Sunday, September 26, 2010

New favorite Summer/Fall 2010 movie!

Teen comedies. I love them. So much. Almost as much as a detest rom-coms. But Teen Comedies (and the best of the Apatow posse) usually end up 5-starred on Netflix. Why? It's perfect entertainment. Sharp, witty satire, usually surprisingly good cinematography. Easy A was one of these movies. The top critics almost unanimously loved this movie, while the audience was more hesitant (96% versus 85% on rottentomatoes, last time I checked). Why this slight, but still statistically significant, difference? Easy A was a meta-film, constantly referring to every other teen comedy that inspired director Will Gluck. At one point Olive Pendergast (Emma Stone, definitely one of my favorite teen heroines.) even says, emphatically, "I wish my life were an 80s movie. But I am not John Hughes." Following this statement, and dispersed liberally throughout the film, are very non-discreet references to other 80s movies-- Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Pretty in Pink, and, especially, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (I won't add a spoiler describing the brave and incredible way in which Emma Stone gets her own Ferris Bueller moment!)

In fact, Easy A seems like an improvement or every other great teen dramedy. The characters (perhaps excepting Amanda Bynes's bible-freak cheeseball character) are complex, interesting people, in the same way that they are in Apatow films at their best. Except this time, it's a female who has the most interesting personality-- caustic, witty, and nonchalant, with a gruff voice and perfect comic timing. And very realistic-- I have friends like Emma Stone to this day, and I certainly had friends clever enough to be Emma Stone in high school. I'm glad to see teenagers portrayed as self-aware and adultlike, rather than broody, stupid, and schizoid.

What can I say? Maybe I have bad taste. Maybe I'll secretly always be an angsty 15-year old. Or maybe I just know a pretty great movie when I see it. Watch and see for yourself (especially if you're a John Hughes-o-phile). SO MUCH RECOMMENDED.

p.s. another reason to see this film: lit references. LOTS OF THEM. Get ready to remember reading The Scarlet Letter senior year of high school, and liking it. Prepare for nostalgia!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Daily Dose of Beauty, Rainy Day Edition

1. Raining in Boston and I'm feeling lazy. Watching this movie on cable. One of my absolute favorites! Now, there are movies you 5-star on Netflix out of sheer guilt, and then there are favorites, and this film is definitely the latter:

Sweet Smell of Success, 1957. Best dialogue of any film that I've ever seen.

2. Not sure where this is from; found it randomly inserted in a street style website:

3. Sanrio + Doc Marteens collaboration? Yes please! (I want these shoes)

4. I am in love with this-- the idea of vines indoors, framing a doorway. Might do that myself! This is from another street style website. Once again, I forget which. Next time I should write the sources down, it would certainly help with some sort of copyright infringement.

Also, I'm considering switching to Tumblr because the picture quality and editing process in blogspot is a little wonky. Any suggestions, please let me know.

Later days,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Secret Fashion Icon

Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

-Plaid shirt
-Converse high-tops
-Short hair

No wonder my guy friends say I dress in lesbian-chic!

Regardless, I am UNASHAMED about my love of overalls. Ideally I would like to buy a grown-up, fitted pair (rather than the Osh Kosh B'Gosh ones that are a *male* youth size XXL, bought for $3 from a Chicago thrift store)... but alas, must wait for ideal circumstances (also known as my next paycheck!).

p.s. Gregory Peck? Preeetty handsome. Mmmhm.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Movies We Live With

I started off detesting my film class, but I've realized that there's no reason silently seething in the second row, refusing to do unnecessary assignments and unconsciously hating all the readings when I do them, when I could instead try to find ways to enjoy it. So I spent the weekend reading Michel de Certeau's The Writing of History, which only gets good in the 8th and 9th chapters, and began to start liking it. And then, just a few minutes ago, upon watching The Sound of Music for, oh, probably the thousandth time, I remembered something Professor Conley said about "living with" films, and how there are films, and films we live with, that we watch tens, hundreds of times, films we've seen often or which have just had a remarkable impression, etc. It made sense to me, and it especially makes sense now, sitting on the couch, watching a movie that never fails to arrest my attention for its full 174 minutes.

So, I present:


*: definitely seen over 10 times
**: definitely seen over 30 times

The Sound of Music, 1965**
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971
Breathless (A bout de souffle), 1960
Contempt, 1963
Grease, 1978
Citizen Kane, 1941
The Godfather, 1972
Juno, 2007
Trainspotting, 1996*
Matilda, 1996**
Forrest Gump, 1994**
Hans Christian Andersen, 1952
Gattaca, 1997
Pink Floyd's The Wall, 1982
Fight Club, 1999
Hook, 1991*
Tootsie, 1982
Doctor Zhivago, 1965**
Office Space, 1999
Mary Poppins, 1964*
The 40-Year Old Virgin, 2005
Amelie, 2001**
American Beauty, 1999
The Big Lebowski, 1998
My Fair Lady, 1964*
Requiem for a Dream, 2000*
Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944**
The Matrix, 1999
The Fox and the Hound, 1981**
Donnie Darko, 2001**
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975*
Oliver & Company, 1988**
2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
Moulin Rouge, 2001**
A Clockwork Orange, 1971
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004*
The Parent Trap, 1998**
Edward Scissorhands, 1990
The Lion King, 1994**
The Ten Commandments, 1956
Bring It On, 2000*
Lassie Come Home, 1943*
American Pie, 1999*

Make lists of your own! It's great fun.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Updates from Grad School

<----I live next to this building! Gah!

Friends! A blog post is long overdue. Unfortunately am slightly hungover so any extensive abstract reasoning isn't really in the works right now, but I'm in list-mode right now, so:

-Left my aMAYzing internship at the Art Institute of Chicago to move halfway across the country to Boston. Or, more specifically, Cambridge, Massachusetts, its prettier, cobblestoned cousin.

-Moved into floor 2 of a beautiful yellow building on the northeast side of
Harvard Square, whose first floor is a Bed and Breakfast. Walked 5 miles (to, from, and then again to and from) Target to buy $7 sheets.

-Immediately, upon purchasing sheets, took the Chinatown bus to New York to say goodbye to the city, and maybe enjoy it for once?

-Enjoyed New York. In fact, probably enjoyed New York more than I've enjoyed it as a resident of New York. Realized homework and stress makes me hate things. Also being 21 helps.

-Found myself in New York during rainy 60 degree weather with nothing but a t-shirt. Promptly became ill because of my insistence on not buying a sweater just for the purpose of a few days in New York.

-Arrived back in Boston lacking a voice. Regardless, maniacally looked for possible classes to take and revamped by 2-year class schedule over a hundred times (not an exaggeration!!!)

-Met some cool people, many interesting friends-of-friends, etc. So far everyone has been incredibly friendly! Bodes well for the next, oh, 7-ish years of my life? If not more?

-Orientation! Yes, GSAS orientation, in which the take-home message was "HAVE FUN. Leave your room once in a while," and, "Regardless of what you might think, you DESERVE TO BE HERE. You are BRILLIANT." Eye-roll. I might be lacking in intellectual self-confidence, but I will quite happily take John Harvard's money. Hey, it could be some incredibly wealthy old Bostonian family instead of me (like the ones who have a slightly British rich-peoples accent in old American noir films). Hip hip hooray for social mobility.

-Saw a mediocre Rohmer rom-com at the Harvard Film Archive, and was told that Harvard students get in for free to see ANY films at the Archive. Oh good lord, infinite free movies? In a MOVIE THEATRE? That I don't even WORK IN?

-Classes! Probable list of courses:
1. Comparative Literature-Proseminar (w/ Damrosch)
2. Film and Visual Studies Proseminar- History (w/ Tom Conley)
3. Elementary Japanese
4. Literature, Art, and Exile (w/ Svetlana Boym)

It has just occurred to me that professors, like many organizations, probably track every time their names are mentioned on the internet every day to see what people are writing about their work, so I'll reserve judgments and trashtalk for later posts and will use pseudonyms. Let it be known that I'm least excited about the film class, for once, and incredibly excited about the others! I'm going to do a Secondary Field in Film and Visual Studies, so the film class is unfortunately necessary. Gosh, it just sounds so unnecessarily pretentious from the first class. It also made me late for Japanese. Points off!

-Oh! I forgot. Somewhere in the midst of this orientation/class hullabaloo I managed to build my own desk and bookshelves! Well, assemble is more like it, but it was quite complicated! It had pull-out drawers and a lock and things. I feel like I've birthed a child. Or like a Sim 2 character who read a "mechanical" book and had the little green bar fulfilled, thus learning a valuable life skill, like how to not electrify yourself while plugging things into outlets. I am a successful Sim 2 character! hurrah!

All for now. Later days!