Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tiny Furniture

I remember reading an extensive and praiseworthy article about this film a few years ago; they spoke of a young girl named Lena Dunham, with a larger-than-life gift of writing, directing and acting from New York. She had just graduated with her Bachelor's in Creative Writing from a University in Ohio and after making web-series and short films, her film career was born, and in very fortunate standings.

This 2010 film was nominated for 4 awards and received 3 wins, it also opened the doors for a hit television series which is still airing called 'Girls'. With strong references to Woody Allen, Dunham does have his film style with simplicity yet profound and sometimes exhausting heavy conversations. Reminicent of 'The Graduate' with a female and modern-day twist. I found myself laughing throughout the film and although there was an abrupt ending and no inherent insightful message, it was plain entertaining and shone light on the confusions and mishaps of what it means to grow up and learn responsibilities. It was strange, silly, embarrassing and very, very funny.

In this film in particular, acting was a breeze as the main characters Dunham played alongside were her mother Laurie Simmons and younger sister Grace Dunham. Others that joined in the fun have become main characters in her hit television series like English, Jemima Kirke, Merritt Wever and Alex Karpovsky.


Sick world we live in, really; just think about how much we continue to destroy and hurt our fellow man. Out of fear, out of jealousy, out of greed, out of hate. We all are reflections of ourselves, the good side, and the bad side; the 'ying-yang' of our deep and sometimes broken personalities. Love is quickly losing it's worth and meaning because we humans are forgetting what 'Love' really is, what 'Love' really means. Hurting others is essentially only hurting ourselves. We are drowning ourselves in lies and make-belief instead of dealing with the root of the problems…and so they grow; grow into gigantic forests of disappointment.

Life isn't fair. People die. People suffer. And sometimes hard work seemingly does not bring just rewards. But if we don't have hope in life, we may as well be dead. Hope reminds us that we have something to live for and that we still have purpose. We may not know the exact reason just yet, but everything is revealed in divine time. We must accept our disappointments in life, in others and in situations but we must never lose hope. "There is a crack in everything, that's how light gets in…" [Leonard Cohen] Therefore without the stinging falls, upsets and failures we would never be able to truly see with eyes of truth. Life takes on new meaning when we are awake to truth.

Quit blaming yourself. You must remember that there is evil. And there is goodness. And that before greatness, evil forces are set against you. True success doesn't come easily. And if it does, your life loses meaning. Those that betray you, sabotage you and drag your soul in the mud, are only hurting themselves, they have no power over your destiny. So pick yourself and breath warm resilience. You can cut all the flowers, but you can't keep spring from coming [Pablo Neruda]. They cannot stop you, they will not stop you, they only set themselves up for making their world darker, with more sadness, more confusion and more fear. 

My darlings, use that pain, and create something beautiful. Something inspirational for those who suffer more than you. For those who are helpless, without vision, without voice, without hope. When you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on [Theodore Roosevelt]. We must hold on for dear life, a better life, one full of optimism, one full of nurturing, one omitting despair. 

Evil might be strong, young, powerful and seemingly beautiful. But it's an illusion. Because what they give out they ooze and are filled of - ultimately killing themselves slowly - a slow sick burning - yearning to learn to love again…take pity on them, for they know not what they do…


Love Jair

Friday, August 30, 2013


I've walked these streets
A virtual stage
It seemed to me
Make up on their faces
Actors took their
Places next to me

I've walked these streets
In a Carnival
Of sights to see
All the cheap thrill seekers
The vendors & the dealers
They crowded around me

Have I been blind
Have I been lost
Inside myself and
My own mind
By what my eyes have seen?

I've walked these streets
In a spectacle of wealth & poverty
In the diamond market
The scarlet welcome carpet
That they just rolled out for me

I've walked these streets
In the mad house asylum
They can be
Where a wild eyed misfit prophet
On a traffic island stopped
And he raved of saving me

[repeat, repeat, repeat]

**Life is a Carnival, one, big, sick, Carnival...when will we learn to truly LOVE...**

Lars and the Real Girl

What a darling and outstanding performance once more delivered by the enormously quiet and sensitive Ryan Gosling! I wouldn't have watched this film if it wasn't recommended to me by a classmate and my acting coach. Appearing outwardly to be mostly a comedy, this 2007 film was in fact much more dramatic and sorrowful. 

Mental illness is a real thing, and often times not talked about or dealt with. We've witnessed another great story of such content in 'Silver Linings Playbook' which obtained great reviews, awards and nominees and 'Lars and the Real Girl' hangs hugely around those same lines. Many times we ask ourselves, what is acceptable and normal, and less times asked how can we make it right. The world is sick. And we'll be witnessing many more of people reaching their breaking points due to a lack of love and communication in our present time. This film shines light on a terribly important topic of what loss and lack of love can do to an individual and how support, trust and patience brings that light to live again.

Written by Nancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie (who usually directs commercials), they were able to bring huge amounts of comedy into a tragic and heart-warming situation. With a run-time of 106 minutes and a budget of $12 million USD, even though they weren't able to make back their financial output, they were able to gain support by great actors, Gosling, English Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider and Patricia Clarkson to name a few, and garnered 8 wins, and 17 nominations including  1 Oscar nominee for this unconventional and lovely story. 

Filmed in Ontario, Canada, the snowy and dreary weather made for an excellent palette to showcase the feelings and emotions exhibited in this journey of love, acceptance and self-discovery. 

The Conjuring

I love a good scare. The more facts, the more real, the more exciting a film is for me. I'd heard many great things about this film and from my research I've found out that this film is indeed based on real, true events during the 1970's. This 2013 Horror/Thriller written/adapted by Chad and Carey Hayes and directed by Malysian James Wan (whom you may remember directing 'Insiduous' and 'Saw') certainly made a wonderfully hair-raising film. Was it completely traumatic, alarming or chilling? For the majority of movie-goers, that would be a distinct yes. Wan has peaked his film-making abilities in being able to regurgitate in a most excellent way of evoking these fearful emotions. For me, however, sadly it was a distinct, definite and dreadful  let-down. 

The research, marketing, strategy of fear tactics as well as educational factors and great line-up of cast proved to be quite successful at the box-office. With a budget of a whopping $20 million USD, within the film's first 3 days in cinemas, they made back double with almost $42 million USD, and within a short month even larger than quadrupled with a gross of $131 million USD.

The detail to story, phenomenal chemistry and acting as well as snazzy film used and camera angles and techniques added to the thrilling entertainment for this movie's audience. Lovable Patrick Wilson whom you may remember from 'Insiduous', 'Hard Candy' and 'Little Children', piercing blue-eyed and extraordinary actress Ukranian-American Vera Farmiga whom you may remember from 'Source Code' and 'Up in the Air', gentle-faced Lili Taylor whom you may recall from 'Ransom' and 'The Haunting' and funny-man Ron Livingston from 'Office Space' and 'Swingers' lent their commitment and expertise on set. Joey King for me who plays young 'Christine' is the young up-and-coming actress that stood out for me, whose career has now been pivoted into the spotlight and may be soon known as a young Angelina Jolie.

Anything bizarre, unexplainable and different is seen as 'weird' or 'scary' in society and because of this I can see why many movie-goers found this one to be high on the scary charts. Despite this film's excellent story-telling, it did not deliver as much fear as I'd have liked. There were great tactics used for the climax of surprise, but not enough endurance or long-lasting petrifying effects that our classic horror films left us with. I'd give a silver star for effort and being worthy but there have been other films that have gotten me a lot more sensationally bothersome.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. 

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. 

Exercise caution in your business affairs, the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of the youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not stress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. 

With all it's sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful, strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920