Afterthoughts on life.

Disclaimer: This post was penned after watching About Time.

We go by life most of time living each day at a time. Looking forward to next week, or the month after at the very most. Everyday we experience a myriad of emotions. We end the day with thoughts ranging from “the best day of my life” to “I’m so glad the day is over.” And yet, if I were to ask you to pick out the last time such days happened, you will have some trouble recalling them.

Human emotions are such that it always works on the theory of relativity. When time actually travels by you, you fail to appreciate the value of the moment in time you are at. You experience another ‘happier’ day and suddenly the memory of your previous ‘happiest’ day doesn’t exist anymore. You keep escalating your hopes and having mental images (confetti, champagne, Paris) about the potentially happiest, soul-numbing day of your life that may or may not happen in this lifetime of yours. You keep telling yourself this deserved happiness is within reach that you forget to make the best out of this very moment. (Pardon the cliché)

So, my single thought for this moment is live for the now and for life at large, all at once. Because at the end of time, life is always, always, remembered and cherished by the single moments that go pass without even whispering anything to you.

All we can do is, do our best to relish this remarkably uninteresting (and boring) ride.

Blue Jasmine, must watch!

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Woody Allen films are always a must watch for me, so Blue Jasmine was no different (despite not watching the trailer beforehand).

Cate Blanchett’s acting bowled me over at the end of the 99 minutes. The way Jasmine’s story unfolds and the fragility of the character comes through to the audience is unlike any other Woody Allen movie. Despite some lapses in the narrative, Blanchett’s acting leaves you glued to the screen.

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So, trust me, just go catch Blue Jasmine. You don’t even need to bother with the trailer. You’ll love it.

Stoked by Park’s Stoker.

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Stoker, the first English film directed by Korean director Park Chan-Wook caught my attention in a matter of seconds with its trailer. This film deals with the psychology behind violence rather than violence itself, like Park’s previous films.

Plot by Rotten Tomatoes: After India’s (Mia Wasikowska) father dies in the car accident, her uncle Charlie who she never knew existed comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

The visuals are precise. The way the story unfolds really keeps you on the edge. The spiders add to the eeriness if the character Charlie Stoker played by Matthew Goode doesn’t. I literally gasped in awe at the scene of India combing her mum’s hair transforms to the paddy fields where India and her dad used to go hunting in. Park builds horror and suspense with his audience with simple and subtle images that leave you stoked.

India’s dad philosophy which India holds close to her, is by far my favourite line from the movie. “Sometimes you have to do something bad, to keep you from doing something worse.”

Be sure to enjoy this thriller by Park that blends together with a coming-of-age tale filled with psycho-sexual imagery and share my enthusiasm!

Credit to Hot Butter Review for the above image.

The Perks of being a Wallflower.

When I heard that this book by Stephen Chbosky was going to be made in a movie, I was beyond thrilled! And doubly thrilled I had something to look forward to when I got back home after my Australia adventure!

Logan Lerman plays the character “Charlie” really well. He fits into the role of a misfit school kid who is trying to break free from himself, make friends and maybe even, fall in love, very well. He got me hooked with his quirky adolescence almost instantaneously. Ezra Miller who plays “Patrick” or should I say “Nothing” stood out to me particularly. More so then Emma Watson who fits perfectly into the character “Sam” – Charlie’s love interest. I liked Patrick in the movie more than in the book somehow, especially in the scenes when his mischief shines through to the audience so radiantly.

This bit below is from an entry back in November 2011.

Charlie, I saw so much of me in you. 

1. Wallflower

A person, usually in high school, who sees everything and knows everything that’s going on but doesn’t say a word. They aren’t loners, they are shy and don’t choose to be in the mix of things. A person nobody pays attention to, and fades into the background, but are really genuine and interesting people if you take the time to get to know them.

2. Wallflower

A person who see’s the world for what it really is, all the beauty and the ugly. Someone who knows life is only for the one who is not afraid to die and that joy is only for him who does not fear to be alone. These are the most amazing people you will ever meet and you will never, not even if you try, forget them.

3. Wallflower

Someone who isn’t necessarily shy, but never really tells you a lot about themselves. They observe almost everything and listen to everything you have to say without criticizing or judging. These people are often the most sincere, kind, and wonderfully interesting people, yet fail to be attractive to the opposite sex for some reason.

3 definitions that stood out to me then and still do now.

“Sam screamed the fun scream, and there it was. Downtown lights on

buildings and everything that makes you wonder.

Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing.

I started laughing. and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

This definitely is my favourite movie of the year! Please catch this in cinemas if you can and I hope you are in love with it as much as I am!

Charlie, you stole my heart in the last scene when you felt infinite as “The Tunnel Song” (Heroes by David Bowie) played in the background.

Other lines from the movie that tugged a chord within.

“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

“We didn’t talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough”

“You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.”

“I want to make sure that the first person you kiss loves you. Okay?”

“It was the kind of kiss I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know I was never so happy in my whole life.”

Guest post: Thoughts on Moonrise Kingdom

This piece below has been contributed to solosingaporean by fellow movie enthusiast, P.

Anderson’s most mature film to date, Moonrise Kingdom serves up a dose of French-like naïveté with equal parts of heady romanticism and a wariness of love.

All the times I have gone to see a Wes Anderson movie, I have always had the nagging feeling of being transported to a miniature Toyland. Whilst not necessarily bad, I always felt like I was watching the same type of movie. In that sense, Anderson has always been a very specific director, aiming for a certain whimsy and focusing his energies on sculpting a particular aesthetic that serves to divide audiences to this day because either one likes it, or one doesn’t. I have always been in the latter camp only because I feel that Anderson’s considerable talents are far more suited to the intricate stylings of the animated world (indeed, his career best achievement is still Fantastic Mr. Fox) only because I have always felt that his characters in past movies always seem to be not in tandem with reality. With this movie however, Anderson serves up realism in spades and then some.

The movie essentially revolves around a fur hat wearing khaki scout, Sam (a very Ron Swanson-esque Jared Gilman) and a music, book loving jaded hipster Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward who recalls Markéta Irglováin Once) and how their relationship and subsequent elopment fractures the respective communities they are a part of.

The movie zips by and at a brisk 94 minutes, it felt like a play more than a movie at times. The heavy dose of theatricality heaped upon the set pieces made the movie feel even more intimate.  However, the at-first charming yellow filter that smacks suspiciously of Instagram, grew ingratiating by the second act. That said, the movie is extremely well edited and the score is marvelously adept in expressing what the movie wants the audience to feel. But where the movie works, is the acting. For me, the MVP of the movie was without a doubt, Bruce Willis, who plays Captain Sharp, a policeman responsible for finding the two runaways. He brings a machismo that saves the movie from becoming too precious; and his scenes with Gillman rank among the most touching in the movie.  The two leads are capable though Hayward came across as a bit wooden at times.  The rest of the cast give brilliant supporting turns with especial mention to Frances MacDormand and Edward Norton (as Suzy’s mother and Sam’s Scout leader respectively) who infuse their roles with reality, together with that Anderson whimsy, making their characters seem almost tragic. In fact, when Mrs. Bishop talks to her daughter about love, she makes it seem like a warning for her daughter not to follow in her footsteps, making it a stilted, tender moment that allows the audience to sympathise with her largely detestable character.

With humour, charm and wit, Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson’s most mature film to date (certainly ironic, given the dominant role that children play in this movie) as it takes love head-on and asks “Does age even matter in love?” (PK).

Credit to Hot Butter Review for the above image.

“I do”.

My recent picks in films clearly hasn’t served me well, but nonetheless, I need to write/rant about them.

1. My last day without you (2011)

On a one-day business trip to New York, a young German business executive falls in love with a singer-songwriter who exposes him to her Brooklyn world and emotions he’s never experienced before.

2. Take me home (2011)

Soon after Thom starts operating as an illegal taxi driver in New York City, Claire hires him to drive her to California after her estranged father suffers a heart attack.

3. Take this waltz (2011)

A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street.

4. Last night (2010)

The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he’s attracted. While he’s resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.

Apart from the first film, the remaining 3  center around the plot of a married woman falling for another man. Last night includes both husband and wife falling for another person.

I then begin to wonder about love, marriage, vows, faithfulness. What all of these mean. What they are supposed to mean. The notion of marriage. The reason behind the words “I do”.

“You can be happy and still be tempted.” – Micheal Reed, Last night

Is it possible? Does love entail being exclusive? Being faithful? Is love second-guessed when you cheat or even when the mere possibility of it runs through you? Does love have the strength to endure an affair or a temptation? Do affairs cancel out if both husband and wife cheat only to realize it was nothing but a meaningless kiss or bodies that lusted for each other? Or does there lie a bigger truth behind the reason for the affair to begin with or for there to have been temptation at the very least? Unhappy, dissatisfied marriages? Or, curiosity to tiptoe the lines (i.e. boundaries) the marriage has been built around? Is love that powerful an emotion to ensure Man, both genders alike, steer away from the lust and temptations that lurk around them, outside the monogamous marriage and  relationships they are engaged in. Is this what love is all about? Monogamy?

With regards to succumbing to temptations, is there a weaker gender? Men or women? Or is it a question of the strength in willpower rather than gender per se?

“I saw you this morning, and in the middle of most nights when I can’t sleep, I still replay you.” – Joanna Read, Last night

I hope I find the my answers to these, before I say “I do”.

My Week With Marilyn!

Olivier: She’s quite wonderful. No training, no craft, no guile, just pure instinct. Astonishing.

Colin: You should tell her that.

Olivier: Oh, I will. But she won’t believe me. That’s probably what makes her great. It’s certainly what makes her so profoundly unhappy.

Can’t believe I finally watched this!

You’ve got to watch this for Michelle’s William’s phenomenal acting. You’re sure to enjoy it as much as I did! Plus, there’s Eddie Redmayne.

How cute is he with his freckles. Oh god!

Chronic Dissatisfaction.

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Chronic Dissatisfaction, a term María Elena played by Penelope Cruz diagnoses Cristina to have in  the movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, as she is always dissatisfied with what she has, at present. She is always restless and aches for something new to happen in her life. It’s like she’s searching for something she doesn’t know what it even is. To label, let alone describe.

Have you ever found yourself in this position? I constantly do.

Vicky made me wonder about the harsh possibility of wanting/dreaming about something your whole life, that it eventually might end up as something you don’t quite want. In her case, it was a person, a life, a marriage she was about to set foot into. Sometimes, I think that the very reason for this paralysis of indecision to hit us when we need to make a decision is because, we have an abundance of choices before us.

In chapter 2 (Marriage & Expectation) of Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert says,

“When you have only one path set before you, you can generally feel confident that it was the correct path to have taken.”

Yes, I love this author, this book, this freaking chapter if you haven’t already deduced.

It’s the constant predicament we go through and the constant questioning of whether “this is really what we want” that inhibits us from making a decision in the first place.  Simply put, the paralysis of indecision.

“Vicky returned home to have her grand wedding to Doug. To the house they finally planned to settle in. And to lead the life she envisioned for herself, before that summer in Barcelona. Cristina continued searching… certain only, of what she didn’t want.”

I just finished a book by Sarah Dessen, The truth about forever.

“That was thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening.”

It reminded me, yet again, of the picturesque future, Utopia that we make up in our minds is all fictional. What we really have, is now. We don’t need labels for every aspect of our lives, we just to need live and let live. The forever, love claims to be about, might not be case. Forever begins from now, this moment. And this moment, is what counts. Not the happily ever after that might or might not be. As Priya Basil says in The Obscure Logic Of  The Heart,

“I don’t see a point of deferring happiness for some future promise of salvation.”

Going back to the film, it did great in capturing both the love and hate in the complex relationship(s) played by all four characters – María, Cristina, Vicky and Juan. Also, if you aren’t already in love with Barcelona, this film will help you lose yourself in the beautiful Gaudi architecture. And lastly, Woody Allen. Every of his film needs a watch. Enuff’ said.

So go catch this! It’s a very light-hearted movie about love, relationships and its complexities.

“Our love will last forever. It’s forever but it just doesn’t work. That’s why it will always be romantic because it cannot be complete.”

Young Adult.

Light-hearted, feel good movie. You hate yourself for laughing at the character Theron plays, Mavis Gary. She is perfect for the character which is portrayed so negatively. If you need a movie to perk yourself up, and forget about the shit in your life, watch this. Mavis Gary will make you feel better about yourself and the hole you are stuck in or think you are stuck in. The denial she lives in is so hilarious, you try to find it in you to feel sad. But, you just end up laughing.

Enjoy laughing your butt off while watching this!

I’m yet to check out her other movies. Any recommendations?

Blue Valentine.

It’s a love story, a very real and heartbreaking story. I’m not going to give away the plot, but it’s a very simple and possible story line.

I love how the movie unfolds and scenes alternates so quickly, juxtaposing then and now.

Plus, there’s gosling. Boy, I could look at him all day.

I find myself having so many emotions within a short span of time. One minute, I’m hating both characters and the next, I feel sorry for them all over again and have a lump in my throat. It gets pretty intense. I might need a while to get over this film. So, please excuse me.

“I didn’t want to be somebody’s husband and I didn’t want to be somebody’s dad, that wasn’t my goal in life. But somehow it was. I work so I can do that.”

Catch this if you haven’t already. You might love it as much as I do.