Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Stoning of Soraya M.

I've always been fond of Middle-Eastern culture and customs; the music, the dancing, the elegance, and yes also the movies. My sister recommended this one; and it unveils another side of tradition still practiced during the 20th century; a very ugly side that films like this one can thankfully expose the truth to the world, enabling society to assist in discontinuing such inhumane and inequitable sort of punishment.

We live still in a very patriarchal society worldwide; men are paid more, men are able to have the final say in politics and most times also in the home. Women are not seen for what they really are; they are the bearers of life, they are goddesses to be cherished and respected but time and time again women are given bad names like: whores, bitches, hags, and broads, among many other derogatory names. Sure there are bad apples everywhere, in all races, countries, and even sexes. However respect again is something lacking in our human race. Treat others as you would like to be treated, love others how you would like to be loved, respect one another the way you wish also to be respected…

This 2008 film written and directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh was set in the 1980's in Iran and is based on a true story of real events that sadly still continue to this day. The Stoning of Soraya M. was an intense depiction of a dutiful wife and mother's overturn to death despite her innocence. It showed the malady of what she endured in silence and accused in the end for something she would not have fathomed of committing, especially as she already endured upset because of her husband being unfaithful to her as well as beating her in front of her children. It clearly showed the double-standards not only within the Iranian/Middle-Eastern society but also within fanatical religious sects.

The performance by Shohreh Aghdashloo who played Zahra and Soraya M.'s aunt was one of the best I've seen to date. There is beauty and strength in her words and facial expressions; she is a natural at delivering believable sensitivity and emotions throughout each scene. For me, she certainly stole the show and easily made this film a classic. The camera angles, close-shots and cinematography were first-rate and the soundtrack and especially the sound effects and haunting rhythm of the hitting of stones added that much fear and thrill to help the film reach its climax.

It is interesting to me how hypocritical we are in society, when it is alright for a man to sleep with many women and be considered a hero, and it is unladylike even for a woman to smoke a cigarette; something is very wrong here. How can humans continue asking the Universe for signs and when it is given we dismiss it completely. We doubt, we complain, we pretend as though we don't see it; yet we always ask for help… When all we need to do is love one another as we would also like to be loved; but it is something that we always fail to do; until we learn first how to do this, we shall never know what true love really is.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Muriel’s Wedding

What an absolute shocker and charming film! Little did I know that picking up this little number from 1994 with an all Aussie' cast would tickle my fancy in such a wonderful way. This film made me laugh out loud, it made me cry, it made me grateful for where I'm at in my journey in life! The grass isn't always greener on the other side; and sometimes you wish and wish for something and when you get it; it ain't that grand at all – because tis' true, good things come to those who wait. There's no need to rush when you're waiting for something good; and 'Muriel's Wedding' proved that point to a T. J

Could it be the delightful Abba songs throughout? The amusing, bona fide characters? The tanned bodies sporting delicious speedos? Or the simple fact that it is relatable? Relatable because at some point or the other we are exposed to people who claim to be your friends to use you; or claim to be your friends to show-off; or claim to be your friends in order to get ahead. Those aren't your true friends, and we should never be afraid to eradicate them from our lives. Don't settle. Don't resolve or patch things up if you know deep down it's not worth it, listen to your heart, it always tells you the truth and if you don't gain respect or love then partaking in a one-sided relationship/friendship certainly isn't worth it.

This film written and directed by P.J. Hogan and starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths depicts a journey in a woman's life when her daydreams finally come to life and it isn't everything she expected. She learns how to endure in the world of Sydney after leaving home and her experiences mold her into an individual closer to accepting and loving the real her, despite the world's warped view of what she is and could be. There was intense comedy with the dialogue, witty script, comedic timing and silly facial expressions; sorrow when we see the many twists and turns our beloved main characters bear and unforgettable drama because of the highs and lows in between.

Quite a simple film with a larger than life message! I do believe I need to purchase this one and enjoy it over and over again!

Goooo Australia! J

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hold On

I figured I'd write based on the song my angels played for me on the radio while driving home from class tonight. They played, 'Up in the air Tonight' by Phil Collins, which the main message was, to hold on. And holding on I am; waiting patiently for what my heart desires and trying not to complain too much during the extensive process. I know I'm on the right track, but sometimes I have doubts and concerns.

You have doubts and concerns when you're working on a flight like I had last night. In all my years of flying I had never had a passenger who played with his dentures, tapped my arse' during the service and then coolly' lit a cigarette to smoke on my aircraft! It truly was an interesting flight. To each his own; I can understand if you like wearing Hawai'i shirts, if that's the uniform you like to wear; I can also understand if you like to rummage around in your mouth during the safety demonstration when I'm standing right in front of you; I can even understand you accidentally hitting my bum with your elbow as I shimmy through the airplane aisles…but to light a cigarette on a plane? Now, seriously!?

My saving grace on that flight was my insightful and engaging flight mate, who kept me in awe of their grace, positive energy and peaceful smiles, as well as the interesting Swiss stranger whom said 'Hello!' loudly to me in the gate area. He had messy yellow hair, well-used glasses, and carried a gigantic back-pack. We got to talking during the flight and it happened to be his birthday! He called me an angel up in the air, and said my smile and kindness made his day better. He had been having a not so good day, far less birthday and it had only been a week of his 'Around the World' trip since he'd left Switzerland.

His story was an uplifting one, as it showed how resilient he'd been thus far despite the adversity he had faced within his short 35 years on earth. He said he'd been married, had a good business, and a decent life. Then something had gone terribly wrong; his life began to change; and he was forced into new directions. He went through a divorce, lost a best friend to death, got a new girlfriend, lost her to death, he started drinking and doing drugs, and it hit him one day that he needed to live again. What did living mean for him? He said, "To live is to fly!" He sold his house and decided to travel around the world sky-diving!

He stood in the back galley, and shared stories excitedly about his travels thus far, and the plan he had for the upcoming few months. He shared videos and offered to keep in touch via face book, as he could write and show his friends the new journey he'd be taking. Upon adding him he thanked me for brightening his day and I thanked him for brightening mine. For instilling in me the beauty that we can give to each other by just being there and sharing to uplift and instill hope into someone's life. J He updated his status and wrote:

at san diego bem köbi . californen . time i here 2.22am . danke für alli lieba glückwünsch, de tag isch nöt so cool gsi , stunnela war voll fet aber sus gar nöd min tag gsi . aber den am abend , en mega süssa smile engel kennaglernt . a stwerdess. :-)))))) be mit era i kuchi vom flüger gsi am paar bierli trinka gsi . besser en engel si . i love my live . good night . :-)))))))))))))))))

I'm not sure exactly about what it says, as I am not fluent in Swiss or German yet [ha ha] but I saw the bit about "…smile engel…a stewardess…" I find it all very sweet. And that gives me hope, to keep holding on, because even when you think no-one notices, and no-one looks, or no-one cares; someone does! J

Keep holding on darlings,

You're about to bloom into something far more beautiful than you can even imagine.


Jair J

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

There comes a time in a man's life where he has to make a decision. A decision on what he wants his life to be like, and what he needs his life to be like; what happens if you could have both because you were able to push the envelope on what the world thinks your ought to be and what you know you can be. If you feel it darlings, then it must be true. Don't live a lie; fight for what you believe in. Always…

The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed by George Nolfi, was another 2011 film I'm proud of saying I managed to snag seeing before the year is over; and glad I am. It starred Matt Damon who plays young New York senator David Norris and the lovely English Emily Blunt who plays the graceful dancer Elise. The 2 meet by chance, or maybe not at all and from that first glance, that first smile, their lives both changed forever. Despite all that tried to keep them apart, and all David Norris tried to do to forget her; he just couldn't. They both always yearned for each other, and so over the many months and years, they find each other again. As they say, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, what you feel is no coincidence. What's real and true, will always be true and real J and with the aid of one of the fine men of The Adjustment Bureau, Harry Mitchell, played by Anthony Mackie, their dreams were able to become reality, despite all the odds against them.

Just my type of movie; action, adventure, a chase, an escape, a dab of romance, and excellent storyline that actually was thought-provoking and possible. The acting was first-rate, the cinematography striking and empowering and enthralling soundtrack.

All in all; I believe the film's message is that if you want something, you have to do all you can to make it happen. If you've done all you can already, then you just have to take a step back and believe it to manifest. You see, in life you can achieve many great things, but without love what really is the point of it all? When love finds you, hold on to it; and if it leaves you, then let it go. For true love finds you, annoys you, pushes you, yearns for you always, and if you let it go; then you don't deserve it. Both people have to take that risk to make it last forever…


There's something about Europe. There's something about the music…the people…how old it is…and the romance…something about love. There's something about life, and also about death. About the beauty that lives within all of us and the connections that stir if we allow it to be. The joy that radiates when it's right, the sadness that envelopes us when we feel loss and the truth that is the truth, that will always be the truth.

Clint Eastwood, a man that brought us American Western classics, with his charm, raspy voice and good-looks, swooning of many of our mother's hearts, and admired to our father's for his gun-slinging and brave ways; also now in his mature years continues to wow us, the children turning into adults, at his grand capability to captivate us with his story techniques; not only with his acting, but his writing, his directing and musical scores. We all know of Million Dollar Baby (2004) that showed where determination can take you and pivoted Hilary Swank into Hollywood's finest. Gran Torino (2008) which received 7 acclaimed nominations and 15 prestigious awards with some pretty hefty subject matter; well here is another beauty with much more controversial subject matter and it is expected that for a topic that we human beings still refuse to speak about that it would be such a hush-hush even among the film critics. Hereafter 2010 made me cry; not just with sadness but with incredible joy at the way Mr. Eastwood was able to combine historical events and the lives of strangers altogether explaining both life and death and in such a free way. Going where many fear to go and allowing skeptics to witness a glimpse of the truth within our grasps if we would only take time out to know it.

The soundtrack was adapted from the Lullaby of Sia Furler written by Samuel Dixon and Sia Furler. Although it made less than half back in America of its $50,000,000 budget, it grossed $103,800,000 worldwide. In this film the audience was given a vision of the next world, not just for our American star Matt Damon who plays George Lonegan that has the special gift, but we also follow Marie Lelay in France, played by expressive Belgium-born Cecile De France, as well as Marcus the small boy played by Frankie and George McLaren whom in my opinion stole the show with his placid and pining eyes.

A fine job done by the international crews, Warner Bros (America, Germany, France); as well as exceptional performances by all of the film's actors; one that I shan't forget along with native California born and bred American superstar Clint Eastwood!

Quite a delightful film if you're open to feel something out of the ordinary. Something real, something true, something that is and will always be. J

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tout Petit

My parents always told me, just 'let go'. We must relax and stop struggling, stop trying so hard, stop manipulating, stop coming up with strategies (what I love to do). Just surrender; let things and people try to get what they want and need, in fact just stop doing so much; and have an experience of 'just being' for a while.

Just being here now…God's will be done.

For if something isn't working; maybe there's an inner problem that needs to be resolved. Listen to the inner voice and ask what the message is. The fundamental healing ALWAYS comes from within. J

Smart cookies made me! No wonder I'm so darn sweet and crunchy! Ha ha ha J

** Sing my darling ~ sing the truth ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

**Stop Complaining

I've given this passage some thought before writing because I wanted to make it extra inspirational and special for my readers. I had the words already in my heart, but not until after lecturing at St. Finbar today was I fully indulgent about what I wanted to share.

Without faith, without love, without God, there is no life.

No quality of life that is; for sure many of us are living but so many of us are dead inside, carrying hearts of stone and pain everyday; living a lie because they've never known the truth and they can't even begin to understand the joy readily available to them.

In life, we must move with the flow of the river. If you go against the river you will gain anxiety, fear, doubts and sadness. Once you do the right things in life, then you have nothing to worry about; for greatness and salvation is promised unto you. There are many times in life when you feel as though you wish to complain about one thing or the other. Life isn't perfect; that's right, it's an adventure for the strong and resilient and you are the hero of this story, so you better believe it! Accept your obstacles and wear a broad smile and look towards the heavens and say proudly, "I accept my blessing!" For that is really what it is. My grandmother and mother always say, "Bless everything!" There is always someone suffering more and therefore because of this you must just be grateful for all the good things that are happening in your life.

Your struggles and sufferings are never forever, it is only to ensure salvation and rewards for your sweat, blood and tears. Tests if you will, to prove that you are worthy of the gifts promised to you. Some people have diseases, cancers, tragic loss, and so little love in their lives. People are in jail for crimes they haven't committed, serving precious time. It is promised that if you are brave and are open to be led by the messages given to you that those who are lonely will have comfort, those who are poor will be provided for, and those who are weak will be given strength. Worry not darlings, for you are never alone, and never forget that your heart, holds all the answers you ever wish to ask it.

Flow with the river with unwavering faith, and be calm because you are loved and you will be blessed. Keep doing the right things my darlings…

Philippians 4: 6-9 [My reading]

"A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians

Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanBoldding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you…"


**Exquisite, natural beauty...enigmatic disappearance...enigmatic prayer...enigmatic truth...

Be patient darlings, you shan't be forgotten. Peace be with you...

It's all about LOVE

"…We're supposed to be together, I can see that even through this distance…its wrong. It's wrong that everybody is away from each other, occupied with…occupied with their own $hit…"

This 2003 film directed and written by Danish Thomas Vinterberg and Danish assistant writer/professor Mogens Rukov which was only awarded 5.5 stars on IMDB; and what a bloody shame! It doesn't surprise me really that a film of such caliber be unrecognized for such a beautiful and stimulating film. For Hollywood tends to prefer big explosions and big breasts. Claire Danes, one of my unforgettable performing actresses from Brokedown Palace (1999) who always conveys emotions with such grace; did another wonderful piece of cinematic delight. She was paired along with Joaquin Phoenix and together with Sean Penn they executed a wondrous and enigmatic portrayal of an excellent script in breathtaking snowy cinematography.

This story was about what everybody talks about, complains about, but never does anything to try and make it good again. About wanting love, getting love, disrespecting it, afraid of it, and then losing it; well; maybe it didn't quite end that way in this film. Happy endings are always nice; especially when no matter the daunting fate, once you're together, it's never as bad as it may seem. Although the film was set in the future, it seemed very much like today, except that people died of heart-ache. It was a new and fast-growing epidemic as well as the fact that the planet earth was slowly falling apart; ecologically speaking. I loved how the beginning and the end of the film were shots of a plane flying to somewhere, because for me it meant that people are always trying to go somewhere and are not ever satisfied with where they're at in life. Sean Penn played Marciello, who was John's brother (Joaquin Phoenix); and he had been rid of his fear of flying by an injection and now all he wanted to do was fly. But he was lonely and throughout the film he would make endless calls to his brother; trying to reach out to him. He seemed to be the one who understood what the director/writer was also trying to convey; the message of love and how important it is in our lives.

"…Kiss her John, and save her…the world can be a good place…"

"It's snowing in July, and people's hearts stop…the chaos in the world is a reflection of the soul of the human beings…"

The music was exquisite and perfect for when they chose to play it, as it highlighted the emotions during dramatic and thrilling moments of the film. Besides Elena's (Claire Danes) horrid Polish accent, I felt that the film kept true to its message and for all who watch it, they should hopefully take with them meaningful and pertinent information on what we're really down here for. I will leave you with Marciello's last words to his brother John, and also the last words of the film, which went:

"…I just finished my report…it's about life, about youth, about love…that's the way it should be John…it's all about Love…"

Gooo Denmark! J


We've all seen many representations and interpretations of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson [1832-1898]; English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer's classic tale of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. We've also been aware of the many interesting works of Czech filmmaker and artist Jan Švankmajer, as Faust, Little Ortik and Lunacy to name a few. Put these 2 great men together and voila! It is the recipe for a dreamlike, outlandish, yet comical collaboration. J

Alice was yet another take of the many filmmakers that tried to bring Dodgson's bizarre story to life; and well, Jan's version; it is something that is certainly worth seeing. Kristyna Kohoutova who plays Alice in this film must be no older than 7 or 8 years old. She doesn't have very much to say, but does a remarkable job by interacting believably with her unreal world. Although the content used by Jan is surprisingly simple, like children blocks, socks and false teeth, he manages to bring this other world easily to life. There were slabs of meat, glass eyes and un-recognicable-type skeletons as well as close-shots of the young girl's mouth narrating for when anyone spoke.

I liked that it wasn't glam or glitz or seemingly exorbitant budget to tell a great story that was engaging, alarming and yet positively not being able to pull your eyes away from the screen. It seems to be a good film for children, although the majority of the content deals with peculiar characters that may be frightening for some.

Gooo Prague! :))

Straw Dogs

Rather delightful for me to see a current film in the cinema for once; despite me attending alone, it was a sensationally thrilling date. Dadsy mentioned that this film was a re-make from the earlier version made in 1971, where an American and his English wife were harassed relentlessly upon returning to rural England. I knew lately Hollywood had been spitting out re-makes of movies because sadly it seemed as though they didn't have any fresh ideas. Some were successful, but the majority; well let's just say it's better when you leave a good thing alone. Surely I should have watched the original one first, written by David Zelang Goldman, and screenplay and direction by Sam Peckinpah. I'm sure it would be a great escapade with the likes of Dustin Hoffman and the beautiful Susan George. But alas, I was forced to make a decision between 'I Don't Know How She Does It' starring Sarah Jessica Parker or Straw Dogs. It makes perfect sense which one I gladly chose; and the trailer with Kate Bosworth and James Marsden didn't look too bad either.

Lemme' just say before I go on further about the dynamics, and technicalities of the film to say what a sight for sore eyes and chiseled to perfection is Swedish stud-muffin and actor Alexander Skarsgård. I will not be watching True Blood anytime soon as Hollywood has truly killed the thrill and sacredness of what vampires used to be; but I must say his role on that show as well as the numerous other projects he's been working on of late, he continues to put Sweden on the map, for its brilliant directors, writers and actors. What a lucky girl Kate Bosworth is to have him arm-in-arm! And now that we've gotten the eye-candy dilemma out of the way we can move forward on the excellent acting also done by the memorable Kate Bosworth and boyish and captivating James Marsden. Tis true I haven't had the opportunity to compare both the old and new films; however I can vouch that the 2011 Straw Dogs was highly entertaining and the only film that 'really' made me squirm uncomfortably in my seat this year (which I absolutely adore).

Israeli-born Rod Lurie did a fantastic job at adapting this classic into an impressive, jolting and incredibly stimulating film. I really cared for the reflection techniques used in this film; as I always find it a more challenging and principal approach in good motion pictures. I look even more closely for reflections in mirrors and glass, but could find none in this film; making it a lovely plus. The cinematography of the nature in the swamps and forest were also breathtaking as well as the shots (no pun intended) of the deer. It was a gripping, nauseating and eventful ride, this film, and I would gladly recommend it to anyone for a lovely date night; even alone. J

Red Riding Hood

Yes, that's right; I watched yet another film starring Amanda Seyfried. It's beyond me how she has climbed the stairs of film stardom seemingly overnight, when I find her performances far from dazzling. I had to watch this film though because I am a huge fan of fairy-tales and adaptations of these fine pieces of work that although newly disguised and alluring for children, really had much darker and forewarning messages for past youth.

Now, I fancy the story of Little Red Riding Hood, I also fancied Virginia Madsen's performance in 'Candy Man' one of the scariest horror films I've seen to date, and I also have respect for Gary Oldman, English actor that has made a name for himself in award winning and nominating films like one of my favourites 'The Fifth Element' as well as The Professional; but I would be lying if I were to write here in front of you and say that I marveled at the astonishing work adapted by writer David Johnson and director Catherine Hardwicke.

This film had so much potential. A classic tale, a wonderful twist, but sadly terrible cast and not nearly enough back-story to congeal what transpired. Despite the expected height of acting expelled from Amanda Seyfried, it was side-splitting to know that the entire ancient town spoke with an American accent except for Valerie's (Amanda Seyfried) love interest #2 Henry played by Max Irons. Now to give some credit to the work put into this film, I must say that the camera techniques and camera angles and photography was first-rate thanks to Australian Cinematographer Mandy Walker.

Its shame that it took Warner Bros. $42,000,000 to create this 'could-be' classic film; and they only made $14,000,000 on opening weekend.


I was in the mood for horror and this title seemed to grab my attention. And sometimes even when you begin to think; what is it am I watching, you just have to stick with it regardless, to respect the hard work and dedication of the film even if you're not necessarily connecting with it. This 2009 French film was directed by David Morlet and written by Louis-Paul Desanges and David Morlet. It was violent, bloody, and very disturbing; not really my type of thrilling or horror type flick.

What saved this film was the acting by Hélène de Fougerolles and Francis Renaud who played the main characters Sonia and Marco. The chemistry between them was believable, even when her love was being transformed slowly but surely into a horrid beast. The cinematography also was absolutely marvelous and camera angles and techniques used showed the audience that the camera men knew what they were doing.

Highly unsettling love-story that ends with a delightful yet frightening twist; if you're in the mood for a science-fiction, sub-titled, gory love story, then tune in. It may not be the best film; but you can practice your French and admire the lovely backdrops…

A Life Less Ordinary

Just the movie a girl like me would pick on a whim based on the title alone; as it's precisely what my little heart desires! J This 1997 romantic comedy starring the younger Ewan McGregor and ever-leggy Cameron Diaz wasn't anything dramatic, shocking or academy nominated, but certainly entertaining and good-hearted fun. Writer John Hodge and director Danny Boyle executed a small idea into something short of extraordinary. From heaven to earth and back, it kept its audience giggling and gripping for the two main's characters fall for love.

A rather cupidesque route in love as it was as painful as an arrow in the heart would seem to be for anyone, yet necessary by all means as it was the one thing both of the main characters were missing in their lives. Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo who played angels of love also delivered exceptionally on their comic timing and seamless un-nerving attempts at creating love; their God-given mission to be sent to earth. One of their far from angelic sputters which went:

"Human*ucking beings, what do we have to do to make you fall in love? We did everything for them and still they don't know how to accept it!"

A light, feathery and amusing deliverance of how lovely it can be when two un-likely people fall in love. For it's what we all crave isn't it? To love and be loved; and then it wouldn't be ordinary at all, now would it? J


This film written by Nicholas Kazan and directed by Gregory Hoblit was released in 1998 and starred Denzel Washington, John Goodman and Donald Sutherland. It was during the time that court cases made up most of our day-time television and film content; when it was exciting to see justice served or lack-there-of for the thrill of its viewers. What I love about this film that it isn't just the common mystery with policemen and victims and a case that needed to be solved, it also had an un-likely fantastical twist that was something most people couldn't put their finger on or far less believe in; which most don't believe in what they can't see even though they know its very well there.

Although the film quality version of what I viewed was poor, the story made up for where the picture lacked. I felt there was enough back-story on the content on which most of its viewers wouldn't know about, in relation to other films that fall short of solidifying a new idea or philosophy to those who aren't familiar. Denzel Washington bestowed fine acting as usual; but as all his characters seem to be well-grounded and close to his true self, there wasn't any edgy lovable idiosyncrasy besides him wanting to smoke again when he didn't anymore. I enjoyed the flip-flopping of characters when the 'demonic spirit' was transferred from body to body.

I liked the idea of them using the song 'Time is on my Side' even after Death, because it gave the meaning an eerie and brilliant twist. Fallen made for a pretty good movie night, with the right dose of drama, fantasy and crime-thrilling reality. J

Saturday, October 1, 2011


** Beautiful words, beautiful song... :))


This 2010 Spanish film written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, with screenplay adaptation by Nicolás Giacobone was anything but beautiful. Now there is no need to be alarmed, for there were many beautiful things that happened to make this film exceptional; part of it being the dirty, shocking and distressing reality with which these human beings shared. This terrible but true veracity that real people do share is quite very much on the other side of the spectrum of what others of us do enjoy.

From the pitiable surroundings, wall graffiti, outdated wardrobe, strip clubs, jumpy camera movements and shifty characters sprinkled throughout it was an excellent recipe for a believable crime-ridden Barcelona. It's always extraordinary to take a peep into a world unfamiliar to yours and have it be set on fire thanks to remarkable acting throughout by Oscar winner Javier Bardem, long-time actress Marciel Alvarez. I found that admist the chaos of this family's life, Iñárritu managed to mold small bits of splendor within it all; like the magnificent formation of birds in flight, an angel statue painted person witnessing a chase on the streets, wind and sea sounds at select moments and the beating of hearts when there was a hug with love.

The dialogue also was marvelous, with lovely quotes that kept its audience soothed, such as: "…still are your lashes, and so is your heart…" and "It's dangerous to trust a man who's hungry…" The soundtrack also was outstanding and memorable to put this film at such high caliber. Many who do not speak Spanish would wonder why is Beautiful spelt as Biutiful in this film, when that certainly isn't it. Well; there is a small, maybe insignificant part of the film for many where Ana played by Hanaa Bouchaib asks her father what was the correct spelling for beautiful, and then later on in the film, Uxbal played by Javier Bardem realizes that his daughter posted a drawing on his refrigerator of a place where the snow falls and labels it as Biutiful. She is only 10 years old and this is truly an innocent and beautiful experience for a dying, single father, battling his manic/bi-polar wife who abuses their children, adulterant brother, and un-reliable and squalid work mates.

Death is palpable for those diagnosed with sickness; but what happens when it is given to a man who already has the gift of welcoming the dead to the other side of life? Exceptional job and thought-provoking film delivered again by the calm and talented Bardem and another first-rate director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Gooo Spain! J


We are constantly barraged with others thoughts and opinions, and although it is true that everyone has the right to their thoughts and opinions, they shouldn't have the right to taint or poison our minds also. Being it their intent or not, this entrapment happens to us quite frequently. We feel drained, used, abused, confused, polluted and taken so far off-course of where we're supposed to be. Our vision becomes clouded and we begin thinking in a warped, helpless and pretentious sort of way. At that moment, you may feel that it is the only way to survive, but at the end of the day do you really enjoy stumbling aimlessly in the darkness?

There is a light; there is truth; and it is found within you. To see the light and hear the truth, you must search within yourselves to find it; and the only way you can find it is by purifying your heart, mind and soul. The great teachers that have gone before us; Jesus, Siddhartha, and Mohammed to name a few, all had god-like attributes and qualities, but not only until they became humble were they able to become exalted on high. Life is not a race for the fastest, not a competition for the strongest, or most beautiful; because none among us are perfect in this sense. We are all here as reflections of each other striving for the same things. You shall only be given the truth when you have the freedom to be you; the freedom to to show love and compassion to your fellow man, and to be of loving service. This is how you may obtain purification.

This should be a desire towards attaining your heart's gladness and joy. For never again will you be faltering in the night; you will be directed by your heart with the path of truth and the fullness of happiness because of the love which surpasses all else. There is no need for manipulation, for un-kept promises and illusions, for these will never bring you true happiness; it is only through connecting with the deeper meaning of life and what it has to offer and what services you can offer for the greater good that will bring you inner happiness, greater than any material goal or success.

These times are something else; people posting on face book, this statement and that in trying to gain recognition and admiration. Why do we try to gain this disparaging and fake kind of love? We are overcompensating and under pressure to have some sort of power in our lives, because we feel as though we are missing something; and that we cannot succeed unless we are on top. This is not so darlings, for we are companions on a journey and sharing life; we have every right to be here, and every right to abundance as the stranger standing next to you. Why not give truly from the heart instead of battling against one another? Now is the time to purify and cleanse your hearts and minds. For the greatest treasure remains unfound until we choose to unearth it; the choice is yours…

You can search and search for meaning on the outside, but it is not until you are true with yourself, will the emptiness inside be filled up with the purification within!


Love Jair J

How to Love

** Some people just don't know how to love ... be sure to love yourself. The small girl/boy inside deserves that care...

~Jair :))