list

To Run In Disorder

Hello there, long time no see – I was busy falling down, creating scrapbooks, memories and friendships, having quite an unbalanced diet and dancing.

A big, messy pile of topics accumulates in my head every day, now it’s time to clean my mind shelves a bit, but not too much because cluttering is a lifestyle choice (clutter =to run in disorder) and I absolutely welcome it.

Imagine any  discussion – with family, friends, colleagues, random acquaintances, it doesn’t matter. The amount of  passion and determination I’ll put into the conversation depends of course on how interested I am in the topic, but mainly how well-informed I think I am. When you let yourself develop a certain level of getting away with words, you grow an ability to improvise along the way, it is supposed to be smooth and fun, like watching Fred Astaire’s  toe – tap dancing.

giphy

I don’t have a ‘go to’ topic I like to discuss, but movies are my safe place and well, fortunately, almost every topic can be analysed through movies. Now, *insert a jump cut* I want to talk about feminism and how the misuse of the word (and what it stands for) by useless campaigns and public figures annoys me, but even though I have a huge rant slowly pouring from the tip of my fingers, I won’t write about it. Let the movies do the talking this time. In no particular order, chosen because I’ve seen them in the past year or so, and also because they simply celebrate womanhood without fake spectacles, fireworks and ridiculous T-shirt signs.

feminism lol

 

Caramel

Even if you’re not a fan of getting out of the comfort zone of English-speaking film (but c’mooon), it’s necessary to sometimes give a chance to other parts of the globe.  How to start? My advice is to follow the sunrise and go east, it won’t be boring. I’m not sure where I found this gem, maybe it was an Instagram recommendation that caught my eye during a random scroll. It was simple, I was drawn to the title – Caramel, it just sounded yummy.

The plot is similar to the name – sweet, warm and easy to follow, acting is natural, the film’s down to earth atmosphere evokes a feeling that is getting a bit lost today in our constant thrill-seeking existence. Wise men say: the story doesn’t have to be extremely complicated to be intriguing. Often we crave simple pleasures, like caramel candy for example. You can quote me on that one.

Female director Nadine Labaki created a miniature world taking place in a beauty salon in Beirut where five female characters spend most of their time enjoying each other’s company. You may expect a lot of differences due to our cultural backgrounds, but relationships, struggles and desires are the same everywhere. Strength and fragility, eccentricity with a lot of humour can be found among these women of all ages. Everything is so familiar, yet unique. A silent Middle Eastern girl power anthem.

 

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

A title that guarantees a poorly written scenario and hysteric overacting is misleading to say the least. I wish I watched this brilliant story of growing up when I was in my early teens, awkward and uncomfortable with myself and pretty much everything else around me.

Different sexual relations, drug experimentation, dysfunctional family, a teenager dating an older guy… sounds like a dark, fucked up story with a predictable tragic culmination and a fluffy moral message in the end. Instead, it’s a smart, witty and incredibly creative film that stays in mind even if your teen years are left behind a century ago. The exploration of female sexuality doesn’t have to be vulgar and exploitative, it can be written into a direct, bold, yet unconventionally easy-going story.  This film proves it by celebrating youth and turning insecurities into exciting new possibilities.

 

À Nos Amours

Maurice Pialat’s classic has been on my watch list for too long. I guess I knew I have to watch it from my pretentious ‘lover of everything artsy and French’ side, but I didn’t now if I would like it as much as I think I’m supposed to. It’s ridiculous, I know, but the most important thing is that in the end I wasn’t disappointed, AU CONTRAIRE mes amis!

First of all I was blown away by Sandrine Bonnaire’s performance, it was her first movie appearance and the character she’s playing is a confused, but determined 16-year-old. So, it’s not an easy one to say the least. Basically, Suzanne is everything I wanted to be when I was a teenager, but didn’t have the courage. Don’t get me wrong, this is much more than a cheeky teen romance story, it is also a raw depiction of a family falling apart and young girl’s anger turning into rebellious acts to affirm her existence. Sex and seduction are powerful tools in exploring one’s identity which is authentically shown in the film, and just like in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, not at all vulgar or cheap.

Mustang

There are times when after watching a movie I keep thanking myself that I did it because what I’ve experienced actually improved my life a bit. Traditional values which lead to oppression of young women, stripping them away from what they appreciate the most – their freedom – this is how I would describe Mustang in the shortest way possible. An important topic to discuss, but oh so frustrating when you think about that is not just a screen fiction in some parts of the world.

Placed in rural Turkey, five young sisters are playing on the beach with some boys from school. Lots of laughter, fun and as innocent it can be, but considered inappropriate by the local conservative standards. After the incident, their lives change when family members start looking for candidates they will get married to. During the process of finding the suitable pairs for the arranged marriage, the girls become prisoners in their home. This is where Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides influence is clear, but this is not a copy or remake of the celebrated 1999 drama.

What washes off the bitter taste of this absurd situation while watching the film are the sisters, their unity and love for each other, thinking of  clever tricks to make cracks in the wall that is crushing their youth and trying to break their spirits. Emotional, beautiful and inspiring celebration of girl power when it’s the most needed, when freedom and emancipation are endangered.

Carol

This Todd Haynes’ subtle masterpiece wouldn’t even be on this list if I haven’t seen it again a couple of days ago. After watching it, I felt guilty that the first time I’ve watched it when it came out, I didn’t ‘feel it’ and told my friends it’s not really worth a watch. Now I want to print out ‘WATCH CAROL PLS’  posters and hand them out to strangers on public transport. In my opinion, this is the best performance the goddess in human form Cate Blanchett ever delivered, and we all know she has a variety of amazing roles up her sleeve.

Love is a tricky topic to present on screen, to use in all forms of art actually. It’s universal, familiar to us all in some form, but also always unique and the artist has to be careful not to cross the line from being honest to turning into a cliché.

This is a love story between two women of different ages whose lives spontaneously  cross paths and after that nothing is the same. You can say it’s love at first sight, emotions are thrillingly intense, but they remain calm enough to allow their relationship develop naturally. It just feels right and close to home.

I’ve always been a sucker for details in film, Carol is full of them, using them to boost up the film’s low-key but breathtaking aura. The element of society standing in the way of people’s happiness is also present since it’s the 1950s, not a great time to be openly gay and trying to live your life to the fullest. Carol is unapologetically being herself from the start until the end even though it means breaking the so-called social conventions. The story is set around the Christmas season which adds just a little extra magic to the atmosphere, and is also another reason why December is a perfect time to watch it. Maybe even turning it into a tradition.

carol-film

– Tell me you know what you’re doing.

– I never did. 

Advertisements

Sunday Clichés

Ideally, Sundays should be all about:

  • sleeping in without feeling guilty for avoiding responsibilities
  • breakfast + coffee in bed
  • staying in bed for as long as possible
  • cuddles and kisses
  • showering is optional (depends on how wild your Saturday night was)
  • brushing your teeth isn’t optional, but feel free to take your time
  • deliberately missed phone calls
  • writing haiku poetry inspired by random objects in the room
  • fluffy socks
  • watching this movie

mb

  • online food orders
  • inventing new wor(l)ds
  • being quiet
  • being too loud
  • more coffee
  • screenplay ideas
  • finishing a scrapbbook
  • firmly deciding about painting over that wall even though you know it’s not going to happen
  • laughing about it
  • raindrops on the window that will all be gone by Monday
  • uninstalling Pinterest from your phone
  • the dogs taking themselves for a walk
  • movie soundtracks
  • serial killers/real life crime documentaries
  • convincing everyone Lana del Rey is one of the greatest living artists
  • having too long conversations about which numbers are male or female
  • the same thing with colors
  • and geometrical objects
  • exploring Marina Abramović’s career phases
  • crying a bit because you’re not Marina, feeling better afterwards because you’re at peace with yourself
  • finally watch the rest of Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson
  • going to bed early because you never really left it in the first place

 

_20171203_195709

 

Those Rare, Magical, No Internet Days

The crash may last between nine hours and four days,  the symptoms are generally the opposite of the stimulant effects. A person in the crash phase of  withdrawal may sleep for days, notice changes in appetite, and feel depressed and agitated. During acute withdrawal — which may continue for 1-3 weeks — irritability, fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, and cravings are common.

Imposed by deliberate decision or due to the unwanted technological obstacles I’ve experienced quite a bit of internet free days since the beginning of this month. A week ago I was forced to stay in this new state of ‘freedom’ for the whole weekend (tragic, I know, I’m fine now).

Long story short: after some signs of anxiety started to kick in, it was time to start making phone calls. What does an internet provider have to possess in order to be an internet provider in the first place? That’s easy – a shitty costumer service. After a couple of warm exchanges of words, we had to agree to disagree in where the problem seems to be coming from. Conversation ended with their promise that Someone will call me and come over to check the router. Naturally, mister Someone never arrived, or did anyone call me, but luckily on Sunday evening my brother managed to fix  the cable problem or whatever and bring me back to life, make me feel like a member of something greater than myself.*

* this may or may not be a complete irony, just like everything else I ever wrote

Phase 1: Hysteria

c7ee968cf800a97fb6ce03009ac78920

During those two and a half days, I was freaking out because:

a) I didn’t collect all the necessary exam materials

b) The new Jim Jarmusch film I thought I had on my laptop wasn’t really there (it was paused after 12% of the movie was downloaded)

c) I couldn’t send pictures of our dog to my sister 😦

d) How am I supposed to know what’s going on in the world?! Don’t tell me to turn up the TV to watch the news lol

e) How am I supposed to keep up with the mostly unknown people’s lives on Instagram?

f) I didn’t know what to do when I get that sudden, insatiable desire to stream an episode of Seinfeld or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

g) How do I make plans for going out with friends? Do I still have friends?

After finally reconnecting I downloaded the movie, but realized I don’t feel like watching it, answered a couple of ‘ARE YOU ALIVE??’ messages (ignored some of them, let them wonder you know, that’s sexy, mysterious), turned the laptop off and continued reading the book I started that afternoon.

 

Same thing, different day

Sally Nixon: What Women Do When No One’s Watching

I would be chopping that book into little bits and pieces and dragging it around with me for the next two or three weeks until finally finishing it if I didn’t take another day off yesterday.

The thing is, I wasn’t feeling so well, I had a fever, headache, dizziness, cough – the whole disgusting package and even my poorly functioning brain realized staring into a screen trying to keep up with the Kardashians  complicated relationships in a certain David Cronenberg’s historic drama doesn’t work. I fell asleep, woke up, started thinking about stuff, got depressed a bit, stopped thinking about stuff, got up and grabbed that wonderful novel ( Life Is Elsewhere by Czech author Milan Kundera), started thinking about important, good stuff and finished the book. Even though I felt so beaten up, I could sense that my focus is back, alive and well, almost like it was when I was a kid that could easily devour a 400 page book in less than two days. I know those days are now far behind due to my Internet brain and some other reasons, but I also know there is a way of escaping the modern life shackles for a while.

In order to have an illusion of control, I made a list of what I need to start and or finish in the next week or so:

  • one horror movie review
  • watch two French New Wave films
  • watch David Lynch documentary
  • finish the essay on how Third-wave feminism lost its sense a while ago and is actually being contraproductive
  • start paying attention in my online literature class
  • Dedicate at least 10 minutes of the day to learning some Spanish (DuoLingo)
  • Finally start that small Tristan Tzara/Dadaism inspired post
  • Tell everyone how Kundera is the GOAT ✓

Screenshot_1

 

Today, I am back online and while writing this I’m also watching three hot dog memes slowly dancing to Rihanna’s Wild Thoughts. Loving it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, educate yourself.  Also, do yourself a favour and shut.it.all.out. from time to time.

Btw, that introduction quote is taken from a ‘recognize a drug addict’ website and is all about the cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Cheers!

New Year’s Resolutions For Dummies

Stop smoking. Less coffee, more water. Doing some exercise from time to time would be good. No sugar. Yes fibers. Be positive. Have a career. Make an impression.

Sounds a bit like the beginning of Trainspotting where, for a moment, we rebelliously agree with ‘don’t choose your parents’ life‘ rant but continue to do the opposite. New Year’s resolutions have proven to have 99 % chance of failure because of unrealistic expectations we impose to ourselves, especially at this continuously hungover part of the year when our minds and bodies are even weaker than usual.

renton-620x413

New Year, new me (image: Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting)

It’s just too much pressure and besides, who says those good, healthy choices are actually good for everyone in equal measure and should be treated as a higher value? How about stop focusing on generally proclaimed virtues and vices we’ve been hearing  through fairy tales since early age in which the world is presented as a canvas that has been divided in the middle with a firm, visible line? There’s blackness and evil with all of its mean, fucked up creatures on the left versus light, happiness, unicorns and princesses on the right. Fortunately, life is not that simple and boring, there’s a mixture of both sides in all of us so trying to get things perfect is useless and brings us nothing but a great deal of anxiety and long-lasting discomfort.

tumblr_nocoxsvzil1r2226mo1_1280

There are lines that respective members of society shouldn’t cross, but they are not so firm and difficult to manage, they can easily be pushed, walked on, even coloured in order to pretend they’re not there. And also, the least but the most important – it’s not all about us, our moral codes and chosen lifestyles that are publicly revealed only to make others jealous, learning to step out of my head for a while to admire the world as a whole, complete place instead of dwelling on the same thoughts throughout the day is the only real goal for this and every other year.

The rest is much more simple, so I started to make a list (which is still in progress and will continue to be for the rest of 2017) of proposals I’m putting down ‘on paper’ in no particular order for my forgetful, confused future self:

  • Learn new recipes because you’re getting boring with the ones you have mastered by now, don’t play safe. Risk a little, ruin some food ingredients, that’s what cooking is all about! Totally.
  • Try writing in the morning and not late at night because your brain doesn’t work so good at the time as you like to think
  • Is it time maybe to start learning another language? No pressure, this is just a hint of a suggestion, just let that sink in first. Once again, no pressure.
  • Finish the books you are reading, what is the point in starting to read three books at once and then stopping in the middle of it although you liked them all? Seriously?
  • Get some brighter nail polish colours, there’s a whole bunch of crazy palettes to try to have fun with and you stick to black/red. I won’t say anything about the clothes this time.
  • Postponing it won’t make it go away. Or would it?
  • Live accordingly to this Polish saying: Not my circus, not my monkeys.
  • Play more with your dog.
  • Compliment people. That doesn’t include lying to them, just be kind.
  • Build a tolerance towards those who have completely different opinion (ideology, religion, opinions), just maaaybe you might even learn something from them. – Ok, like what? Just try.
  • Practice storytelling and character development
  • Think in advance – do the hard work of putting the new music on your phone sometimes, you don’t want to get stuck with the same three albums on repeat for the whole year while wanting to kill yourself. It’s hard, but someone has to do it.
  • Stop saying: Nope, I’ll rather fucking kill myself and then doing the thing anyway.
  • Watch Shawshank Redemption, why do you keep avoiding it?
  • Don’t judge people for posting annoying NY resolutions
  • Don’t get angry at people for being angry on themselves
  • Avoid Instagram stories
  • Stop saying things like: Oh, yeah I really want to hang out with you, see you some day next week. Maybe, if I don’t get terminally ill or my fourth grandma doesn’t die by then, see ya !
  • I would like to write down something like: less internet, no phone in bed but let’s not get too crazy just yet.

I don’t call them New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer the term “Casual promises to myself that I’m under no legal obligation to fulfill.”