Posts in movies
People Places Things

A list of things I’ve enjoyed lately. Some more than others.

BOOKS 

hunger: a memoir (of) my body by roxane gay 
A brutal memoir from Roxane Gay where she gives us such a naked insight to her life with abuse, trauma, pain and surviving. Gay, as a fat woman, thinks of her fatness as a shield towards the world. She discusses her very personal journey to where she is today. Some passages feels too raw; are we supposed to take part in such private information? The answer is yes; yes we are. We need stories from diverse people, to listen to their pain. To try to understand, to comprehend, that people are so much more than what meets the eye. This is not a “body positivity book”. The fact is, living in a fat body is not only happy bikini pictures on Instagram. There were chapters where I could relate so deeply with Gay, growing up as a fat woman myself and having really bad body dysphoria and a complicated relationship with food. The chapter where she discusses how chairs can be so incredibly important and devastating to fat people absolutely broke my heart.

our stop by laura jane williams 
What’s a good, modern word for ‘chick-lit’? A ‘summer read’, ‘pool read’, ‘commute read’ etc. It feels like all these words minimize the actual work of Williams. But! Our Stop is a lighthearted romance novel where Williams basically created the dream guy Daniel, who falls in love with a stranger on the train, Nadia. It’s a modern romance story, which is not usually my cup of tea, but I’m a big supporter of Laura on all social media platforms so it was time for me to invest in her work as an author as well. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, how she explored the different characters and set up the impossible meeting. The initial flirting and the suspense build up. However, around 70% in I was a bit tired of the pace and skim-read to the end (the end which in itself was a bit too romantic and “good-to-be-true”). Sometimes Williams written language mimics the language she uses herself when she talks in videos on Instagram stories for example, so much that it unfortunately takes me outside of the book; I’m constantly thinking of her writing the book instead of being in the book; in the narrative. 

TV SHOWS 

the big family cooking showdown on netflix 
Cooking shows are a godsend. Nothing is being discussed on cooking shows except personality traits and stories about the contestants and the food they’re cooking. That’s it. Cooking shows are therefore the perfect way to shut out the entire world for a little while. No politics, no scary future outcomes. This British family show has the perfect tempo for me and Andrew in the evenings when we just want to relax together. Entertaining and warm.

nanette by hannah gadsby on netflix 
I have no words to explain this genius and magnificent “comedy” special on Netflix where Hannah Gadsby is spilling her heart out; with passion, anger, laughter, softness and fierceness. Watch it. Just watch it, your life will be changed. 

FILMS

farewell by lulu wang 
Billi returns to China due to her grandma, the matriarch of the whole extended family, has been diagnosed with cancer and only has a couple of months left to live. As if that wasn’t complex enough, the family has decided not to let Nai Nai (grandma) know she 1) has cancer 2) only has a couple of months to live 3) the family are all there to say goodbye to her, not to celebrate Billi’s cousin’s wedding (which is a made up story fabricated so that Nai Nai won’t suspect anything). Billi opposes not telling her, but it’s not up to her so she is forced to play along with it. It’s such a beautiful told story about identity and family. Awkwafina as brilliant as Billi, but my heart goes out to Zhao Shuzhen who plays Nai Nai. She embodies so many grandmas we know and love, and her warmth and love to her family is just so heartbreaking. The film is also so incredibly funny. And beautiful. Did I say beautiful? Please watch this film. Major plus: it was written by a woman. It was directed by a woman. It was shot by a woman.

MUSIC

bon iver - i,i (album)
Ignore the very hipster title on this album. I’ve known Bon Iver would have a show here in Vancouver in September, but I don’t really listen to them anymore. And I’ve already seen them a couple of times, so I didn’t think it was worth the money. But then they released their new album, and I immediately - after one listen - ordered tickets for myself. My favorite song which I can’t stop listening to is Hey Ma. Recommend.

women of folk (playlist)
I love Spotify’s ready-made playlists. For the whole summer (and spring, and the winter before that) me and Andrew listened pretty much exclusively to Essential Folk and 70s Road Trip. I started to memorize the order of the songs on Essential Folk, so I knew I had to move on. Welcome to the stage, Women of Folk. Wow. I’m so versatile. But I know what I like so why bother trying to be cool for the sake of being cool. Again, recommend! Listen especially to Heart Like A Wheel by Kate & Anna McGarrigie.

chants d’auvergne: 2. bailero (song)
Obsessed with this masterpiece of a song that manages to encapsulate every single feeling in the world in six and a half minutes. Listen and weep.

Call Me By Your Name + The Florida Project

I guess studying and working with film has conditioned me a bit, but going to the cinema is one of my favourite city-life things to do. I don't drink, I rarely "go out", I don't do dinner parties or any type of parties. I rarely go shopping or other activities where you spend money on leisure things. Except going to the cinema, I lo-o-ove going to the movies. I'm willing to spend money on it seeing as I don't spend money on much else (except food. And overpriced coffee). 

I've been in Vancouver a week now and we've managed to go to two different cinemas seeing two different films (duh!). Since they were particularly good I thought I'd write about them! Not just the films, but the venues itself. Wish I took photos but I did not.

First one we went to was Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas. The cineplex gets 2/5 stars! Plastic seats, not really a cozy atmosphere. It was okay, I just expect more from a giant cinema? It was also pricey. But anyway, money aside. I watched: 

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino (a genius?) starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet (godsend?). I remember being in love. More specifically the early stages of being in love, where lust is bigger than love. This film portraits just that. When you want something that you "shouldn't", but decide to throw yourself into deep waters anyway. When you can't figure out why you want this particular person with all their obvious flaws. How do you proceed when attraction takes over, when you have to act on it? The balance between that. Is just so. Satisfying. It's so. Hot? Call Me By Your Name is filled with emotion, raw emotion. Of lust, desire but also honest and true love. I haven't seen someone act as good as Chalamet since. I don't know when? The work he does in this film is simply magical. Out of this world. I want to live in Call Me By Your Name forever. If you think that you've forgotten what it's like to feel what it's like to D E S I R E someone so intensely that you don't know what you do with yourself, don't worry. This film got you covered. Should win all the Oscars. Just take my money and get me the physical copy please.

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The second venue we went to was the classic Rio Theatre, a hipster's paradise where beer in a plastic cup is more popular than Coke (making a general statement here, I actually don't know if this is true). I usually don't like going to theatres, I want the screen right in my face almost being emerged in the film itself. I get annoyed by the stage space in front of the screen at theatres. But anyway, comparing it to the Cineplex I was amazed at the comfortability of Rio. There was a warmer feeling here, a genuine interest of culture. Rio gets 4/5 stars! Don't worry, I'm not seriously in the business of rating every cinema venue I go to. I'd just like how the two ones I've been to so far were so different, it's worth to note down. I watched: 

THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2017)

Directed by Sean Baker starring Brooklyn Prince (wonderchild?), Bria Vinaite (where have you been before this?) and William Dafoe (is there any role this man can't play? How is this the same guy that was in Antichrist?). For you who didn't know: Sean Baker really broke out in 2015 with his film Tangerine, all shot on an iPhone. Similar to Tangerine, this film focus on characters we often forget about. Characters some of us don't want to hear about because they make us uncomfortable. We think we know all about them anyway, and our prejudice suggests to us that we have nothing in common with these characters. Well, think again I guess. This is why books/films are so important; they make us realize that in order to have a connection with someone you don't have to come from the same background / live the same type of life. 

The film follows Moonee (Prince) who lives with her mother Halley (Vinaite) in a motel managed by Bobby (Dafoe) "close to Disneyland", except it's far from the magical capitalistic wonderland. With great, absurd (realistic) sets, Baker gives us a colourful version of a Banksy world that looks completely made up - except it's real. The people that live here are real, their stories and struggles are real. It's a film about parenthood, friendship, and prejudgements. If you saw American Honey, it would give you an indication of what this film's about. I also thought of one of my favourite films The Beasts of the Southern Wild. Magical realism at its finest. The cinematography is mesmerising, and so is the acting of Prince particularly. I fell in love with Bobby, who's an inspiration to us all but is not without his own flaws. If you didn't cry at the end of The Florida Project I'm not sure you're doing life right. What a gem of a film. 

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movies, , vancouverEmma Carlsson
A Bird; A Plane

perhaps it was the bad audio, but i couldn't truly get into dunkirk. it looked magnificent, but having a good cinematographer nowadays won't save your film. it was intense, yes. there's no denying the tragicness of the story. no denying its importance in history. but i couldn't shake off the fact that war was created by men, fought by men, won and lost by men. and now men are making films tributing their ancestors. there's a couple of women in the film, giving out sandwiches. taking care, of their lost sons and husbands. but in war films the braveness doesn't come from a cup of tea: the braveness comes from doing the extraordinary, something only a man can do. 

i get it, there were only men in the war back then so why would a film about the war have more women in it. and it shouldn't. however, i'm just personally so tired of all these stories of men. we're here now, glorifying honour in war. in war. who created the war? who created all the wars? i'm not going to say only men, but i am going to stand behind the fact that dangerous masculinity ideals; the patriarchy, is the reason behind war. not religion. pride, yes, that stems from masculinity. what about the women in history who have started war? well, what would you have done if you grew up in a family celebrating harmful and inhuman masculinity. even if we look around today, at all the dangerous leaders in the world. and their followers. they're not being led by a woman wanting to care and give out tea. boys will be boys, i guess. 

yesterday was a glorious day at bray air show. planes are absolutely magnificent. there's a childish thrill that comes along when you watch a plane up close. hear their engines. see them doing risky stunts. i almost cried when the irish coast guard came by and waved from their helicopter. we'll be there for you, we'll take care. from my memory there was one female pilot at the show, which isn't surprising when only 3% of women are pilots. there are many reasons behind the 3%, and this isn't a fact-based post so i'll skip it for now. 

men thought it was weird that girls were having such a reaction to wonder woman. they don't understand that everywhere we go we check in: are we being represented. is there a woman here? if you're a part of a minority group that becomes even more evident and important: where are people like me? are we once again watching white abled-bodied men doing what they do best (which is everything)? dunkirk didn't involve me. not only because i'm a woman, but because i just didn't belong there. i'm just a spectator. and sure, that's probably how many people felt back in the days; i mean who belongs at war (except for the people that start them: push them forward)? 

this blog celebrates softness. my life celebrates softness. in women. but also in men. femininity doesn't exclude machinery such as aircraft. making shapes in the sky, dancing through the clouds, making people feel things is not something that belongs to men alone. and i guess i'm tired of history thinking that it is just that: a boy's thing. boys get the toys. they get the hobbies; careers. they get the chance for big emotions, for making people proud, for doing magnificent things. they are celebrated and worshipped. they also start wars, they rape, they beat the women they love, they don't talk about their feelings which lead to mental health problems for us all. but lets forget all that and let's watch an old war machine in the sky doing things we are not allowed to do, and let's admire.