Soar

*This is one of my favorite musicals of all time. I’ve seen it thrice, cried thrice. I think it’s relevant in a time wherein others try to villainize people who are different, and victimize them in doing so. But I’m no victim. Here’s to the things and people trying to bring me down:

Don’t be afraid

I’m not
It’s the Wizard who should be afraid
Of me

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
And leap

It’s time to try defying gravity
I think I’ll try defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down

So if you care to find me
Look to the Western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly
And if I’m flying solo
At least I’m flying free
To those who ground me
Take a message back from me

Tell them how I am defying gravity
I’m flying high, defying gravity
And soon I’ll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down

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A Lone State

A year and a half ago I stumbled on what is still one of my favorite silent shorts and I’m revisiting it. If you watch it, you’ll find it isn’t so silent after all. The only words uttered in the voice message in the beginning leaves a painful spell that remains long after anything is ever said. It nudges most who are familiar with this kind of feeling, a feeling unsure of what it is and what it can be as it changes minute by minute. The film rests on these changing internal tides where accepted solitude is constant. Backed up by a new retro inspired score, my favorite specifically being Video Dreams by Haunt, it explores the varying emotional states of heartbreak that turns into a stabilizing peace. He doesn’t seem lonely to me, just alone and as is with having nowhere to be with nobody else. But I can sense his state of missing.

The frustrated com arts major in me would’ve liked to work on a project quite like this one. If not for the unique play on music, it was a treat to the eyes more than anything. Viktor Pakpour’s cinematography is subtle in his panorama but particular with his setting. His color choices almost look surreal in the day then alternates with a relatable rawness in the evening which wonderfully capture the boredom and beauty in “life goes on”.

It’s not romantic, it’s the anti-romantic but especially artistic take on the reality of solitude today. I do enjoy taking romantic trips to convenient stores on my own too, does that count? I don’t live in the US but if this looks nothing like the high soaring American dream, this might just be the high point of its opposite in fact. He’s lost and he doesn’t mind, and this looks to me and obviously Victor Pakpour as one of the nicer places to go missing. We live in a pressing time wherein so many of us are actually being missed and missing the other, but always surrounded by the wrong crowds among things.

The six and a half minute short is like a trip back in time to my favorite decade, the 80s with hints of the 90s. I’m almost jealous because it’s hard to find yourself comfortably alone in the cross between what we’re never sure is suburbia or a mega city anymore. This is an acceptable form of withdrawal he was almost forced into by his situation, and he’s taking it rather chill, rather well if I might add. He does it in style. It’s interesting to note that he never once brought out his phone to connect to the past or to the far off others unlike all proper young adults living out realities posted online or y’know, it didn’t happen. And it looks like he can’t be bothered to. This film reminds me of the times I found myself under one of the sky’s many pastel hues despite being remotely removed from the side of the world I’d rather be in, and for a minute I can’t be bothered to as well.

Cerulean blue

Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? I saw it a few times when it first came out and as a partly tomboyish 12 year old girl with a fairly stylish mom seated next to me, I didn’t bother grasping the whole story. I thought I got what I needed to know. Someone like Anne Hathaway’s Andy, someone I knew from dorky to princess on Princess Diaries, could go from badly dressed to Paris Fashion Week, with a little patience and a good eye.

Now on its 10th anniversary, I want to watch the movie again. It seems relevant because I too assume I want to become a serious journalist, like the demanding devil’s right hand set out for bigger things outside the industry she first looked down on with her new sense of confidence and perhaps what you could call style. But there’s more to story than the underling growing up and out, changing through a very staged 2006 wardrobe that’s nevertheless fascinating to see. Rachel Lubitz writes just a few days ago How, In One Monologue, The Devil Wears Prada Nailed the Cultural Appropriation Issue.

Before you try to immerse yourself in an industry or culture, or mock it while appearing to embrace it (like Andy), learn the history. Because, after all, in fashion, a blue sweater is not just a blue sweater, but the result of many different people working very hard to give you something exciting. Every garment has a story.

Have a little respect.

To Madison, Streep’s monologue was the lightbulb. What Priestley is doing in that scene, essentially, is exposing how dismissive and unknowledgeable Andy is of the culture she’s taking part in — a culture that she previously viewed as frivolous.

So many of us, me included, have that tendency to view certain industries as frivolous, don’t we? Yet one way or another we all partake in them.

Despite how much of serious (still not straight news but I guess features and lifestyle) journalism I thought I had to be a part of, a part of me still looks to the left every now and then. The fashion industry repels the side of me that works under the motion that I have to do something sensible with my degree. Ironically I’ve written two final papers about philosophy and fashion, haha. Maybe it repels my face that never looks good in makeup for more than two hours and can’t stand on heels for three. There is however a quite as large side of me that’s drawn to fashion beyond its aesthetic appeal. Though I’ll never be a slave to it like my mom warned and how some of the characters in the film have shown, who knows? I might hate to love and love to hate working in it if I choose to strut into that direction for a change.

dazall

*Here’s another 10th anniversary related opinion article about the film. It criticizes the film but I think moreover, it shoots down the many assumptions people have about how they think the film should be as oppose to letting it just be. 

Aidee HD DB_0509

It’s been so long because I lost track of consistently jotting down all the movies I watched when there was school, but here’s the fourth edition of Aidee’s High Definition (Movie) Database. These are just some films I watched over plane rides and a number of these of I consider girly girl therapy. Enjoy!


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Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
★★★☆☆
Szalinski kids

Grew up watching the third one almost every single day on VHS so that might be my favorite of all the Honey, We Shrunk-series or is it trilogy, but this is pretty good too and a lot older. This is the first, yeah.

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Matilda (1996)
★★★
cause I’m big and you’re small

I just had to choose that photo up there because it was such an epic scene I remember so distinctly. This is yet another feel good movie but it doesn’t ever get old for me. Especially this Brucey scene and the ending. I also would like to have a cottage like Miss Honey with wild flowers and tea. And look as good as Elizabeth Davidtz in overalls.

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Sex and the City (2008)
★★★
labels and love

I first saw this movie with my mom and her best friend in the movie house when I was at the brink of girlhood, haha. I was bordering tomboyish and should-I-be-girly. I surprisingly enjoyed the movie then so much that I watch it every time I go through sad things, haha especially heartbreaks or just when I’m bored. It’s really long, probably 3 hours and within that time, I always manage to feel better. I can write a separate post about Sex & The City but for now if you think you might be that kinda girl, you should totally give this a watch. It’s something one of my closest girlfriends, Pam and I really enjoy, haha! It’s a really quote-able movie too.

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The Danish Girl (2015)
★★★
Einar is dead

I don’t know if this deserves a 3? I’m being biased. I didn’t feel good watching it? Otherwise it would’ve gotten a 4.5 for the set and costume design and acting even. Maybe I’m just not cut out for real life, haha. I probably have a weird gauge of depressing and woah was this depressing. In a nice way? Like it was artfully depicted on screen which I really like. Period films have a way of either hitting the mark or killing me, and this kept fluctuating in between? I was mildly disturbed and annoyed throughout the movie. Confused too. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters on any level but I guess that’s why. It’s not because of the gender roles, it’s more than that though. I felt that it was so certain then empty and stubborn in a way I can’t understand? I thought the characters were rather unreasonable. Again, not entirely because of the gender roles. I know it’s supposed to be empowering and although it probably is to a lot of individuals, maybe just not to me because it doesn’t affect me that way. If their love for each other was really like this however, then that’s really admirable. I also had high hopes for it. I do think it’s worth watching. If you’re looking for a transgender film, I recommend Transamerica if you wanna see something quite entertaining, touching, and informative. However, I guess it’s really different because The Danish Girl was loosely based on a pioneering transgender. Hmm… It’s interesting to watch, like I really did feel like an audience and it’s all new to me? Applause to Eddie Redmayne and Alexandra Vikander. But perhaps I like Eddie more as a guy, haha. Personal opinion. But I don’t see anyone who would’ve done it better than him. He could have given more from the inside though. Like I saw all the physical developments but I didn’t see character development. I just saw the switch and the snap. Maybe it’s the script? Not sure..

mothersday

Mother’s Day (2016)
★★★
them soccer moms

If I had to be a suburban mom someday, may I have these women’s bodies. I thought it was pretty entertaining, comedic then a tear-jerker too. It’s something I caught with my mom for our mother-daughter bonding this mother’s day in the movie house. She likes these kinds of Garry Marshall light-hearted movies. And sour cream popcorn. I like Gary Marshall too. I didn’t enjoy his more recent attempts I admit, like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. This would have to be the more recent favorite in spite of its bad reviews. But of course I like the older Gary Marshall stuff. The cast was a surprise, it always is. And Timothy Olyphant was such a treat haha who wouldn’t wanna baby sit for that dad? Father’s Day, please.

jurassic world

Jurassic World (2015)
★★★
Blue, Charlie, Delta, Echo

I loveeeeed Jurassic Park. And I love Jurassic World. Watched it again recently because my little cousin didn’t wanna watch the original because it was too scary for him, and I think it is too for a six year old, so this had to do. But it’s great. It’s like Universal Studios but dinosaurs, I mean c’mon?

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Excess Baggage (1997)
★★★
you don’t have to be drunk to kiss me y’know

Caught this one afternoon on HBO. I’m adding it here just because for some odd reason I will never understand, despite the weirdness? Ugh I was touched by some of the scenes here with Benicio del Toro and Alicia Silverstone. Thumbs up to this scene. The only time I felt this way about a scene was when Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing were learning the steps with Hungry Eyes playing in the background hahaha. I just had to stop then breathe in and out. (Lol I should write a post dedicated to my favorite mushy gushy scenes of all time?) I’ve always loved Benicio del Toro, no judgement here k, haha. And I superkaduper love Alicia Silverstone. Never thought it’d work but maybe it’s the unlikeliness of these movie couples chemistries that get me. 0:51 to 2:51. Hey bring me to a lake just like that with mountains and a fog surrounding the place one morning and why not add that Dave Matthews Band song in the background, then see if I don’t go a little nuts too. MY HEART. People usually go on to describe long walks in the beach and all as their ideal somethings but this is my ideal thing. A lake, below 20 degree weather, some mountains on the background, and that Dave Matthews Band song, gahh. *Enter butterflies in stomach* post card perfect.

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Uptown Girls (2003)
★★★
tea cups in Coney Island

Honestly I thought this movie was made in the 90s and I’m surprised to find that it was just made in 2003. I feel old? Because 2003 now looks real old to me. Like iconic vintage? I may have enjoyed all the clothes and the setting more than the storyline itself actually. Props to young Dakota Fanning for taking on another one of her earlier mature roles. New York, New York apartments, shift dresses, overalls, it’s a visual treat for me. The stars mostly came from the setting and the outfits, haha.

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Bridesmaids (2011)
★★★
I mean ladies, it’s a Fritz Bernaise

Female version of The Hangover except has a better story. Such a feel good movie. Something to watch with the girlfriends too. I like TV weddings too so mixing that with haphazard planning is fun. This just goes to show that anyone can hit rock bottom and still have an awesome comeback.

fathersanddaughters

Fathers and Daughters (2015)
★★★
POTATO CHIP

Personally, this movie is a dramatized tragic version of my relationship with my own dear old dad. The part where she screwed up with her relationship also kinda spoke to me. Except, it isn’t real life, grr haha. Russell Crowe can play mentally ill roles rather well, then to see him juggle that with a dominant father role is just really touching. I love Russell Crowe. And I love my dad too!

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Spotlight (2015)
★★★
and the Oscar goes to…

I should be writing a post dedicated to this entire movie and maybe I will too. Spent nights of research and reading about the true story. I’ll try to keep it short here. What a cast. What a story. A true story. This doesn’t exactly glorify journalists but sheds some light on what the job should really be about. Who doesn’t wanna be a better journalist after seeing this on film? I come by some articles online that always make me wanna be better, but yay a movie. But thank you for putting the spotlight too (hehe word play) on the significance of the job. The score is strangely nice too. Michael Keaton. Mark Ruffalo. Rachel McAdams. Umm, Mark Ruffalo & Rachel McAdams. Dream guy and dream girl in the same movie? Lovelovelove.

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How To Be Single (2016)
★★★
breaking up sucks, but you know what’s even worse? Wasting a night in New York City

Aw this movie was.. I almost said life changing but my life’s the same even after watching it. Haha, I’m still single but after watching it I’m more motivated about making it happier and okay. The title makes it seem like a guidebook but there’s actually a nice storyline and it’s entertaining. I laughed, cried, and got all giddy for different reasons. In the plane. So much that I asked for three more croissants in the plane ride? Very very very very relatable. I just wish I lived in New York, too. (Canada now actually) Good cast. Good characters. It’s nice they’re making films about more real situations about people being assholes, awkward situations, un-fantasies, in a fantasy-like way? Am I making sense? I think every 20-something girl in 2016 ought to watch this. It doesn’t just preach to single girls about the single life but more about time and timing. It happens to anyone and everyone being single and not being single, but within given times so make the most of your situation whatever that may be. Maybe even the crappier, the better. It’s real empowering. It’s a happy-sad movie. Watch it happy and watch it sad. Personally, just like Alice, there are greater heights I both literally and figuratively want to climb on my own. I really ought to. There’s something very millennial and 2016 about this movie like it was made for us? Appropriate timing.

Looking back

*Late October 21st, 2015 commemoration post slash more of a Michael J. Fox tribute..

He’ll always be Marty McFly in his hover board screaming “Doc!” in that iconic youthful voice to Back and the Future fans but only recently did I look into his health activist work. Yay for more disease awareness and support.

“I see myself sometimes… and i’ll just enjoy it for what it is and the time it was in my life and I dont have any… there’s no wistfulness in it. There’s no longing.”

—Michael J. Fox, about seeing himself on TV before Parkinson’s changed his life

dlrean

dolorean

Dolorean

bf

go Johnny goo goo! Johnny B Goode