"Eighth Grade" changes the game when looking at coming-of-age movies

"Eighth Grade" changes the game when looking at coming-of-age movies

It's a film so honest that you will feel personally attacked by it's accuracy.

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As a Bo Burnham fan, "Eighth Grade" has been one of my most anticipated movies of 2018 ever since the comedian and first-time filmmaker tweeted it out last fall. I was fortunate enough to see an early screening of it this past Tuesday and it did not disappoint.

A simple blurb prefacing this film would be something along the lines of 'Follow Kayla (Elsie Fisher) during her last week of eighth grade and all of the shit that goes along with that,' but that doesn't come close to encompassing everything that this movie is about. It captures all of the anxieties and constant struggles that Kayla deals with and exhibits them in a way that's so authentic you can't help but empathize with her. That, paired with all of the cringy moments that result from her hilarious relationship with her single dad (Josh Hamilton) makes this film feel all the more real.

A key part of "Eighth Grade" is the social media component and how it actually affects the lives of teens. Kayla makes these videos giving life advice like "Putting Yourself Out There" and "Gaining Confidence" and posts them on Youtube. She watches makeup tutorials when getting ready for school, and she scrolls through Instagram before falling asleep. It's the first film I've seen that correctly portrays social media as a tool to help kids who feel clueless and alone, rather than to "brainwash us" or whatever the baby boomers are saying.

"Eighth Grade" does an incredible job of really bringing you back to those horrible years and memories that we tried so hard to suppress. Kayla reminds us how life was, and still is, fucking hard. Girls are mean, boys are horny and parents just don't understand anything. And your world is so small. You have little sense of belonging and virtually no scope of importance; something we adults (ha, I'm 20 and cry all the time, but sure) take for granted. One clever aspect of the film is in which scenarios Burnham decides to showcase how eighth graders live in their own world; all while keeping with the current social climate. One scene in particular shows Kayla and her classmates in the middle of a school-shooter drill. "Now kids, what do you do if you hear gunshots?" "Run the other way." Most of us would find this scenario horrifying, but because Kayla is growing up in an age where a school shooting seems to be more of a mainstream phenomenon, she doesn't care. Instead of paying attention, she spends the drill staring at her crush, Aidan, from across the hall.

"Eighth Grade" shows how things that may seem simple to adults are daunting for kids. Things like going to a pool party, making small talk or going on your first date--all of these seemingly little moments when Kayla feels nervous, upset or happy are amplified into bigger moments, because, when you're 13, everything is a big deal. This is something, as an audience member, I didn't know I needed to see. Thank god Bo Burnham did.

If you're wondering, yes I did cry. It started about 10 minutes in and then was on and off until the credits rolled (@jadedill on Twitter for pics). This can all be yours on July 20th! Or, if you're an elitist in New York or Los Angeles, you get to indulge starting Friday, July 13th.

Cover Image Credit:

Courtesy of Jade Dill

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Escape Maybe The Scariest Option

Curiosity can quickly turn to terror.

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Where Angels Come In, part of the Before You Sleep story collection by Adam Nevill completely strikes you as a 'situation' based plot. An in your face supernatural Horror that leaves you wondering what the heck was happening. Lots of things go missing in the town, pets, kids, objects. The constant curiosity is lingering as to what is in the large White House on the hill and what it once was, or even is. Three young children make their way to the front gate. Two are drawn in, Pickering and the main character, overwhelmed with curiosity. But, curiosity quickly turns to terror as once they are on the first terrace, a ghoulishly pale and tattered cloth covered figure appears on the floor below them. Panic sets in as more of these strange creatures appear. Hiding, they make a choice to run for it. They run up to the next terrace as the creatures begin pursuit. Hearts pounding the make for the stairs at the end of the hallway and to a potential escape. More and more of the strange figures are revealing themselves out of every passing room. One is that of a little girl who begs them to hide in her room. Pickering kept running and descended the stairs while our main character ducked into the room. He could hear the horde of ghostly creatures pass by the room as the ghoulish little girl shows off her dolls. One can't help but think these so-called dolls, and stuffed animals may, in fact, be the decayed remains of the missing children and animals, though this isn't exactly confirmed by any means. One of the before seen ghost-like entities bursts into the room. The little ghost girl disappears. But before our main character could be discovered a shriek is heard off in the distance. Likely Pickering who has been caught. The creature runs out of the room as an open window is seen. Our main character makes a break for the window and works to pry it open further to escape, narrowly doing so as he is grabbed by a ghoulishly pale hand. Just barely breaking free and running away from the house.

This story is rich with something useful, but of what I am not sure yet. I feel I would have to read it a few more times to really understand all of it and pick up on any subtle hints that maybe presented throughout. The story happens very quickly, it is only three pages long, and you are just thrown into it. WHAM. BAM. You're there, and the story just goes. I feel there is some subtext to this tale, but it is extremely subtle. This adds to the mystery and intrigue of the overall plot. What's happening? What is all this? Who are these creatures like things? The story leaves you with more questions than answers.

Goodreads' fans give this story a 4 out of 5 stars; while Amazon also gives this story a 4 out of 5 stars. I myself would lean toward a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I still would recommend it as a pretty decent, quick, read that will leave you on edge with more questions.

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