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.


RyĆ“ko Hirosue aka Yumi Yoshimido from Wasabi

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