Film Professor Shares Movie Recommendations Specially Curated For Atlantans

Longstanding community members from NPU-Y and NPU-Z  join “Closer Look” to discuss their concerns and hopes for their communities.
Longstanding community members from NPU-Y and NPU-Z join “Closer Look” to discuss their concerns and hopes for their communities.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

According to a new study of 2,000 Americans with access to a streaming service, the average person is now streaming eight hours of content per day.

“City Lights'” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Professor Matthew Bernstein, the chair of film and media studies at Emory, about some recommendations of Atlanta-based movies to watch while quarantined.

In fact, Atlanta plays a leading role in these movies.

List of Films Discussed:

Sharky’s Machine

(1981) Directed by and starring Burt Reynolds, who plays a narcotics sergeant on the Atlanta Police Department named Tom Sharky. He loves a high-class call girl linked to politics and a mob boss.

School Daze 

(1988) At historically black Mission College, which was shot at Morehouse College, the activism-minded Dap involves himself in social movements and political rallies. His dream is to unite the student body to rally behind these efforts. On the other side of campus, Julian is the leader of the biggest fraternity on campus. He focuses his efforts to maintain social order in the house. “Half-Pint” played by Spike Lee (who also directs the film) is rushing the fraternity. This musical comedy-drama showcases the clashing of frat and sorority ideologies against the backdrop of issues like colourism and discrimination.


(2002) Shot at Clark Atlanta University, the premise of this film is about the high-energy, high-stakes world of show-style marching bands. The coming-of-age movie stars Nick Cannon, who is the new student in school. Cannon and the leader of the school’s drum section bump heads when practicing for their upcoming competition.

Driving Miss Daisy

(1989) Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), an elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta, wishes to maintain her independence despite her age and inabilities to still drive. Her son, Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) hires an African-American chauffeur, named Hoke (Morgan Freeman.) This story shows the relationship between Daisy and Hoke grow from a rocky start to a close friendship.

Madea’s Family Reunion

(2006) Southern matriarch Madea (Tyler Perry) is juggling a lot in her life. Madea is not afraid to say what’s on her mind. She has been ordered by the court to become a foster mom to a rebellious teenager named Nikki. On top of keeping the peace in her household, she’s hosting a family reunion.

Baby Driver: 

(2017) Baby, played by Ansel  Elgort, is a music-loving getaway driver for heist mastermind Doc. He helps with bank robberies with a team of misfits. He’s not in it for the long haul though, wanting to work one final job and head west with diner waitress Debora. The entire movie showcases much of Atlanta. 

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