autumn is fast approaching… it’s enough to make you sick, isn’t it!? If only we could delay the inevitable and make summer last forever. Wait! We can do exactly that, all thanks to the power of cinema. All we need to do is stay awake all night, watching movies until the sun comes up. Ok, that admittedly won’t make summer last forever, but it will certainly make it last longer, so close the curtains, heat up the popcorn and tape your eyes open as we read on for today’s lesson.
We’ve all been there; fighting to stay awake and keep up with the plot of a movie as our eyelids slowly droop until… argh shit! I just missed the last 20 minutes of Guardians of the Galaxy and now I have no idea why Groot has become a dancing baby tree thing!
So how do we go about this then? Not all of us can have crippling insomnia like that lucky insomniac bastard in the Christoper Nolan film called.. errr… I should know this!
The most obvious route to go here is to binge on as many coffees and energy drinks as you can before your bladder explodes completely. At the risk of instantly dating this article, I would suggest that you could also attempt the ALS ice bucket challenge every ten minutes or so while watching a film in order to stay awake, but… no. Just no. Let’s get more creative than that.
In Pulp Fiction, John Travolta’s character Vincent uses an adrenaline shot to jolt Mia back into consciousness after she has an overdose. The procedure sounds fairly safe overall, although the needle has to pierce the breastbone before it can be directly injected into the heart. That’s kind of hard to do to yourself in a sitting down position, so it’s best you ask a buddy to do the stabbing for you. And don’t forget to take the needle out in the end or that could get really awkward… Sure does help with those longer art house movies though!
If cardiac arrest isn’t your thing, try turning up the volume of your surround sound to the ‘are you nuts?!’ setting. In the video for Michael Jackson’s Black or White, Macaulay Culkin did the same thing and actor George Wendt ending up flying out of the room, so I’m sure that will keep you awake through even the most boring movies late into the night. If you’re still unsure though, try turning the brightness setting up to the max as well. Be careful though. Most anime and all Wes Anderson films are guaranteed to give you seizures at the highest brightness setting , but at least you’ll stay awake until the end of the movie, right?
The final piece of advice I can bestow on those wishing to stay up all night watching movies is simply to become a vampire. Sleeping all day guarantees that you’ll be wide eyed and bushy tailed by midnight, ready to binge on Netflix to your hearts content. Sure, you’re technically dead and walking into sunlight will burn/make you sparkle like a weirdo, but then you’ll finally be able to catch up on all those classic movies you never had time for! Just watch out though. If you meet a bland empty husk of a girl who appears smitten with you and wants to be a vampire too, run away as fast as you can. You’ll be stuck with the bitch for eternity.
If all of these options seem somewhat extreme to you, then the key thing you need to remember is just to pick a good film that is sufficiently action packed enough to keep your brain awake. The four hour long historical drama Russian Ark is a good example of what to avoid. Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise is ideal… to avoid as well, but that’s more to do with the fact that they’re shockingly bad films more than anything else. Not even Clockwork Orange style eye clamps will help you out there.
Thanks for reading loyal readers (hey Mum!) and remember to come back in two weeks for another edition of Film School Friday, where I will try my utmost to numb your brains with whatever mindless drivel I can come up with in the interim.