Naked dillema. Shame on you! Or not?

copyright Bill Brandt

     I came across this article today that stated that “although she plays in a movie with explicit sex scenes, she says she hasn’t seen herself naked in the mirror in 10 ten years”. Well I don’t know about the second part of it, which I find very hard to believe and makes me think about this source of information as being unreliable.

What caught my attention was the first part because attached to this statement was a picture of actress Carey Mulligan. Some of you may know her from movies like “An Education”, “Wall Street : Money never sleeps”, “Never let me go”. I’ve seen this three movies and I really appreciate her as an actress and I know I’m not the only one. She had an Oscar nomination and won a BAFTA award for her leading role in “An Education”, these being some of the most important ones.

     I highly recommend you to see the first and third movie. I wrote a post about Never let me go if you’re curious. The movie in which she appears nude is director’s Steve McQueen’s “Shame”. It got a nomination at the Golden Globes, 3 awards and a nomination at the Venice Film Festival. This makes me very curious and make me what to see it. Well, this and Carey Mulligan. And no, not because of the naked scenes. I want to convince myself that the role and the movie were really worth getting naked for. Another reason that makes me want to see this movie is that it seems it won’t come to romanian cinemas. And really good movies almost never come in cinemas.

    So Carey Mulligan is a very good, award winning actress. Why does she choose to bare it all for the big screen? I mean I understand why some other not that good actresses do it. They want to get attention and be known and compensate for their lack of talent. But she is already known and appreciated for her work. Maybe because she likes challenging roles. If you’ll watch or have already watched “An Education” and “Never let me go” you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Or maybe she wants to make a change of image. I can’t wrap my mind around this matter.

     As I haven’t seen the movie “Shame” yet, I don’t really know how revealing those scenes are, but I will watch it and maybe make a post about it just to make things clear.

     Or maybe my thinking and my attitude towards this matter are wrong. Maybe these roles come naturally in the acting evolution. Can someone enlighten me?

The Help

So I finally got the see this movie 2 weeks after the premiere. Shame on me. But I can tell you it was worth the wait.

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

I chose this line to start with because it reminds me of some very emotional scenes from the movie. They also encompass the wisdom of one of the helps that engaged in writing the book which turns out to be this right story. In it you are faced with the hard life black people lead in the 60’s as the majority of America was against them with laws and everything. The women in a little town called Jackson had no other choice but to work as helps in the houses of white people. And they did that just as their mothers did until they died of old age or were fired. They were passed from mother to daughter through a will. Like they were their property to give. So the helps raised children who would later become their boses.

As one of the characters points out at some time, young white girls did nothing but train to be good wifes and find themselves a husband : „Isn’t that what all you girls from Ole Miss major in – professional husband hunting?”. This strangely reminded me of the movie „Mona Lisa Smile”, since it was a long time I’ve seen it.  

Being a good help was all that was to the life of black women. Until a young white enthusiastic writer named Eugenia „Skeeter” Phelan, decides to write a book from the point of view of the help. Of course in that time it was a really risky business, as they had to hide to meet and work for the book.

Aibileen is the character to which the quote from above belongs to. She was taking care of one of the rich families from Jackson. Also she took care of that couple’s child, because her mom refused to, even if she had nothing else to do. So Aibileen became like a second mom for the little girl, named Mae Mobley, and in three very important parts of the movie she teaches and reminds the little girl that she is kind, smart and important. It was supposed to comfort and ease the little girl’s sadness whenever something bad happened. An important scene is when Aibillen is fired. Mae Mobley started crying and didn’t want to let her go saying that she was her mother, moment in which Aibileen reminds her those three important facts and tells her to never forget that. This scene also shows how very significant the role of the help was in the children’s life. Their bond was stronger than it was with their mothers.

As a whole the story is very emotional and smart with some funny and romantic accents. The actors make a really great job especially the two helps played by Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis. They can really get to you. At least to me they did, because I felt like empathizing with them as the story unveiled. I didn’t read the book but I heard that it is also amazing, so I will read it for sure in the future.

           This movie I really think it’s a must see. In my top it ranks as one of the best movies I saw this year, right after Melancholia.

Melancholia

“Moody, poetic and incredibly affecting.” -Paper Magazine

                I’m literally struggling with writing about this movie because for two days I’ve been sitting (well not only sitting, I’ve been doing other things too) and thinking about this movie. I’m not sure if I should even call it a movie or if other movies are movies compared to this. Because this is pure art and everything else just is and nothing more. I’m thinking of any other movie that expressed as much as this one. The one that comes to mind right now is „Across the universe” because it also was very artistic.

I have to confess that this movie is not the kind of movie I watch usually, so don’t judge me very harshly. But I can honestly say that when something like this comes my way I appreciate it very much because everything else, every other movie that you can usually see in a mall’s cinema, seems dull and empty in comparison. When I, rarely, see movies like this I find myself thinking why do others even bother making other kind of movies really. So you can see that this movie really made an impression on me.

The plot isn’t very complex. The movie wants you to focus more on the characters and how they deal with the world coming to an end. It also focuses a lot on the visuals and in this case a picture really does say a thounsand words, maybe even more. „Melancholia” starts with a series of images, which look very painting like, that sum up the plot. The director, Lars von Trier, said that he wanted to say from the beginning where the action was heading to, so that the movie wouldn’t be so much about the end of the world, but more about how its characters deal with the world coming to an end. The classical music by Richard Wagner, used as soundtrack only adds more to the drama and makes the movie more intense.

The movie is divided in two parts each focusing on a specific character. The two characters are sisters. One fighting with depression and the other is just normal, as the director said. The first part is about Justine, a woman who tries to fight with her depression by trying to stick to some normal things happening in life. The one thing depicted in the movie is marriage. But she fails in doing it, because she finds no meaning in it. Her sister Claire is the rational one who tries to keep her on track but also fails doing it. Because in the second part, Justine is the one who’s falling down by trying to cope with knowing that the world will end. This is when she gets weak and Justine is the strong one, the roles being reversed in this second part. Claire is falling apart because of the desperation and because she is worrying about her son. Through all this, Justine is the one who is holding up and being strong. This is supposed to be part of her condition, specifically because depressive people tend to hold their ground better when they are under pressure because they expect the worst, Lars von Trier says. (There are some lines in the movie that depict exactly what Justine feels towards the end of the world. I’ll post them when I’ll find them)

Many of you may not have the patience to see it entirely, I too had a hard time paying attention till the end, but I can assure you it will be worth it. This is the kind of movie I’m pleased to watch because it’s so challenging and because it makes me insightfull and puts my mind to work harder. It’s a shame we are being fed every weekend with mainstream movies which in the end have very little to say, their only goal being to entertain and make money. Very few of them have something worth learning.

Melancholia is really an amazing movie artistically, visually because many images are like very expressive paintings, emotionally because the two sisters’s playing is very authentic and also because of the music which combined with the story really has its way of moving you if you are receptive to it.

the new girl is adorkable

   Funny and charming Zooey Deschanel does yet another great job on a new tv series called “New Girl”. I watched the Pilot obviously because of her and because I loved, love and will always love “500 days of Summer”.

   Not 2 minutes passed and I was already laughing. Which is a good sign because the script is well written, with very good humor. She’s this weird, nerdy, “Dirty Dancing” obsessed girl who breaks up with her boyfriend and ends up living with 3 funny, also weird guys whom she really makes a great team with on screen. In the pilot episode they get to know eachother – maybe more than they wanted to – and they manage to get her through her break-up.

   “New Girl” presents itself as a show about relationships, but it’s not as mainstream as it sounds because Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is not the average IT girl who every guy falls in love with. Zooey really manages to leave her own mark on this character making it kind of awkward, nerdy and a little bit crazy, but at the same time very funny which works out really great. She makes Jess “adorkable”.

   My opinion is that this is a show to watch this year because of the many reasons above and others I might have missed. The good news is that already, after just 2 episodes, they decided to make a full season, so it can only be a good thing.

   Enjoy it and give it a chance. It will grow on you. Make a spot for it between other great shows you might be watching because it might be worth our time.

happythankyoumoreplease

Josh: What do you do when you’re not here?


Kate: I sing.


Josh? Sing. Songs?


Kate: Yeah, songs. What do you do?


Josh: I write.


Kate: Words?


Josh: Yeah, words.

I found the trailer for this movie on youtube by chance and I thought I should see it. Firstly, because of Josh Radnor, from „How I met your mother”, who acts and also wrote and directed the movie. Secondly, because it is an indie movie and because I was sick and tired with the blockbuster, mall movies of this summer. I won’t give much away about this movie because I think it’s a must see and don’t want to ruin the surprises and also don’t want to influence much what you will think about it. Of course you should make your own opinion.

It is partly dramatic but also funny and romantic. The lines are well written some of them were really appealing to me and I thought of them as being very smart and deep. Of some of the things I thought about too but didn’t manage to express them as good as this movie does.

The acting I thought was pretty good too and the characters very authentic regarding their life, issues with life and relationships.

Josh Radnor plays a writer who struggles with inspiration so I took note, of course, of something he said about writing. He argued that a peaceful and comfortable life does not offer great material to write a great book. However, if you had a troubled childhood then you’ve got lots of great things to write about. I don’t know if I totally agree with this, but I can agree that from troubled times come the greatest, the profound, the edgy stories. Then, if you can get a little past the dama and you do some introspection you can find out great things about yourself and also can reach to people’s souls.

All in all the movie leaves you with a very good lesson to learn. Something everybody should consider doing more often to improve their and others life.

Annie: About a year ago, i was in this cab and the cab driver he said, the key to your life is gratitude. You do not give it a thanks. And I said well, how do I do that? Simple, say thank you.

P.S.

Thank you

 to all those that make a little time to read what I struggle to write here. It’s hard to be focused but it pays off and is of great pleasure to me to write.

And …

More please

🙂

it’s kind of a funny story

Craig: Okay, I know you’re thinking, “What is this? Kid spends a few days in the hospital and all his problems are cured?” But I’m not. I know I’m not. I can tell this is just the beginning. I still need to face my homework, my school, my friends. My dad. But the difference between today and last Saturday is that for the first time in a while, I can look forward to the things I want to do in my life. Bike, eat, drink, talk. Ride the subway, read, read maps. Make maps, make art. Finish the Gates application. Tell my dad not to stress about it. Hug my mom. Kiss my little sister. Kiss my dad. Make out with Noelle. Make out with her more. Take her on a picnic. See a movie with her. See a movie with Aaron. Heck, see a movie with Nia. Have a party. Tell people my story. Volunteer at 3 North. Help people like Bobby. Like Muqtada. Like me. Draw more. Draw a person. Draw a naked person. Draw Noelle naked. Run, travel, swim, skip. Yeah, I know it’s lame, but, whatever. Skip anyway. Breathe… Live.”

Exactly the movie I needed to see. Indie, good acting and story well told. You have a lot of drama mixed with a little bit of humor and a little bit of romance.

It’s about a teenage boy who suffers from depression and he almost begs to be admitted into a hospital’s psychiatric ward. Here he meets Bobby (Zack Galifianakis) who teaches him how things work in that unit and also teaches him how to have a great time there, helping him with a teenage girl Noelle (Emma Roberts) with who Craig falls in love. The story seems kind of simple and not very originial, but it’s the characters that make it unique. It’s nice to see Zack Galifianakis play another role than of a out-of-this-world-stupid guy, and he does a really good job.

I chose that long quote by the main character Craig (Keir Gilchrist) because I think is very inspiring. It is kind of an epilogue to the story marking the life he has after the time spent in the psychiatric ward. You can see that he is psychologically recovered. He got the power to overcome all those thing he thought of as great stressors and obstacles and also found how he could really enjoy life. The time spent in the hospital was also a chance to discover himself and a new talent which helped him get through all bad things, altogether with young love that almost always seems to work magic on someone’s life.

not your usual dramatic love story

So…last night I saw Never let me go. I’m not fully recovered yet. And I’ll tell you why. Firstly because I obviously thought It was some kind of a dramatic love story and nothing more. As you can see in the movie its title comes from a song on an American cassette tape called Songs After Dark by fictional singer Judy Bridgewater. This song is many times listened to by the main character of the book, Cathy.

Şi ca să revin la subiect intr-adevăr e o drama şi e şi despre o poveste de iubire, însă contextul în care aceasta se desfaşoară sau mai bine spus nu se desfaşoară, este cel care m-a şocat. Personajele copii care ni se prezinta la inceput au fost special crescuţi pentru a folosi salvării vieţii altor persoane. Pe sistemul „daca cineva e să traiască, altcineva trebuie să moară”. Ei vor trăi doar până în perioada adultă tânără când vor intra în procesul de donare de organe, proces care va duce evident la moartea lor.

Aceşti copii erau crescuţi la o şcoală privată, ţinuţi departe de lumea reală, cel puţin până la 18 ani când plecau în altă locaţie unde aşteptau să li se împlinească viaţa care le-a fost plănuită. Sunt diverse situaţii în care ei dau dovadă de o naivitate aproape copilărescă. Mai spera şi la faptul dacă vor putea dovedi că sunt cu adevărat îndrăgostiţi de o anumită persoană că vor reuşi să obţină o amânare de la începerea donărilor. De un tragism maxim e scena în care 2 tineri, care doar spre finalul filmului reuşesc sa-şi trăiască iubirea, moment în care el deja incepuse donările, merg sa faca acea „cerere” şi li se spune că acele amânări nu există. Pe scurt ei nu au de ales în ceea ce priveşte viitorul lor. Soarta le-a fost pecetluită încă înainte de a se naşte.

Această tentivă de a obţine o donaţie este singura modalitate prin care ei incearcă să se opună soartei lor, din câte am observat eu. Mi se mai părea foarte ciudat cum, deşi erau foarte conştienţi de soarta lor nu încercau să i se opună prea mult. Probabil erau la fel de conştienţi ca oricum nu au de ales. Erau resemnaţi. La final Cathy, spune ca a primit notificarea şi că într-o luna va începe şi ea donările. Cel pe care ea l-a iubit, Tommy, a murit, dar ea se bucură că deşi nu au reuşit să obţină o amânare, măcar a reuşit să petreacă puţin timp împreună cu el şi să bucure de sentimentele de iubire.

Un alt element controversat din această poveste este aşa numita Galerie. Pe parcursul studiilor lor, copii erau îndrumaţi să fie creativi şi să realizeze diverse desene sau alte lucrări artistice. Cele mai bune erau selectate şi expuse în acea galerie. Însă nici unul dintre ei nu vedeau vreodata această galerie. Tommy, în naivitatea lui, a venit cu idea că de fapt prin desenele acelea profesoarele le puteau „citi” sufletul şi în momentul în care un cuplu va merge să ceară o amânare directoarea va ştii dacă acestia mint sau spun adevărul pentru că prin acele lucrări au reuşit să-i cunoască cu adevărat. What comes as a shock for the characters este momentul în care li se spune că acele lucrari nu erau folosite pentru a le cunoaşte sufletele ci pentru a vedea dacă ei au un suflet. Se observă aprecierea şi valoarea minimala care le era acordată acestor copii care trăiau doar pentru a îi ajuta pe alţii să traiasca şi atât. Bineînţeles că se ridică probleme etice majore însă nu le voi discuta aici.

Pe parcursul filmului tot încercam să transpun situaţia în realitate şi mi se părea o situatie foarte absurdă, desi probabil lucruri şi mai scandaloase se produc fără ştiinţa noastră. Acest absurd era dublat şi de tragedia care înconjura iubirea celor doi, sau mai exact consumarea foarte târzie pentru cei doi a sentimentelor reciproce.

De mult timp nu m-a mai impresionat un film aşa de tare şi deşi e trist îl recomand spre vizionare.