With all the dreary rain tumbling down outside, you might be hesitant to believe how beautiful the campus is going to be in full spring bloom. Polish up your Columbia campus mental imagery, then, with the following selection of films available on Netflix’s Watch Instantly! service — they all incorporate Columbia and its campus, even if not always by name.
After being expelled from Columbia, three parapsychology “experts” open up a ghost investigation and eradication service in New York City. The trio soon discover a centuries-old Sumerian demon living in an apartment refrigerator near Central Park, which they learn has imminent plans to trigger the apocalypse. Fighting off both stern government agents and evil beings that come their way, the Ghostbusters must rush to save their reputations and New York itself.
The film that started the franchise, Ghostbusters is one of the rare exceptions to the rule with most movies that film on campus. Columbia generally tries to avoid being mentioned by name in these movies, but here, the university features rather prominently in the plot. Look for scenes filmed around Low Library beginning about 12 minutes into the movie, and look for a second sequel to the film in 2010.
A painfully ended relationship leads Joel and Clementine to pursue an experimental medical procedure that can erase specific memories. As they both lose the experiences they shared, Joel rediscovers his passion for Clementine. He doesn’t want to forget Clementine, but he’ll have to fight to keep her.
This bizarre-but-touching film does incorporate Columbia if you have a quick eye. You’ll recognize the Columbia bookstore from Jim Carrey’s scene in the erstwhile-Long Island Barnes & Noble, but notice the bookstore acts only as a stand-in. Columbia isn’t mentioned by name, in keeping with the preferences of the university. Too bad no one can be seen holding a Lit Hum boxed set.
Scouser Jude Feeny leaves for the United States on a quest to find his father. Winding up at Princeton, he befriends a well-to-do, smart, and rebellious student who introduces Jude to the counterculture. The pair move to New York and become part of the turbulent 60s scene, rubbing elbows with the great moments of the radical left movement.
Across the Universe has little going for it, unfortunately, other than the Beatles music strung loosely into the plot. Most of the history is only partially remembered correctly and sloppily dashed together. Case and point is the way Columbia is depicted — Jude winds up at the 1968 riots outside a brick Low Library balcony. Yeah, brick. Enjoy the music to his film and have a laugh at Columbia’s cameo, but that’s about it.