While lots of people have watched movies for fun to battle quarantine boredom this spring, Louisiana Tech sophomore Jada Holmes has watched them as part of her homework.
She’s taking a film appreciation class that fulfills one of her general education requirements. See the book Talking Pictures in her work space? It’s by movie critic Ann Hornaday, and its sub-title is How To Watch Movies.
“We’ve been focusing on films directed by Christopher Nolan,” Holmes said. “I’ve learned a lot about the different processes that go into making a movie and how lighting, sound, editing, and direction affect a movie just as much as — if not more than — the acting and storyline. I think my favorite part has been figuring out what makes a Nolan movie (Batman Begins, Interstellar, Dunkirk) a Nolan movie.”
If only there were a book on pandemic appreciation or How To Act During A Worldwide Health Crisis.
“It’s been a bit difficult adjusting to an online format, especially because of my political science class,” said Holmes, a political science major who’s been in quarantine with her parents and younger brother in Bossier City. “We split into teams and had to write a 16-to-20-page paper developing policy options for a key foreign policy issue confronting us right now. This requires a lot of communication, which has proven a bit difficult because of our current state. However, we managed to work around this, and we’re pretty satisfied with the outcome. Overall, my professors have been working their hardest to ensure that we still learn, even if it’s not in the most convenient way, and I really appreciate it.”
She’s had support from her family in a variety of ways.
“My family respected my need for space when it came to my schoolwork, so that’s all that really matters to me,” she said. “When I got too stressed out, they made me stop working and do something to relax. I’m really thankful they recognized when I couldn’t handle more, even when I didn’t know myself.”
Holmes said to relax, her family has also gone on walks together, made smoothies together, and — of course — watched movies.
“I love horror movies so I’ve pretty much watched whatever Netflix has to offer,” she said. “After Parasite, I’ve taken to watching more Korean movies and shows. There’s this show on Netflix called Kingdom that my family and I watched, and it’s really interesting. It’s dubbed too if you don’t like reading subtitles.”
One thing that’s been perfect during the pandemic: she’s got the ideal “desk” for movie watching.
“My workspace is quite literally my bed because I don’t have a desk,” Holmes said. “Also, it’s just easier to work in my room in order to separate myself from any unwanted distractions.”
Her recommendations of movies directed by Nolan include Momento (2000), The Prestige (2006), and Inception (2010); Nolan’s films have been described as worth watching if for nothing else than the director’s sheer visceral expertise.
“They require a lot of focus and thinking,” Holmes said, “but I think these movies are very interesting.”
After living through a sort of sci-fi movie this spring, Holmes will take a summer class at a community college, “hopefully hang out with friends at some point,” and be ready for her move back to Ruston and off campus in the fall.
“Hopefully, we can find the closest thing to normal given the circumstances,” she said. “I found that the hardest thing to do was keep myself in a school mindset because I was no longer in a school setting. I hope that we can get back to this as soon as possible.”