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Global entertainment: International UB students discuss their favorite songs and movies

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There are no borders when it comes to enjoying a good movie or song. Whether abroad or at UB, international students are buzzing about which works in the media they treasure the most.

Karan Bhanderi, a sophomore business administration major from India, said “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006) is one of his favorite flicks because it shows the life of the average person.

The movie, which is based on the true story of Christopher Gardner (Will Smith), depicts a father attempting to achieve the American dream with his son by his side. The father is a salesman who tries to sell his bone density scanner and hustles to the point of success.

“Not everyone has the same life as him but it’s a motivational movie,” Bhanderi said. “This movie shows that if you want something you need to work for it and it shows someone dealing with jobs and family well.”

Bhanderi enjoys watching movies but he has only seen a few Hollywood films. He said that he first watched this movie back home and although it’s not too popular, it’s somewhat well known in his country.

One of Bhanderi’s favorite scenes from the movie is when Gardner and his son are at the train station and the two imagine a new world that remedies their struggle.

“He has a machine for medical purposes which can be used to go back in time, hypothetically,” Bhanderi said. “[Gardner] is trying to explain to his kid that they have to ‘hide’ somewhere and he says there are dinosaurs. He wants them to get to shelter and they go to a restroom which he calls a ‘cave.’”

Another movie that Bhanderi enjoys is “Interstellar” (2014), a sci-fi film that is a lengthy trip through the cosmos.

“The direction was such where you feel like you are in that situation,” Bhanderi said. “Once you start watching that movie, it feels like you are travelling in space. It keeps you holding onto your chair and you’re curious about what will happen next.”

Other international students also enjoy the thrills and chills of movies.

Derek Wang, a student from China, is a fan of more recent films in American theaters.

Wang, a freshman social sciences major, likes one of Marvel’s latest films “Doctor Strange” (2016) – a movie much like “Iron Man” (2008) but with a burst of magic.

Wang mostly enjoys animated flicks but this movie about a mystical medical professional is something he appreciates.

“It’s so cool since it’s part of the Marvel movie universe, so the movie takes you to another world,” Wang said.

Aside from movies like “Doctor Strange,” Wang is also a big fan of popular music and loves the Charlie Puth single “We Don’t Talk Anymore” featuring Selena Gomez.

“I like the lyrics and it reminds me of a certain feeling that I can’t put my mind to,” Wang said.

The song is feel-good anthem that talks break ups in a euphonic manner – with sweet sounding vocals and an acoustic-like beat.

Wang also is a fan of The Weeknd’s hit, Daft Punk collaboration “Starboy,” a track that discusses musical popularity in a robotic, dance-y fashion.

“I think The Weeknd really sounds like Michael Jackson like people say and his singing, as well as the beat, are really well done,” Wang said.

Other international students from China like Debbie Zhang, a freshman business administration major, are big fans of psychological movies and any flicks that thrill.

The most recent film Zhang experienced is “Split” (2017), a movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan that profiles the life of Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy), a man with dissociative identity disorder.

“I liked the acting and especially James McAvoy’s performance in the movie was really good,” Zhang said. “He came back from the beast and each identity just started rotating. I wasn’t scared watching the movie but I was amazed by the acting.”

In addition to bone-chilling movies, Zhang is also a fan of English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and his song “Shape of You,” a song that she thinks exhibits a talented singer who is also a skilled guitarist.

Popular American TV shows have also found their way into the hearts of international students.

Brandon Lee, a senior finance major from Singapore, says his favorite TV shows include “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Game of Thrones.”

“They’re both shows that have great story lines and characters,” Lee said. “Once I started watching ‘Game of Thrones,’ I was hooked. It’s amazing how they can create such an amazing world of mythical creatures and have such great backstories on each character.”

Lee also said that he enjoys some American music. Some of the bands he has been listening to lately are Coldplay and The Chainsmokers, who recently collaborated on the song “Something Just Like This.”

“I really liked The Chainsmokers’ song “Paris” and now that they collaborated with Coldplay I like them a lot more,” Lee said. “Coldplay has an amazing rhythmic sound which is unique. Combined with The Chainsmokers’ beats I think it’s a really good combination.”

Arts Desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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