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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

LYONS: Best of fall film, dark academia and cozy comforts

This is part of a series called “Autumnal Awards” which allows columnists to discuss their favorite fall items in each category.
Photo by Will Eikenbary
The Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee.

Cozying up with a warm drink, comfy blanket and maybe an animal companion or two while watching a perfectly autumnal show or movie, nothing can quite beat it. Autumnal movies are a perfect way to get into the fall headspace.

A personal tradition of mine every autumn is to watch the animated mini-series “Over the Garden Wall”. With a run time of just under two hours, you can easily binge-watch the cute, and at times creepy, show.

The series focuses on two brothers named Wirt and Greg. They find themselves in a forest, reminiscent of German fairytales, and try to find their way home. Throughout their journey, they fall into several bizarre and wondrous scenarios. The story has a playful yet still spooky element to it. 

Though it is animated, it is still very enjoyable to watch as an adult. There are themes of loss and self-acceptance which help to ground the sometimes fantastical elements.

What makes the series feel so quintessentially autumnal, and thus perfect to watch during the season, is the aesthetics of the art style. For much of the show, the ground is covered with a colorful array of fallen leaves along with an almost sepia filter over top. Motifs of pumpkins, candy and even dancing, singing frogs speckle the series. This is perfect if you want a lighthearted but at times still scary series to watch. 

A movie that is more elusively autumnal is the coming-of-age comedy “Edge of Seventeen”. If you’re looking for something that is more lighthearted this movie is perfect for you.

It follows high school junior Nadine, who views herself as strange and awkward, and her childhood best friend Krista. Nadine has to deal with growing up and with the awkwardness of being a teenager all while dealing with her father’s death, mourning mother and her “perfect” brother. We can all relate to the difficulty of growing up, losing friends, dealing with loss and just the feeling of being alone. The humor is dark at times and certainly doesn’t stray away from the messiness of high school. 

It may not be explicitly autumnal but for me, it’s very nostalgic and carries that warm fuzzy feeling with it. The coming-of-age aspect of it plays a big part in this. It has a cozy and small-town feeling all while maintaining a comedic zing. 

A classic fall movie is “Dead Poets Society.” The movie takes place in 1959 at an all-boys prep school called Welton Academy on the East Coast. A new English teacher arrives and teaches his students in unconventional ways that prioritize creativity and individuality. This is looked down upon by Welton, which is steeped in tradition. 

The film has a “dark academia” feeling with the gothic architecture of the school and the very fall appropriate outfits consisting of several cozy looking sweaters. It fits perfectly into the Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League school aesthetic and certainly somewhat idealizes the look of education. Something about this type of aesthetic or style reminds me a lot of autumn, which makes it perfect for all your cozy movie needs. I first watched this movie with my parents in high school and it’s always a film I find myself coming back to. It’s somewhat of a comfort movie for me. I can really re-watch it over and over again and not get bored

Autumn is a great time to settle down with loved ones and enjoy a film. Whether that’s at home with family, in your dorm with your roommate, movies and shows are a great way to bring people together and really just enjoy each other’s company. I certainly know that I will.

This story was written by Kirsten Lyons. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kirsten Lyons
Kirsten Lyons, Assistant Opinions Editor
Kirsten Lyons is a sophomore from St. Paul, Minnesota studying journalism and peace studies and is the Assistant Opinions Editor at the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire she enjoys knitting, reading and trying out new recipes. She is excited to grow as a journalist at the Wire and help others do the same.

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