Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Let's talk about movies!

I am a movie lover!

If you know me or are familiar with my blogging you will already know that about me. I love everything about movies and I often wish that I had the discipline to write about them more often. I entertained the idea of writing movie reviews/critiques for about 5 minutes and then realized that I would make a terrible movie critic because I enjoy too many movies. And I only want to write about the movies that inspire me to want to write about them which would only be a handful a year.

For me, the greatest thing a movie can do is to make me feel something; and the worst offense a movie can make is to be forgettable. Someone asked me what I had seen recently and for the life of me I couldn’t remember. I had seen something a week earlier and had no memory of what it was. While racking my brain to try and remember what movie it was, I thought to myself ‘Well it obviously wasn’t very good’.

I did finally remember - It was Admission. And here’s the thing, it wasn’t a bad movie at all. I was entertained while watching it but had completely forgotten about it by the time I drove home from the theatre. At least if it had been bad it would have been memorable. Sorry Tina Fey! You did your best with what you were given.

I once rented a movie 3 separate times because I didn’t remember seeing it. Even now I only remember not to watch it again because of that – I still don’t remember anything about the movie. (XX/XY is the movie just so you all know not to bother). When a movie is thought-provoking or inspiring there is nothing better than a good discussion with other movie lovers. And then, after talking all about it, I love reading reviews, essays, critiques, tweets… whatever – I can’t get enough! I downloaded a nasty virus on my computer in my quest for more on Cloud Atlas. (I was in the process of creating a chart for which character had the birthmark in which time frame. The chart never did get finished – damn virus.)

I don’t want to debate whether a movie is good or not. It’s arbitrary and subjective and we are likely going to have differing opinions and we should be able to respect each other’s differences. What I want to know is how did the movie make you feel? What did you notice? What did you like? What did you hate? What caught your attention?

As for a movie that is forgettable… well, I don’t think I could sustain a 5 minute conversation about Admission. But start up a conversation about a movie that got me thinking or feeling something and I could probably talk all day long.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Simple Pleasures revisited

I first posted this in Oct 2008. I stumbled across it today and thought that it was still relevant enough to post again today.

Someone asked me this weekend what my simplest pleasure is. It took me a while to come up with my answer. I could have given a list of responses. The shade of pink Cooper's nose turns when he is feeling playful, a square of 70% good quality dark chocolate, a perfect cup of tea, a delicious artigiano latte, taking a deep breath of fresh air, standing at the edge of the ocean and looking out at the horizon, the absolute softness of Cooper's paws, crawling into bed between clean, crisp, cool sheets, a hug from someone I love, a good song on the radio while I'm driving, a sunny, cool day, the view from my corner when the ocean is as smooth as glass, reading a good book, the silence of a snowy night. What I take from this is how blessed I am to have so many simple pleasures.

What I ended up picking as my absolute simplest pleasure was watching the rain fall. When there is a downpour, I love nothing more than shutting off my tv or computer, turning out all the lights and just sitting at an open window to take it all in. I love the smell of it, the sound of it and how it looks. I can very easily sit at a window and watch the rain fall for an extended period of time. It makes me feel peaceful and content. It is for this reason that my dream house has window seats. I need to be able to sit right in the window and be surrounded by the rain.

Friday, 5 April 2013

R.I.P. R.E

I found out about Roger Ebert’s death via twitter. I had, just hours earlier, read his blog post from the day before about his cancer recurrence and taking a ‘leave of presence’. So Diablo Cody’s tweet, ‘RIP Roger Ebert’ came as quite a shock. I wasn’t prepared for the news and I instantly felt the loss. The next tweet I read simply said “the balcony is closed”, and the one after that said “RIP Roger, see you at the movies”. It all made me a bit teary.

I am not normally affected so deeply by the loss of someone I’ve never met, but fresh off of reading his blog post about slowing down (which is still 99% busier than I am at my busiest) it just hit me right in the feels. In the 24 hours since then, I have read numerous posts and articles about Roger Ebert and it has become very clear that a lot of people are feeling deeply affected by his death. The topics are varied but all of them boil down to the same core themes – his strength and determination in fighting cancer, his positivity and joy at being able to do what he loved to do, and his passion for both watching movies and talking about them.

Many people have also written about his kindness, his adaptability (he transitioned seamlessly to new mediums – newspaper, tv, blogging, facebook, twitter) and his relatability. He was a champion for films he believed in and didn’t care if anybody agreed. He unabashedly liked what he liked.

What I remember about watching Siskel & Ebert is how unpretentious they were in their movie reviews. Ebert talked about movies in a way that made them accessible. He didn’t talk about movies the way that film students are trained to – by analyzing and dissecting; He talked about movies the way movie-lovers are naturally inclined to – by what they liked and didn’t like and how it made them feel, and that is what I loved about him.

After every movie we see, my sister seeks out Ebert’s review of that movie. Sometimes she forwards them to me and often she just tells me what he has to say. It never mattered if we agreed with his opinion, we still valued knowing it. I think for Stefanie, it wasn’t a complete movie-watching experience if she couldn’t top it off with reading Ebert’s review. I know she will miss that aspect of her movie-going experience.

So, Roger Ebert, you will be missed. See you at the movies, I’ll bring the popcorn.

The balcony is now closed.

Saturday, 30 March 2013


Well that's annoying. I used a lot of white space in my draft - I'm a fan of short paragraphs when blogging. Yet, when I published, it just shows up as one chunk of text. That's going to bug me!

*Update* I learned how to make paragraphs!

Hello 2013

I have just learned, in a very frustrating way, that blogging from my laptap is going to be annoying. I keep accidentally hitting things that make whatever I've written, disappear. Aaargh!

Twitter has killed blogging for me. There are few times that I wish I had more than 140 characters to say what I want to say. And even then I am usually just wishing for 15 more characters. I've lost the ability to sustain a topic beyond 140 characters - it's terrible! The only other time I wish I had more space for posting something is when I am making a list - I really do love lists!

I am in the process of making a life plan for myself and one of the things on my plan is to blog at least once a week. So that is the new deal. Though, while I figure out what I am going to use this space for, it may be a bit lame to read. In fact, unless you are my mom or my sister, I don't encourage you to watch this space. And if you are my mom or my sister - hi, thanks for reading!

The life plan is an investment plan. It was my chiropractor's idea and the timing was perfectly right for me to love the idea. The plan is to do the things now to invest in me that will pay out in my future (near or distant). I have started to draft what this plan will look like for me - so far I have come up with a fairly intensive but totally doable 6 month plan. Once I have it more concretely mapped out I will share it on here.

Til then, Happy Easter!

Enjoy the sunny long weekend