Saturday, August 30, 2014

movie reviews! AGAIN

Three MUST SEE movies about mentally ill girls and psychiatric hospitals.

G O D   H E L P   T H E   G I R L (8/10)

(I downloaded this teaser right after I watched it)

Recently, there was a film festival in Auckland, so M and I decided to check out at least a couple of movies they were showing. The movie I suggested was an indie musical directed by Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian) himself. Basically, it is an adaptation of the songs by the band God Help the Girl (aka his side project). GOD I LOVE THIS MOVIE. It became one of my favorites right away. I was v quiet when we left the cinema analyzing what just happened and broke into speech as soon as we ordered our dinner. We were talking and talking about all the thoughts and feelings the movie evoked.

Eve is a girl with emotional problems who's getting a treatment in the mental hospital where she constantly trying to run away from and pretend that she is not ill.

I'm bored out of my mind
Too sick to even care
I'll take a little walk
Nobody's going to know
I'm in Senior Ward
That gives you a little free time
I'll just use it all at once
Took the fence and a lane
The bus then the train
Bought an Independent to make me look like
I got brains
I made a story up in my head
If anybody would ask
I'm going to a seminar

[This song is also very very important (like every song in the movie), go and read the lyrics (i need to print them out and stick them to my wall)!]
  • I love how Eve stays a girl even though she is going through so many mental / health problems (severe depression, anorexia) and just pour all her emotions in the songs she writes all the time making them her diary.
  • I love the costume designer! I've never been so impressed. I want all these clothes (except for creepers. yes).
  • I love how Stuart goes about the storyline inspiration: "a better summer, or at least a summer when something happened".

  • And I also love his description of Cass, another main character:

Cass is 16 going on 17, is into dressing up (especially berets), playing scrabble by herself in cafes (right hand against left) home baking, and feminist literature. She has a dog called Captain, and she rides a tandem bike that her parents bought her in the hope she would make a friend... She has opinions on most things, though most of them are pretty wonky.

Another issue raised in the movie is never ending problem of two people in love when one of them wants to move on (uni, career, LIFE) and another doesn't want anything to change. Although, I never faced this disaster myself, I'm very concerned about it for some reason.

But anyway, enough said. You simply need to watch this movie. I think, it's already in cinemas. Except for US. The release date in US is Sept, 5.

*  *  *

G I R L, I N T E R R U P E D (7/10)

(The trailer is very good)

Another movie about mental institutions. But this time, based on a true story (autobiography to be precise) about a girl who was sent to a mental hospital and spent there a year and a half surrounded by the girls who unlike her do need help.

Susanna: I didn't try to kill myself.
Dr. Potts: What were you trying to do?
Susanna: I was trying to make the shit stop.

Why I like the movie:
  • All the girls are different. Each one is ill in her own way but all of them are so real, there is no shallow characters in the movie. They are in no way just superficial labels, they all have personalities and are interesting to watch.
  • Always-was-always-will-be-cool Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie hamming throughout the whole movie.

  • This quote from a review: "The most striking and yet most frustrating part of `Girl, Interrupted' is that everybody that's been 19 years old can relate to Susanna, the main character".
  • And this one: "there is nothing actually wrong with [Susana] Kaysen, except that she is a typical teenager, and refuses to conform to the life her parents want for her. However, after spending some time with her ward mates and numerous doctors, she starts to believe that she is insane, but can't understand why or what exactly is wrong with her."
  • And also this (you rock, mom): "My eighteen year old daughter and I went to see this movie last night, it was excellent! A must see! Even though I cried through the whole last hour of this movie, it was not a sad film, but a lifting of the human "spirit"!"
  • Everyone made parallels between Girl, Interrupted and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest because, yes, the movie was made this way. I don't know many (any) examples when writers / directors change the male characters to female and it turns out to be good but this movie is an exception. And the good one.

Sorry for the picture quote but this is the most obvious reference to Ken Kesey's novel ("It still made me smile a little to think about it: I have to keep on acting deaf if I wanted to hear at all") I found.

Susanna: [narrating] Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60s. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.

*  *  *

R U S A L K A (or   M e r m a i d   2007) (9/10)

One of ten(?!) absolute must see Russian movies. Furthermore, this movie is one of the best movies about girls ever. You must find English subtitles and watch it watch it watch it!

This is how it sounds in English:

Her name was Alisa, she lived by the sea. Her life was pretty ordinary. She dreamed about the ballet, sang in a children's choir and studied at a school for the mentally challenged. At the age of six she stopped speaking. At 17 she moved to Moscow and at exactly 18 she met Him. and disappeared. That sort of thing happens all the time in the big city.

When I was 11 (or maybe 12) and watched the movie for the first time, I became obsessed with it. I played it on repeat for several days and then showed it to Mom (she never liked it (like 99% of movies I showed her)), and then to my best friend with whom we painted the DVD with copic markers, that's how we liked it!

It seems like every one who watched Rusalka and write about it thought of Amelie:

"Amélie Poulain in Moscow ... however, "Rusalka" goes farther than "Amélie", openly showing that City is not only a place of romance and unexpected adventures, but in fact a get-together of very very lonely people who find each other to remain alone."

I hope you enjoy the movies! Or maybe you already watched them all which is also v cool (you have to message me your thoughts on them)! Have a nice weekend, everyone! (=^・ω・^=)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

american beauty / ginger and rosa / white oleander / wasabi

can you send me this list of your favorite movies about girls?

I can, I even can write little introductions to each of them, and this is what I'm doing now, because I want to introduce to people as many movies worth watching in this "genre" as I could, especially when I was asked to do it. And I'm happy to do it :)

[ I'm the kind of person who enjoys watching somebody's (especially girls') stories, to observe their behaviors, to mark their oddities etc. That's why I can rewatch movies countless times without getting bored once they become my favorites. I like to literally "learn how to live" from the protagonists of this movies. I'm a bunch of girls. ]

  • These four are about the girls' and their fathers'/mothers' problems

a m e r i c a n   b e a u t y

There was a girl

she had a kind-of-friend-but-not-really hot classmate

she also had a father

and her father had a vivid imagination (and a mid-life crisis)

Both daughter and her father go through their own crises. And even though the father was being all "today is the first day of the rest of your life", he was the one who failed to escape. And the girl didn't seem trying at all. We all had this phase of depression when we were just a big *sigh*, absently watching the world and skeptically waiting for something to change. And often it does change. For Jane Burnham this change happened to be a weird neighbor guy with a passion to...conceptual art?

And even though it's obvious, that 5 oscars, 93 wins and 74 nominations goes to the movie not because of the "a girl dealing with her life" part, but because of the "a middle aged father with a mid-life crisis who is also craving sex with his daughter's classmate" part, it's cool that it got so much attention. It's always nice when the film is two sides of one coin, i. e. equally perfect for both teenage girls and adults.

P.S. There is one message in this movie which i don't like. When Angela, the Hot Girl, says "I don't think that there's anything worse than being ordinary". I disagree. There is nothing wrong with being ordinary. Ordinary people are cool, they don't fall over themselves to seem so enigmatic and stuff. They just err live? accepting everything as it is, feeling ok with their everyday life? We'd better learn from them to appreciate simple things, sometimes it really helps to make your life a bit happier.

g i n g e r   a n d   r o s a

First of all: Elle Fanning (she was 13 when she played 16 yo Ginger, and got 2 awards for this role. she is just a ball of emotions in this movie and all are so accurately performed)! And then, it's London, 60s, two girls trying to figure out how people live in this world. It's just so comforting to watch their friendship blossoming, and intriguing to follow its brutal decay.

The reason of everything falling apart... society's fear of the future, confusion, never ending pro-peace movements? All this absorbs two not-formed-up-yet girls. And while one of them stays a father's girl interested in politics and anti-war organisations, the other girl, Rosa, chooses love (which also means craving sex with Ginger's father).

While one girl chooses to grow up, trying so hard to become a desirable woman, another girl stays a child, letting adults (her new elder friends as well as family friends) influence her interests, taking the events of 60s very seriously, and helplessly watching her dad's affair with her 16 yo friend. She is not ready for any of this. The movie is somehow similar to American Beauty, only there is more girl's than father's feelings are shown (which means -100 points to public attention), and the friendship between girls i(wa)s real.

P.S. the colours!

w h i t e  o l e a n d e r

Aghh, I want to rewatch this movie.. Ok, sorry. So, this movie has a tagline, which is so accurate, that all I'll write below it, will be just paraphrasing of this one line: Where does a mother end and a daughter begin?

It's a very strong, powerful movie about mother-daughter relationship, where the mother is an absolute leader with her daughter, Astrid, as a subordinate, who feels no need to free herself, and then can't figure out how to do it, asking her mother to let her go.

Ingrid: No! No, no, no. You don't just walk away from me. I made you, I'm in your blood. You don't go anywhere until I let you go!

Her mother, well, a truly smart and strong woman, goes to prison for life after poisoning a man who betrayed and humiliated her (this kind of women doesn't forgive) at the very beginning of the movie, leaving her tamed daughter to a child support center. For the next ten years Astrid moves from one foster family to another trying to find herself, but her mother still doesn't let her go.

And it's a really sad situation. You have a strong worldview and a couple of good life principles to share with your daughter, but you are a bad teacher if you fail to teach her to create her own world where she is the protagonist.

w a s a b i

One of my favorite movies ever! This, and another two movies (Kill Bill, Memoirs of a Geisha), instilled a love of Japan in me when i was a kid. It has so many aspects, and it's SO fun to watch. I rarely love funny films, but this is Luc Besson, so it had to be good. And it is good.  Japanese 90s pop culture overlaps the "old Japan", police still fights yakuza, a japanese teen, Yumi Yoshimido, loses her mother and is left to solve all the mysteries, and find her father whom she saw and knows nothing about.

Yumi Yoshimido: I never spend more than I have.
Hubert Fiorentini: That's a good principle.

I actually mentioned her in a post i wrote a year ago (!bad english alert!). She was and still is my ultimate hero. I beg you to watch this movie when you feel like watching action-comedy about 90s-00s japan.


Ryôko Hirosue aka Yumi Yoshimido from Wasabi

Saturday, April 19, 2014

p e r s o n a l m e s s a g e

i promised some very nice anon to update my blog today. and asking me to update my blog is one of the most effective ways to make me write more here.


Personal message are the first and only guys in my life whose "pictures with words" artworks i really like and appreciate. truth is, i was surprised to realise how many artworks i downloaded while scrolling backwards through their blog. 

because, usually pictures with words on them...

...are never any good.

but these guys are completely different. they're funny, they're witty, they're sarcastic, and they never want to teach you how to live. they just make you feel things.

these are my absolute favorites:

p.s. i and M are on holidays in japan (M didn't want to miss cherry blossom + we had to pick up 80kg of our stuff from our friends and transport it to new zealand somehow), so if you want pictures, you're always welcome to my tumblr / instagram.

have a nice day/weekend/spring/life you all! (❁ ˘ ◡ ˘ ❁)*✲゚*