Category Archives: Foreign

Day 141: Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso w/ Philippe Noiret & Salvatore Cascio

Absolutely hands down one of my favorite movies. There’s always a sense of nostalgia and sadness whenever I watch this film. It clearly details the many facets of passion, desire and love. It begins with a love affair with movies and a divine relationship flourished out of that same passion between Salvatore and Alfredo. Over time, we watch young Salvatore’s affair with movies grow – at first as an admirer then as a director. Yet through trysts of time, we also sadly watch the diminishing relationship with Salvatore and Alfred. It becomes a journey of relentless desire of love and freedom movies from both characters. The significant screen kiss allows us to breathe a bit through the sadness.

The attraction to something worth waiting for. THAT person. That one significant person that we are whole fully dedicated to justify. The longing that occurs is because of the potential, that maybe he’s that person. Sometimes I ponder if that’s silly to do. But sometimes, I’m just that hopeless. Hopelessly desiring the potential but never seeing beyond the obvious. But sometimes, you just need to stop yourself from that desire. It’s a lot of time, effort and feelings wasted for someone else who doesn’t see your potential. Relationships and love should never include a BUT. “You’re great but I can’t give you what you deserve.” Truthfully, you’ll always deserve more than what they can give you BUT the fact that he or she can’t even work toward making possibilities happen means he or she isn’t worth your time. Dating is hard as shit and lonely as fuck BUT there is a silver lining to it I’m sure. Life isn’t like in the movies, where the person who screws up realizes they did in mere moments, nor do they really regret it sorrowfully. While he maybe couldn’t see the potential, he will sooner or later (at least I hope with all the guys I’ve dated). Because at the end of day, you’re an amazing person with the amazing potential to do anything you set yourself up to do BY YOURSELF with the support of those who knew it from the get go, no buts about that.

In Cinema Paradiso, our love for Salvator and Alfredo is truly escalated when we see a gift from Alfredo to Salvatore – a reel of the love scenes that were cut from the films that were shown in the theater. It was a culmination of accomplishment, relief and truly a magical moment that was conceived of a beautiful relationship.

Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.
Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?
Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.

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Day 106: Eat Drink Man Woman

Eat Drink Man Woman w/ Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu & Kuei-mei Yang

If this doesn’t warm your heart and make you hungry, there’s something wrong with you. I’m pretty jealous of the openness this family shares around the dinner table. My parents act as if dating doesn’t exist despite the fact that I have older half siblings that are married. But I guess, it’s their effort to keep forever eight, five or three. Someone once told me a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Yeah well, a way to get me to lift a damn spoon in the kitchen is if the dude’s even worth it. If not, I’ll take my dinner to go.

Eat, drink, man, woman. Food and sex. Basic desires. Can’t avoid them.”

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Day 99: Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Umbrellas of Cherbourg w/ Catherine Denevue

In keeping with my theme of love and song, I decided to watch Umbrellas of Cherbourg. My friend has repeatedly insisted that I watch this because it claims to be one of the most romantic films on the face of the Earth. Okay, I’m exaggerating but truthfully, it’s incredibly romantic. If life was lived through music, this would be it. It’s entirely  played with song, more than musical, almost an opera. It’s a tragic story of love lost and love found. I wanted to be completely in tune, so subtitles were off for me.

What’s remarkable about this film is that it allows the audience to want and yearn for Guy’s and Genevieve’s relationship. While we set up our expectations, we’re left with the truth that they are in fact married to someone else…and what’s worse, is that they’re happy. I’ll be damned if I said I didn’t expect a happy ending, but it was…just not the typical happy ending. What makes this film touch home is that that it allows to understand the complexities of life and what we choose to accept. Yes, we want Guy and  Genevieve together, but it’s not where their fate lies. So maybe that’s something we can tuck away in our pocket while we whisk ourselves away to Paris.

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Day 94: Dev. D

Dev. D w/ Abhay Deol & Mahi Gill

A classic love story told in contemporary times. It’s a story about Paro and the man of her dreams, Dev, who fall into the hopelessness of lost love. Their story starts in a good place, Paro was the daughter of Dev’s servant. Both came from different worlds but fell in love. As all good things must end, suspicious and lies seep into their relationships which inevitably destroys them. Paro marries someone else and Dev becomes diluted with his vices.

The concepts and stories of love never seem to change within the context of culture and film. Even in our darkest hours, the concept of love seems to be a saving grace for some. This movie was dark but humorous, and made light into situations that were less than desirable. Losing love is never easy, but losing yourself is even a harder pill to swallow.

I’m actually wanting to watch the original version tomorrow. That good.

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Day 71: Be With Me

Be With Me

An interesting take on people longing for love cultivated in three different stories. The human desire is such an interesting reality to inspect.

Anyways, I just want to claw my eyes out right now. I’ve reached the breaking point, clearly midway. I need Tylenol.

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Day 61: In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love w/ Tony Leung & Maggie Cheung

This movie is a perfect trifecta of how crazy the world is. Let’s just dive into the context of the film.  First, we find out the character’s spouses are having extra marital affairs, oh, and let’s not forget the fact that they’re neighbors. Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chen somehow realize their lives are replicates, waiting on cheating spouses. They themselves start an emotional affair, once realized that their spouses are cheating with each other spouses, they start to reenact how their spouses met. It’s a bit of a clustterfuck once you add in the fact that it’s based in the 1950’s in conservative China. It soon turns into a beautiful struggle between desire and restraint.

Anyways, cinematic ideals aside. It deals with an issue of adultery. It happens, it obviously happens all the time.  We see certain cultures that celebrate the idea of polygamy, but here in the U.S., we glamorize the ideal and sanctity  of monogamy but in most cases we can name five people who have cheated on their significant others. Continue reading

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Day 41: Once

Once w/ Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

Beautiful love songs written by a man who didn’t believe in love. Somehow, it made sense. The songs themselves hold a certain sadness. There was something fragile being exposed in these songs, both coming from broken hearts, homes and people.

If all you could do was listen to this movie, you’d still love it. Mind you, probably won’t understand half the dialogue because both actors carry pretty thick and heavy accents, but it’s not about that. You would think both characters would just run away from the shanty town they live in and just make beautiful music together, but they don’t. What stopped them was reality – the reality of her broken marriage and being a mother. His reality of making it in London, whatever that meant. Nothing aligned between them – the planets, stars, zodiacs. But for a brief moment, it all didn’t matter. They were there in that studio for one purpose. Pure emotional bliss.

I always wonder what happens to couples after the “honeymoon” phase is over. Does it get harder? Or easier? Or does it all depends? Longevity in anything seems like the key goal but what if there are some things in life that are meant for only specific times. What if we had soul mates for a day? I normally wouldn’t swallow an idea like that down, but in hindsight I guess I can’t be opposed to it. Maybe if I was in some foreign country and I had male version of MPDG. Maybe.

 

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Day 36: Wings Of Desire

Wings of Desire w/ Bruno Ganz

Probably one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve ever seen. It took the concept of desire and perceived it from an eagle eye. I think we’re so used to hearing our own individual desires, it’s an appealing perspective to hear it from others. The angel, Damiel, unexpectedly seeks and ultimately desires to be human to physically feel. The idea of longing is present throughout the film. It accompanies a sense of loneliness – usually of innate human tendencies such as love, belonging and etc. It’s interesting how Damiel wants to feel the complexities of feelings, when most of the time it’s not all shits and giggles it turns out to be. We’re often distraught, stressed the fuck out or pissed about something and everything. I can’t imagine why anyone would desire any of it. But I guess it ties in to the whole “it’s better to have love, than not to have loved at all” spiel. Being a spectator is never really fun, unless it’s sports or you’re a stalker, so feelings are meant to be exposed and made to be felt at full capacity.  Continue reading

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Day 11: New York, I Love You

New York, I Love You w/ everyone and their moms

New York, I Love You is like the better version of the stupid mash up rom-coms that Gerry Marshall has been sadly producing. With a better ensemble in some short stories, the film follows different couples throughout New York. My  favorite short story had to be Anton Yelchin and Olivia Thirlby. My prom wasn’t even going down like that.

After living in New York for a couple of months, I must say this film made me miss it just a bit. Who would’ve thought the stench of garbage would be thoroughly missed. I will say though, New York does leave one hell of an impression on you. The lights, the darks, the bars, the people, everything. For as much as I am a California girl, there’s something daunting and enticing about the City That Never Sleeps. You meet so many people in the most crazy and unexpected places, coming from all walks of life. Of course, you all knew that. But just in retrospect, it just seems sooo ridiculous.  Continue reading

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Day 5: Russian Dolls

Russian Dolls w/ Romain Duris

It’s the week of finals, so things have been slowing building up to what some may call a call to insanity. Anyways, back to the movie watching! Maybe it’s the cold weather, maybe there’s l’amour in the air, but lately, I’ve been wanting to see more French romantic movies. Thanks to good ol’ Netflix, I’ve found a good little batch of Audrey Tautou films to my liking. We’re talking about the French freakin’ queen of romantic comedies, here. Undeniably so cute, it’s sickening. But the movie wasn’t completely about her. The movie is about a “struggling” writer (sigh, they are so damn charming)  whose best work is about cliched love. He has a love interest, but is apparently  also interested with everything else. We’ll just call him a perpetual lover.

Sigh, to play the single life. There’s no fairy tale that was ever told that “hey, prince charming is kind of a douchebag.” There are no fairy tales to warn you about the dragons that come with dating. Seriously, what am I suppose to slay you with? My wit? That can only last so long. Believe me, even the wit gets tainted. Nor, do they ever tell you that some princes come ill-equipped and sadly, you still kiss the damn frog. It’s too complicated to figure out I love you than plan a wedding. Are we conditioned to uphold a certain expectation given to us by fairy tales? Can there by grown up fairy tales too? I mean seriously, can there be an edition especially made for the 20+ kids? That’s the thing about love stories, sometimes they’re just stories. Whenever have you ever said anything from a movie someone you were just completely in love with? I mean day-to-day love isn’t a story either. So many questions to ask, but “we can’t say we’re uninformed. we read love stories, fairy tales..”

“It’s wild how strong these stupid moments can be. Those 12 seconds will be etched deep inside you forever. In the movies, most love stories end there. It’s better not to show what happens after.”

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