Saturday, November 26, 2011

Melancholia, Kristen Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg

warning there are spoilers in this review!
 I just came back from the movie theater having watched Melancholia. This is a movie I would have loved to wax over somewhat poetic with a friend, However most of my friends would not have been able to sit through this type of movie, its just not their cup of tea and there is nothing worse then going to see a movie with someone who doesn't want to sit through said movie. So that is why I've decided to write a review about it and get it all out while its still fresh in my mind.  I won't really talk about the cinematic features of the movie, because many have already done so.Cinematicaly the movie is breathtakingly beautiful,its the stuff that dreams are sometimes made of the colors,scenes the lighting etc, the artful images that sort of linger with you after the film has faded. Before I Begin I just have to add this. When I was in the theater I overheard a young woman saying to her mom, "I hope  this movie isn't depressing".....(Hello the name of the movie is MELANCHOLIA) lol that made me laugh!

One of the main reasons why I wanted to see this movie , is because of the SciFi nature of the film. And I was intrigued by the title. Melancholia, which means Sadness and Depressing, so fitting for a movie about the end of the world. I've never been a huge fan of Kristen Dunst, but I have to say her acting in this film was pretty damn good.  She captured so much in her emotions I truly believed her breakdown or depression , it wasn't something that was hammered into you, it was subtle with every look, every smile the deadness in her eyes underneath every single emotion was so very believable. But having said that It was really Charlotte Gainsbourg whom I was impressed with.So I'll give both women their props.

First I have to say that I could identify with both women maybe Claire(Gainsbourg) slightly more then Justine(Dunst) But if you look at each character in the movie, The mother and father and  Claire's husband played by Kiefer Sutherland, and even the son, in a way they make up different aspects of a whole person.  I go through some  depression every year, I think in some respects most people if they admit it do too. We smile we pretend everything is OK, but underneath we are seething and frightened of things we cannot put a name to and some that we can.  But what happens when you stop smiling , when you stop pretending we turn into Justine, for me Justine represents that side in me that wants to give up stop pretending, the part of me that wants to stand in the middle of the street and fall down or scream and laugh and cry  all at once, the side that stops trying.... the side that just doesn't give a damn, a side that's pretty scary .... There is a scene in the movie where Claire is trying to get Justine to put her leg in the bathtub, Justine just can't do it, she's too exhausted to tired to depressed, she doesn't give a damn if she stinks, she  just cannot be bothered to lift her damn leg over the tub.

I have empathy for Justine, I can relate! There have been times in my life where I didn't want to get out of bed, didn't want to take a bath, I'm also incredibly envious of Justine too, because unlike her I had to get out of bed and I had to take a bath, I had no choice, there was no Claire their to hold me up and see to my needs, if I had stayed in bed and not cleaned up I would have ended up on the streets, Unfortunately for me Depression is a luxury I just can't afford.  That's why for me Justine and Claire really represent one character they are different sides of the same coin.

 Claire tells Justine more then once in the movie that she really does hate Justine sometimes. Its totally understandable,( It must feel so F-ing wonderful to be able to breakdown if breakdown one must) Claire has everything a rich husband who obviously loves her,an a adorable young son. Claire has hope, she's loving and compassionate, and she does love her sister, maybe Claire has the hope and the motivation because she has the luxury to do so, but I never really get that feeling from her. And Gainsbourg doesn't play her that way! which is why I was really impressed by her> She could have easily muttled the character of Claire and under a lesser actress Claire's character wouldn't have made the grade. Claire would never dream of being so selfish as to be depressed. Claire is the hope, she is the rock, the foundation where strong walls stand she is the shield for when reality becomes to much. Claire represents that part in those of us who cannot afford to have a breakdown, because the reality of such actions would leave us in an even worse place and we know it so we must solider on as best we can. There is a scene in the movie that I thought was funny, its time for Justine to throw her wedding flower bouquet  over the balcony into the waiting arms of all the brides maids etc, and Justine is just sort of standing there with a blank look on her face and eventually Claire comes over takes the bouquet out of her hand and just sort of drops it over the balcony!lol

Then there is Melancholia, the planet of doom that comes to destroy the earth.  Melancholia is not only a representation of the Depression that Justine is going through in the movie, but it also represents our actions in the face of a disaster how we can transform.  Depression itself and what it represents in and of itself is a sort of ending of our own little world anyway. If you really think about it the end of our world is going to come for each and everyone of us at some point in our lives regardless.  How we choose to live life and how we choose to end our life is sort of a Metaphor in the movies theme.

The Planet of doom Melancholia effects and transforms Justine, she sort of comes into her true self. Justine is beautiful on the outside, I'm not saying her inside is ugly, because that wouldn't be true. Lets just say Justine's true self blossoms in the doom of Melancholia's dark shadow.. There is a scene in the movie at Justine's wedding where she is being brutally honest to her boss about how she feels about him and her job. Nothing about it is pretty and you get a glimpse of the lie this woman has been living. But she is real  in that moment  and she is so beautiful and powerful in her ugly truth. Another scene before she tells her boss the truth, she has sex with a strange man and she is almost beating him with her vagina!! There is another scene in the movie where Melancholia is making itself more known and  Justine is almost savagely beating her horse, as Melancholia comes closer to the earth Justine comes closer to her true self, the one she's been hiding. Her depression is both liberating and scary!

Melancholia(the planet of doom) transforms Claire too. But in a different way. For Justine Melancholia's impending doom is a reality that she can accept and embrace it validates her and it makes her stronger. She isn't afraid the end is coming. For Claire its a different story, how does she cling to hope in the face of doom, reality use to be something that gave her comfort, and now its to be avoided an denied in order  to give her hope. Even though its in her nature to accept reality and deal with it, it's a struggle for her, for how can one stay strong when there is no hope, when reality is to painful to deal with. As you watch Claire deal with her gripping fear of the impending doom of Melancholia, you get to sort of see in a way how Justine came to be the way she is. Every time Claire's husband tells her not to worry about Melancholia that its going to pass earth by, you see the fake and anxious smile on Claire's face she desperately wants to believe it because giving into the fear is to frightening. As Melancholia gets closer, Justine gets stronger and Claire starts to falter. She has a son, the son represents youth and all its potential and lost potential the young that can still believe in magic and there by giving a sort of strength that even in the face of doom there are still some things worth believing in.Then there is Claire's Husband who is excited about Melancholia and truly believe that everything is going to be ok and the first minute he finds out he was wrong he commits suicide leaving his wife and child to fend for themselves. Her husband who seemed to have some contempt for Justine's depression, checks out the first opportunity he gets.  In the end  its Claire who needs to lean on Justine's strength to help her face Melancholia. Melancholia comes and destroys the earth and everything on it, and Claire her son and Justine find that they can face it they have no choice but to do so and there is a beauty and a strength in letting go and accepting those things which we have no power to change.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Reader

The Reader, Stephen Daldry's Oscar-winning flim, based on the novel by Bernard Schlink; tells the story of Micheal Berg, A fifteen year old German boy in the 1950's who meets an older woman in her mid 30's( Hanna Schmitz) and has an affair with her that encompasses a summer. knowing little of her past.  Micheal falls in love with her during their time spent together Hanna ask Micheal to read to her, I won't give the movie away to those who've not seen it or read the book, although the so called twist in the story is pretty evident! This movie is about love and guilt I loved this movie because it is really a romance, a tragic romance and its also much more. Mostly it lingers in the mind about loving someone even when they are wrong or not wrong I don't know! I will say that the performances by the actors were superb especially the kid David Kross, I know why the boy was so believable in the role because he was actually a kid not an adult playing a kid.

Even though Hanna has the no nonsense about her most German women are famous for, she is isolated she has walls built up around her , in essence you can tell that Hanna has been hurt, that something happened to her to make her the way she is she so in to herself but I think its her way of protecting herself.As harsh as Hanna seems sometimes her ignorance also makes her seem somewhat innocent and certainly vulnerable. Hanna tells Micheal once after a misunderstanding on the trolley cars when she thinks he was avoiding her that "he doesn't have the power to upset her", which obviously he does because she is very upset.

It took 2 viewings of this movie and reading the book to fully grasp this movie. I had to really think about the characters from an emotional standpoint not just what was being shown or being told. I honestly think Micheal was so heart broken when Hanna left him, so emotionally tied to her that the reason he would not help her when he had the chance and every opportunity to do so was because he wanted to punish her for leaving him, and leaving him emotionally unfulfilled. With Hanna in prison he would always know where she was. I think because he couldn't shake Hanna or stop wanting her , desiring her and longing for her I also think that he was so mad at her, that when she did go to prison and she learned how to read and write he didn't write back to her for two reasons, because he didn't trust himself and again he wanted her to feel the pain that he had felt when she left him.

Micheal couldn't face her because he loved her and didn't know what to do about that. He didn't trust her enough or himself enough to be near her, I think the chance that she might abandon him again was just to much for him he couldn't take the chance of losing her again. I think once he found Hanna again at the trial he was going to have her one way or another. In essence his guilt and his inaction and his not dealing with Hanna, tied him to her emotionally for life. Micheal could have possibly had a life with Hanna and been happy, at least he would have gotten what he wanted. He could never let her go he compared every woman to her and no woman for him would ever do or be complete because they weren't Hanna; but instead he made her his prisoner as he was her prisoner. This is a tragic love story on many levels, its about the choices two people make and the effects of those choices. I wish that Micheal could have faced Hanna and his love for her, not just for Hanna's sake but for his too. Even though I adore this movie, there are a few things I would have changed and so I plan on writing a fan fiction about it later on! Its in the works

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sidewalk Inspiration

 Its raining as I type this , and my cat is sleeping on the bed and I'm eating homemade candy and watching Star trek the Search for Spock, even though I should be sleeping because I have to work early tomorrow. Its been awhile since it rained and I really hope that it rains tomorrow, I guess I'm just in a rainy day mood.and besides my car needs a good washing! 

Today as I was running errands I was delighted to find these messages of inspiration chalked up and down the walkway of the strip mall that I went to.  The thought that someone or a couple of someones took the time to chalk these colorful messages was a treat and a real delight. So I took some pictures and thought I would share.


Be The Change

 Give someone a Helping Hand
Heal yourself, Heal the World

 Help Someone
You Are Beautiful

Be Present you are Here

Smile, Dance in the Rain

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pinup bathing suits and nights out on the town

 I recently thrifted this 1940's style bathing suit for a song and a dance and I just wanted to show it off.  I'm still not use to taking pictures so there are no cheese cake shots. But I adore this suit I rarely ever find bathing suits that I feel comfortable in. The main reason is I don't like to shave,and most bathing suits are cut so high that you have to. I love the bright colors in this suit also, perfect for Spring and Summer.  On Thursday it was really hot and it was also Cinco DE Mayo, so there was a lot going on downtown. My friend Nancy and I went to a park downtown and took some pictures, then from there we headed over to the river and took some pictures. After that we were hungry so we headed over to midtown to try out this hot dog place I've been wanting to eat at for a long time called Capitol dogs, and I'm so glad we did; they have some of the best hot dogs. We ordered: turkey dogs a basket of french fries and a soft drink. On our way there we bumped into a friend of Nancy's named Zinni, she had been partaking in the Cinco DE Mayo festivities and had a bit to much to drink, she didn't want to drive home with  a full buzz on, so she headed over to Capitol Dogs with us.  After we ate we walked down the street to this bar called the old English Tavern, its a pretty mellow bar but on this day the place was packed, I like this bar because its cheap and very hippster friendly most people ride there bikes there and hang out. The music was much to loud so we headed up the street to this bar called the Mercantile bar its a semi straight/gay bar. The music in this place was awful but it was a lively scene. We met a guy there who liked my friend Nancy, we were broke and bored so he said he would pay our way into a club across the street called Faces, its a gay club that I've never been to but always wanted to go to because I heard the dance floor was a trip and you could go there and just enjoy yourself and have fun, Alot straight people hangout at this club too so its really a mixed scene. They had three dance floors and a Karaoke bar, I sang two songs, Blondie's heart of glass and MGMT kids, that didn't go over to well but what the heck, all and all it was a fun day!

really shy about taking pictures so that's why I'm wearing my sports bra with this lovey swim suit, Nancy  on the other hand cheescakey!

What would a park be without guys playing basket ball? These guys were way interested in our photo taking!


This is the water treatment center its shaped just like a big steam punk boat I love it you can walk around the deck and its right in the water so you can easily imagine your on a ship, usually when its hot , those circles are really a fountain that fun to get wet in, it had to be about 90 degrees , but they didn't have the fountain on.

I really like this photo and I love the look of the shoes I'm wearing , I'm already tall , so you'd never , ever catch me walking around in these three inch heels, but they work great for a photo shoot.

That's about as cheesecake as I'm going to get , me bending over getting a drink of water

Me and my cat eye glasses, and running through the grass

Trying on hats at the Vintage hat shop in Old Sac, and me trying on a red wig at Evangeline's Costume shop in old sac, I'm going to get me one of these wigs.

Having dinner at Capitol Dogs in Midtown


Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Time and Bike trails

The story of this bike trail
About 3 years ago my brother and I purchased a condo, we live within walking distance of  so many amazing bike trails and a river, but this cute bike trail that goes on for about 3 miles is literally right  in back of the condos where we live and guess what, I've never been on it  before until just recently.  For some odd reason it just never occurred to me to explore it.  I think its because I've been so focused on walking along the river trails and this bike trail leads away from from the river. I feel so stupid because this bike trail is beautiful it literally makes me feel as if I'm walking or riding in the countryside.  I think for some strange reason in the back of my mind I thought I might run into wild dogs on the loose on this particular trail so I think that is another reason why I haven't been on it till now.  This trail has lovely yellow wild flowers and trees and tall grasses and every so often there are benches for people to sit on,it also leads to a tiny little park which I've secretly dubbed Lovers Lane because it seems as if every time I pass near it,there are couples  kissing or holding hands and staring into each others eyes.  The only dogs I've run into on the trail are cute little dogs on a leash.  There is even a volley ball court along the way and picnic tables. The sad thing is we are about to move into our new house soon , so I can't believe I've missed out on this gem for so long.