I'm having a harder time lately rating movies. I've been writing down my initial reaction, my gut instinct and then tend to change my mind, usually lowering the rating a bit and I started wondering why.
I think it's because my gut reaction is based on my emotional response to the film, which is often strong when I've just seen a film. That's actually a pretty obvious answer, but I was thinking one way to discern between a great film and an excellent film is how it lingers in your mind, if it involuntarily shows up in your thoughts the next day or the next...
That is similar to what I think makes an excellent album. If you write catchy songs then you'll be more likely to sell your CD, but the truly great albums, in my experience, are the ones with enigmatic songs that you may not take to right away, but, in time can be as infectious as any overplayed pop song.
I've never been one to dismiss a film because it is not terribly pleasant to watch. It is unpleasant, for example, to watch a movie that is cringingly visceral, such as Requiem for a Dream. It commands your attention, pushes the audience to feel, to react, to think. As long as it isn't gimmicky or made purely to shock its viewers, a film can have a profound impact on society.
I think we all know when we are being 'played'. Sometimes it's hard to recognize immediately, sometimes we want to be taken away. Given some time to reflect, I think we can rate a film, album, book, etc. from a more objective, perhaps truthful, perspective.
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One of my entries keeps disappearing and then comes back, it's very strange.
Also, Happy Valentine's Day!Here's link to a great site called Postsecret, you may have heard of it. The site posts new postcard confessions every Sunday. This week's theme is Valentine's Day and it definetly shows how imperfect love can be. The idealized view of love just doesn't exist. But it can be beautiful in its own imperfect way.
[center]Love this one, it's my favorite![/center]
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[center]Merry Christmas Everyone! [/center]
So, the other day I was on photobucket, the photo hosting website and decided to organize my images into subcategories, so they would be easier to find since my collection was getting kind of overwhelming.
Well, because I did this I appearantly 'broke' the connection between my pictures and my Rotten Tomatoes posts.
So that really sucked but I decided to re-link everything since I really like including them on my entries.
Looking back there were warnings but I apparently thought they weren't applicable to me. In retrospect I should never brush warnings away unless I've actually read or listened to the message. Yet another one of life's hard lessons. He, he well not so much really, but I could take this lesson and apply it to other situations that are little more dire in the future. For example: "Should I jump off the cliff to save myself, or take my chances with the person chasing me?" A well written warning sign such as, "100% of people who have jumped off this cliff have died or are in a comma," then my decison would be a lot easier to make!
So anyway, the another thing that I've been doing is pouring over the book:
[center]1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die[/center]
[center]Peter Boxall, editor[/center]
[left]I highly recommend this book as a Christmas gift to any book lover! The synopsises are great! A great description of plot, the author's life and the novel's place in history, how it was viewed upon release and how it is discussed today, is mostly included in all write-ups.[/left]
[left]It's along the lines of the successful books 1001 Places You Must See.... which I've wanted to take a look at except I figure it may depress me because there is no way in hell I will ever get to a fraction of those places, unless I suddenly become very wealthy.[/left]
[left]I imagine going places in my mind but sometimes that just isn't enough. My point being that you can get ahold of these books, at least most of them are accessible. I took a look at my local library and there's enough to tide me over for a very long time, and it's not even that big![/left]
[left]There's a couple, however, that I really wanted to read but couldn't find in the library or online. But I take that as a challenge! I love browsing in used bookstores especially. [/left]
[left]I figured out that I've only read 43 out of 1001 and I majored in English! I was a little surprised, but have always been aware of the overwhelming wealth of literature past and present that exists and sounds incredibly compelling.[/left]
[left]So I see it as a challenge more than anything. I won't read purely what's on the list, just as the mood strikes me, because if it isn't enjoyable what's the point?[/left]
[left]It's my neighbour's book so I am hinting a lot for a copy of my own for Christmas. It's not too expensive online at Chapters (Indigo) or Amazon, though I hate buying from chains because I like to support local stores I can't justify doing it all the time.[/left]
[left]I was going to mention that this book only includes fiction and steers away from poetry.[/left]
[left]I'm about half-way done the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, which is on the list. It has been a much-talked about, very highly acclaimed novel.[/left]
[left]It features Christopher, a 15 year, 3 months and 3 days old boy with a form of autism. He is highly functional but has specific needs and wants. He possesses a highly logical mind and is superb at Math and Science and is in advanced-level courses so that he can someday attend University.[/left]
[left]His 'peculiarities' include not wanting to be touched by anyone, including his immediate family, hating noisy crowded or unfamiliar places. He finds busy places too overwhelming since his mind processes EVERYTHING he sees, unlike us, we scan. Christopher calls our technique 'glancing', while he absorbes so much he has what is know as a photographic memory. Oh, and he hates anything yellow or brown and won't eat anything that colour. He'll even dye and yellow East Indian dish red so he can eat it! [/left]
[left]The book is entirely from his perspective which really works! This author obviously understands, to a large degree how autistic children view the world, (he did work some autistic children for awhile). The author has great empathy but I don't sense that he feels sorry for Christopher, and by extension I would imagine other autistic children. He is fascinated by the way their minds' work, and so will you as you read this book.[/left]
[left]Christopher is incredibly endearing. He appears emotionless to most people he meets since he is so blunt (he cannot tell a lie, he becomes too anxious when he thinks about the infinite number of alternative versions,) but for those who understand him, they know this isn't true. Quite the opposite really.[/left]
[left]Deeply satisfying, incredibly funny and touching. What more can I say? Most people have probably heard this book praised. You can add me to the list of admirers![/left]
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I had every intention of starting up my journal again the last time I wrote and I don't really know what happened.
I was trying to catch-up with a few people's journals on my friends list and noticed that a good number of people have ceased writing as well.
I came across JyakAnorodak's entry where he explained why he wasn't going to be writing as much (if at all) and I was really touched by what he said. It was incredibly honest and relateable.
To paraphase one of his points, sometimes watching and writing about movies (and for me books, tv, art, etc.) isn't enough to fulfill you. I think a lot of people on this forum have really fulfilling, diverse lives, but I truly did not. I still wouldn't say I am fully satisfied (are we ever?) but I've started to participate more in the world and work on my own artistic ambitions.
Having said that I still read a lot and watch a lot of movies, though I've been on a bit of a break from movies the last few weeks, I've been enjoying the new tv season.
My favorite new show is called 'Life', about a cop who has been convicted of a violent crime and is later exonerated, after several years in prison, thanks to advancements in DNA testing. He receives compensation, making him a millionaire but still chooses to return to work, now a detective.
He is motivated by a relentless need to solve the crime of which he's been accused. We find out he was convicted of killing his best friend and his friend's entire family which also illuminates why Charlie is so determined to solve this horrible crime.
Charlie's years in prison have made him far more attentive to detail and turns out to be an extraordinary detective. He also has an ability to connect with those in incredible pain. His new partner is a tough woman who is assigned to Charlie as a punishment. She has her demons and is plenty complex, thankfully not a typical hot 'cardboard cutout' serving as eye candy. She's hot AND complex.
Then there's his boss; she distrusts his reasons for returning to work, believing he's after revenge, his roommate; an ex-con Charlie met in jail, charged with business crimes who is in charge of Charlie's finances, and his lawyer, another attractive woman who is in love with him. Not to mention his ex-wife and her new husband (who he has pulled over several times to give him a speeding ticket).
It's hilarious how Charlie subscribes to the Zen mentality but in a tongue-in-cheek way. He knows it's not going to stop his feeling of betrayal, bitterness, and drive for revenge. Despite this he does possess this inner strength and wisdom that I don't think he's realized he's acquired through his nightmarish years in prison.
The show stars Damian Lewis, an excellent British actor with no discernable accent. He was in Band of Brothers and the most recent Forsyte Saga which I've seen and highly enjoyed!
I know it's been a really long time since I've written anything. I don't know what happened really. I guess I am just not very consistent. It used to be a habit, an enjoyable habit, then it just wasn't a habit. After awhile it just felt like it was too far gone.
I didn't even know if I would still find my blog here. I had to reset my password, because I forgot it.
I have been reading a fair amount and watching lots of films, which is a great escape, and always a source of inspiration. I always need a sense that there's a bigger picture, or I feel suffocated by my surroundings.
A book that I've read recently and really enjoyed is The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys. It was a Canada Reads 2003 nominated novel, a debate set-up by CBC radio. This past week the 5 nominated books for this year were discussed and one was chosen. I heard part of the debates, but I am planning on listening to them online. From what I heard they were pretty heated!
So, The Lost Garden was a beautiful book and I don't say that lightly. There are very few books I would call beautiful. It was so well written, the garden metaphor worked really well. It may seem like such an easy metaphor to work with, but she took it further than I could've imagined. Even though I've read two other books by Humphreys, this one was by far the most profound and intricate of the three.
I didn't like the main character, but I loved her. The book is set in 1941, during the Blitz in London, England. Gwen, the central character and narrator, leaves London to safer territory, a country estate with an immense, rundown, garden. She is to be in charge of a group of young adults, all girls who 'volunteered' to grow produce as part of the war efforts.
Pairing a timid, remote woman with passionate young women was pretty entertaining. The girls' primary concern was how they could sneak down the road where an army regiment resides until they are called for duty. Gardening wasn't exactly on their radar.
Needless to say, Gwen learns much from her housemates, and one woman in particular, who is awaiting word on her fiance who's been declared MIA.
Gwen's change is also inspired by her love for a Canadian officer who is a very complex man. It is not a typical romance, that's all I'll say so I won't give too much away.
Some movies I've seen recently are:
[list][*]Dinner at Eight (1933) A supposed comedy that I found kind of sad.[*]Cinema Paradiso (1988) I loved it![*]Bob & Carol & Ted & Carol (1969) Silly.[*]Next Stop Greenwhich Village (1976) directed by Paul Mazursky who also directed Bob & Carol.... It was pretty cute and poignant at times.[*]Born Yesterday (1950) Judy Holliday was so hilarious! Loved it![*]Diary of a Chambermaid (1960) Disturbing, thought-provoking, directed by Luis Brunel[*]Three Smart Girls (1936) At times funny, otherwise grating.[*]A Touch of Mink (1962) Found it overall grating, the battle of the sexes storyline just irritated me, which was also why I got annoyed with Three Smart Girls. Cary Grant and Doris Day had zero chemistry.[*]My Brilliant Career (1979) An Australian production, a great film about a woman who feels compelled to choose between a career and love (took place in the late 1800s.) Judy Davis and Sam Neil, in contrast to Day and Grant, had amazing chemistry![*]Guess who's coming to Dinner? (1967) An important film, while idealistic, contained touching performances. Katherine Hepburn has an uncanny ability to have her eyes well-up with tears. Even her tears are beautiful and larger than life![/list]Well that's the update. I hope if all is well with everyone!
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Mix# 2 "Goodbye"
What'll I do- Rufus, Loudon, and Martha Wainwright
I've been a big fan of Rufus Wainwright for awhile now, and more recently a fan of Martha Wainwright, his sister. I found this song where they sing with their dad. I think it's beautiful. Rufus is doing a concert at Canargie Hall, where he'll perform all 25 songs that Judy Garland perfromed there in 1961. His mom, Kate McGarrigle and his sister Martha will be part of it. I wish I could go!
Wreck of the Day- Anna Nalick
I like that title. I think some days could definetly be seen as a "wreck of a day."
Cry- James Blunt
We talked about him and you know how much I love him. I don't know if you ended up buying his cd, but no matter he deserves to be a part of this mix. No one can convey emotion through song better than James.
We've Had Enough- Alkaline Trio
Why I picked this song is pretty self-explanatory. It's from the O.C. (there's been 6 mixes released now, I think) and they're all great. This song lends a bit of energy to this mix. I couldn't resist the impulse to pick it up a bit!
Into the Dust- Mazzy Star
A very poetic way to say something's over. I love her ethereal music. I used her cds as background music for studying in school, they had a calming effect.
Rain City- Turin Brakes
Also from the O.C. Apparently they did a lot of the work for me on these mixes! This song creates an atmosphere. I feel like it's rainy when it's playing and I get images of cars driving in the city, in the rain, and there's that wet tire on pavement sound. Strangely enough I love that sound.
Maybe I'm Amazed- Jem
Okay so this song is a rip from an episode of the O.C. that's why you can hear talking, they're lines from the show. That's Ryan and Marissa, lovers that are doomed from the start.. Sigh.
The Way We Get By- Spoon
Another opportunity to infuse this mix with a little energy!
Your Wish is my Wish- Sarah Slean
I love her, as you now know and wanted to include her on this mix as well.
Sleep Better- Wilco
I know you like Wilco. I love this song and the entire Yankee Foxtrot Hotel cd.
If you Leave- Nada Surf
Another lighter choice, but still appropriate, I think.
Andy- Indigo Girls
I love this song. It's slow, but it builds up to a great verse that I love. I used to relate to this song when Mike was a major workaholic! I can't believe how far we've come. But god knows relationships aren't easy. You and Micah made it through tons of obtacles. You should both feel good about your committment and the many good years you had.
Somebody- Depeche Mode
I feel like this song verges on corniness, but I love it! I think they create a great 'wish list' for their ideal love!
Goodbye My Lover- James Blunt
I don't know if I'm being cruel by adding this song. It makes me cry everytime I listen to it. I can relate to it because Mike and I were broken up for awhile when I was in Halifax. These things crossed my mind. I can't help but think of you now when I hear it. I can only imagine what you're going through. Nothing I've gone through compares to what you're going through now. I know that. I would never say I know how you feel because I don't.
Good- Better Than Ezra
Remember this oldie but goodie? It was so popular in highschool. I can't remember what grade. I remember thinking it was upbeat for a break-up song.
I'm Trying to Break Your Heart- Wilco
What a jerk! He, he. I know you love Wilco, so here's another of their songs.
Goobye- Patty Griffin
I know you like her, you put song of hers on a mix you made me years ago. Well, I love this song and of course it's a completely appropriate and a great way to end the mix.
I've been busy making mixes for my best friend which I've been meaning to do for awhile. Her longtime boyfriend broke up with her, after their attempt to reconciliate, so I wanted to send her something so she knew I was thinking about her. Here's the first mix:
I started making you a mix and I just started going crazy. I just downloaded itunes and it makes everything really easy to make mix cds. I've bought a few of these songs, some I downloaded elsewhere and itunes allows me to transfer songs from my own cds so I can burn them onto other ones (I just figured out how to do it.) Anyway, I wanted to tell you why I picked which songs because some of them mean something to me and some of them I picked for you- partly because you're going through a breakup which must be so hard.
I did a cd I called "Goodbye" because I think you're like me, in that we like to listen to sad songs when we're sad. I find it cathartic and it's nice to know other people have been there, shared that kind of pain.
Mix #1 "Life"
Golden Age of the Radio- Josh Ritter
Mike and I saw him at a Sarah Harmer concert and he was AWESOME. He's a talented lyricist and singer as well as an amazing performer. He had great stage presence and a great sense of humour. I think everyone had a crush on him by the end. Someone actually yelled "I love you!" It was so funny. He said thanks and asked her to yell her number! I almost peed my pants laughing! Mike liked him just as much as I did! That whole concert (Sarah was amazing live as well) was one of the best nights of my life. I love this song, it's one he performed. I know you'll like it too.
Anything- Kinnie Star
I downloaded this off itunes for free. I like how upbeat it is, I thought it would make a great addition to this mix. I have one of her cds, but I never really listen to it, I don't know why really.
One More Cup of Coffee- The White Stripes
I love The White Stripes, they're just so cool. I love that their sound is so eclectic. They go from folky to hard rock. This song is more on the folky side, I think. They're certainly hard to put in any category, which shows how unique they are. I like how Jack uses his voice on this song, it's rough, kind of sexy.
Sweet Ones- Sarah Slean
I love anything she does. This is one of her hit songs, I love the 'bigness' of this song. Maybe drama is the word I'm looking for...I love the video for this song.
For some reason there is a pause here- I don't know why, if it's part of one song or the other, but don't worry there's more music coming!
In Your Room- Depeche Mode
I had this album in grade 7 or 8 and I loved it, I listened to it over and over. I downloaded this because I was feeling nostalgic. I realized that I still love this song today, many years later.
Headlock- Imogen Heap
I just discovered her recently. She had a song on the O.C. mix I bought, which I think I'm going to put on another mix. I love how electic her sound is, the electronic sound with her sweet voice. I love her lyrics. Listen to the lyrics on "Hide and Seek," coming up later on this mix. It was also featured on the O.C., which I don't think you watch do you? It's a guilty pleasure of mine.
Life for Rent- Dido
I like the lyrics and her sweet voice. Sometimes I think her sound is a little too 'fluffy' for me, but everytime I hear a Dido song on the radio I stop and sing to it.
Kathleen- Josh Ritter
He also performed this one at the concert. Enjoy!
Just a Ride- Jem
Featured on the O.C. soundtrack. I like that message, that life is just a ride, don't take it too seriously.
Move On- Jet
There's also a pause here, it might be part of the song, Idon't know. I find the artistic pauses annoying myself. C'mon give us something, even some soft music, so I know my cd or my cd player isn't fucked!
Anyway, I like Jet. I don't love them but they're a solid band, and worthy of the inclusion on this mix!
Do you Want To- Franz Ferdinand
You've probably heard this song, it was hit for awhile. The video is nice and absurd, and you know how much I like absurd humour! I get this song stuck in my head all the time! Very catchy.
Apparitions- Matthew Good Band
Loved this song when it was released and I love it now. Matthew Good is HOT!
Not Ready to Make Nice- Dixie Chicks
I love these girls! They're so cool and tough. Good for them for speaking up against the war. I am especially feeling this song right now. I am always working on building my backbone, trying hard not to be a doormat. Lately I've been able to put this resolve to the test and it felt REALLY good!
Someday You Will be Loved- Death Cab for Cutie
I am just discovering this band. They have a great sound. I like this song, it's pretty sweet: "I know your heart will someday belong to someone you have yet to meet." Awwwww....It's true Jes!
Goodbye Alice in Wonderland- Jewel
From her new release. I am pretty impressed, I wasn't so fond of her last couple of cds. I can't help but like the purer 'girl with her guitar' thing. A song about growing up, which I still feel like I'm forever working on. I don't want to stop day dreaming to be practical. There's actually a lot of depth in "Alice Wonderland," a whole other level of meaning. Lewis Carroll had a very fascinating mind.
Love Will Save the Day- David Usher
I find his songs sneak up on you. They sound so simple and sweet yet there is always that bit of edge. They tend to linger in my mind. I saw David Usher live at Edgefest. He was great live. He's hot!
Breathe (2 am)- Anna Nalick
I'm sure you've heard this song. I really like the lyrics and she has a really nice voice. I like how the song tells a story, that there is so much detail.
Hide and Seek- Imogen Heap
I love, love, love this song! It rocks. I hope you like it too!
In Your Own Way- Caleb Kane
This is the one I sent you via email. I wanted to add it to this mix. I thought of you because I just wanted to say that I wanted you to think about what you really want, that you should never forget about you, especially considering what you and Micah were and are going through. I think the song isn't saying 'love sucks' or anything. I like the lines: "Take the time to reflect in your own way. Take a minute to connect in your own way." You are independent and smart with a very big heart!
It's been quite awhile since I've felt like writing in my journal. I guess I've needed a break. I've been feeling kind of blah on the whole, and when I am inspired to do something, I've put my energy elsewhere. It's really just been scattered around, with nothing to show for it.
I am turning 27 this coming month and I am kind of depressed about it. Not because I feel like that's old- because I don't. Just that I am not where I thought I'd be. And I know, so what? Life rarely goes as planned. I know that, I tell myself that, and I do get through the day, but that feeling is still there deep down.
I have made a goal to save $20 a week to put into my travel fund. The plan is to go to Europe in three years (around my 30th birthday.) My friend Sarah and I decided that it would be great to go together. She just came back from Italy, and had an amazing time. She was so sweet, she sent me a postcard from Toscana because she knows I collect postcards people send me from their travels. I want to put them together and frame them.
The postcard was gorgeous there was a field full of poppies, and in the background you could make out a beautiful building, the kind that looks like it's been there since the beginning of time.
She also bought me personalized stationary, with my first initial, 'L'. It's in a square filled with forest green leaves, and the 'L' is burgundy. It's pretty small, very intricate. Sarah bought it at a little shop that handmakes paper. There's a little 'Made in Italy' mark on each sheet. It will be hard to get myself to use them.
Here's the postcard:
I've been noticing lately that when I first sign in there may be some 'a reply has been made to this comment' red exclamation mark thing but then after I've clicked the link to one and then return to my Member home page the rest have disappeared. It's really annoying! Has anybody else experienced this?
So if someone asks a question or makes a reply, if I don't answer that's the reason. I'm not ignoring you! I promise. ;)
Another far more aggravating thing that happened the other day, was our computer crashing. We found out it was a virus! Aargh! My husband managed to get the computer working again somehow, but it's not exactly back to normal.