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The LEGACY Issue: Future classics: Books and films which have shaped our generation

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Featured illustration: Jack Dean


Move along, Shakespeare! What better way to reflect on The LEGACY Issue than with a compilation of must-read books and must-see films? Here we’ve carved the names of some of the classics of this generation to lay down our own legacy. Are we right? Take a look at the films and books we think have made a profound impact on the 21st Century so far.


BOOKS


Gone Girl (2012)
By Gillian Flynn

Making The New York Times Best Sellers list, Gone Girl near-invented the ‘Good for her’ genre. The crime thriller novel follows the disappearance of Amy Dunne and her husband Nick’s involvement in the mystery. It inspired the 2014 film adaptation starring Rosamund Pike, whose performance saw her and the film nominated for BAFTAs, Oscars and Golden Globes. 


The Song of Achilles (2011)
By Madeline Miller

Popularising the age-old theory of a romantic connection between two Greek soldiers, Achilles and Patroclus, The Song of Achilles began a genre of classical retellings. A fanfiction for classic lovers, the untold tale of the Trojan War is an important piece of LGBTQ+ fiction.


Girl, Woman, Other (2019)
By Bernadine Evaristo

Bernadine Evaristo became the first black woman to win the Booker Prize for this incredible story of womanhood. Girl, Woman, Other follows the diverse lives of 12 different characters, predominantly female and people of colour. The Guardian described this book as ‘a novel of the decade’ and we agree.


The Hunger Games (2008)
By Suzanne Collins

Alongside the epic success of the movies, this action-heavy film re-ignited the flame of dystopian novels for modern readers and powerful female heroines in fantasy books. These books taught young readers like ourselves to stand up for our values and against injustice. A story of power and survival that is still as popular as ever, with the box office hit The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes coming out only last year.


Queenie (2019)
By Candice Carty-Williams

This book’s success can be attributed to the wit of the main character Queenie, a 25-year-old Jamaican woman living in London. This book delves deep into topics such as grief, heartbreak, therapy, racial prejudices and stereotypes. Readers find themselves crying uncontrollably, laughing loudly and rooting for this character to the very end.


FILMS


Midsommar (2019)

Ari Aster’s disturbing psychological horror follows Florence Pugh as Dani in her traumatic relationship. Despite being one of the most sinister films of this decade, Midsommar inspired some lasting hilarious content, cementing itself firmly in the ‘Good for her’ genre of film. Popularised online, this genre celebrates not just women’s rights, but women’s wrongs.


Shrek (2001)

Nothing unites a generation like Shrek. Arguably the first anti-fairytale, the franchise appeals to all age ranges. The graphics, score and soundtrack are timeless, inspiring a generation of ‘Shrek raves’ and quotable content. Its popularity prompted the use of pop culture references in animated films.


Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)

An estranged Chinese-American family is thrown into an insane adventure as they attempt to juggle family and business. The erratic storyline demonstrates the highs and lows of this powerful story of love, acceptance and generational gaps. This movie teaches us to have more understanding for our parents as humans. Love is what bridges the gap between this mother and daughter, regardless of conflict and differences.


Black Panther (2018)

Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Marvel universe made an explosive return to the big screen introducing Wakanda, the elusive, hidden African nation where T’Challa takes on the mantle of heir. Breaking from the archetypal white hero, T’Challa’s story teaches all age groups to be proud of who you are and that you don’t have to be super to be a hero. The box office success of this movie shows how influential and timely this movie really was as we’re all stepping up to support our community.


Lady Bird (2017)

This heart-warming, tender and turbulent film captures the complex relationship between teenager Lady Bird and her mother in the early 2000s. The high school student hopes to step out of her parent’s shadow and small-town life to pursue her dreams. You will find yourself relating to the dichotomy of Lady Bird’s pursuit to escape yet also find her place and be popular.


Did your favourite make the cut? Share your recommendations with @aAh_mag or write a review.

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Elizabeth Clark

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