July 26, 2014
It’s been a while, I know.
John Carney, for those out of the loop, is a film director. About 7 years ago his film Once got recognition it deserved, winning an Oscar for Best Original Song when a live action princess musical was up for three songs in that category. Seriously, it must have felt awful for anyone involved in that film.
Anyways, having returned from my second viewing of Begin Again (as much as I love movies, it’s extremely rare for me to go to the theater twice), I realized that there are themes similar in both movies. There is the music of course. Which is wonderful singer-songwriter stuff. If you liked the mus in Once, which many of us did, you’ll enjoy the music in Begin Again.
There are hints of a love story between the two main characters, which there was in Once. In fact, the male lead even tells the female lead in Once to stay over, which was a dumb idea. But in Begin Again, one moves forward in their relationships while the other is able to reconnect.
But that is what John Carney stumbled upon.
We all have a soft spot for rom-coms where the two leads fall in love and are perfect for each other, if only for the 100 minutes of their lives we see. As much as we want to be above it and tell ourselves love doesn’t last, when you’re in that mindset and you see it, it just reinforces the idea. Maybe this will last. Maybe this is the one.
And, there is the other side. It’s a Hollywood ending and love is tough and you have to work for it. So there is the occasional film where the two main leads do not fall in love with each other. And the skeptics rejoice. It’s more realistic. The lesson is learned but the loves doesn’t last.
But what these two films have in common that very few other films do, is how doing something with your life can give you the strength to do what you have to. Getting that music down and having a final product gives people the strength to get past what’s holding them back. Have someone to get over? Write that poem to get over the person. Want to get someone back? Do the one thing you’ve wanted. Do the one thing you did when you two were in love.
It took me forever to realize this personally, but sitting around feeling sorry for yourself only makes things worse. Distracting yourself with a project gets you ahead. Not only are you doing something you’ve wanted, you’re showing passion for something.
And that’s what it boils down to. It isn’t a Hollywood ending. It isn’t how tough love is. It’s passion in your life. It’s having the courage to do what you want, and hopefully get what you want.
June 12, 2013
I always wondered if the title of the album is a pun on “right.” Can you be right about love? Were you right about love, and it being something so heavy that you would have to write about it?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write. In grade school, I imagined myself being R.L. Stine with his Goosebumps books. You have to remember, this is long before Google, so searching for what he looked like was out of the question.
In high school, I fell in love with movies, and I imagined becoming that writer/director combination. I learned about the directors all the cool kids liked – Stanley Kubrick. This was also when Tim Burton was “goth” and Kevin Smith was an indie genius.
In college, I dug deeper. Orson Welles became a personal hero. David Lynch was good at messing with your mind. Darren Aronofsky was clever, and low budget. Richard Linklater was…low budget.
After college, the digging continued. As did the hopes of many other filmmakers. Christopher Nolan was worth researching. Wes Anderson released a handful of great movies. Other low budget things caught my eyes, namely Primer.
I also dug into what I was positive was my genre – dystopias. I watched Dark City. I loved Blade Runner. I also got lost in Hollywood – Matrix and Matrixesque spinoffs. Then, something happened.
You see, after college, I was wondering what I was doing with my life. I thought a lot, and usually nothing good or conclusive, but I thought. I found out about philosophers who may or may not have paralleled my concerns. Albert Camus. Sartre. Neitzsche. I got into Deism, and dabbled in Buddhism.
In turn, I found what may have been hidden treasure. I discovered a cheap copy of Orson Welles’ The Trial. I knew the name from Citizen Kane – who hasn’t? At first I didn’t get it. Why is this man being pursued? It is unclear what he did wrong, and in the end he accepts his fate. Is that all there is to life?
After moving out, I caught on to what was going on – or so I interpreted. I had to spend wisely, if at all, while being out on my own. I couldn’t have fun like I once did. If I drank, I couldn’t get trashed because I had an apartment to take care of. In 2009 when I moved out I didn’t realize that. In 2013, three and half years after moving out, I am used to it.
You see, I thought writing was a childhood dream. And I realized, I had to live an adult waking life. It was a nightmare!
The Trial has themes of feeling guilty and age and loss. Being out on your own, with no one to protect you, you have feelings of guilt and loss and age. I should not have bought that wall-sized poster of ants because now I can’t afford rent!
I realized that I wasn’t living in a dystopia, as much as I was living in a social dystopia. Life isn’t hard, it is social pressures that are hard. You have to have money! You have to have friends! You have to not just survive but thrive!
You see, for the longest time, I thought that was my genre. I was positive I was put here, just to show people how backwards the society we live in is. And so I read 1984. And I read Brave New World. And I watched Synecdoche NY and Brazil – more examples of society preventing you from doing what you want. But if you learn to content where you are, you won’t have these troubles (of course, we’re back the Buddhism thing – I want to do nothing but meditate and enlighten. But to enlighten I have to get up and show people peace! And if I don’t show them peace then what good is meditating?).
And then I grow up. And I love. And I lose. And I read Warm Bodies. And I love, or so I think. And I lose. And I hurt. And I dwell. And I reflect. And I watch Warm Bodies. And I realize that love can bring new life to things.
But I think about that forced genre. The idea of something creepy falling in love. Hey, I know my flaws. I’m part of the internet age, I stalk – I’m creepy!
And I realize, it isn’t a social dystopia. It’s human interaction. It’s love. Write about love.
And that’s why I’m extra happy I’m getting into Star Trek – now do those videos make sense? Man can travel the stars, and all that will persist is human drama. The apocalypse can occur and what will remain? Human drama.
And I realize, being that creep and being in love is the perfect analogy to being human. And I write while I take a break from the internet during Lent. And I write about a werewolf who matures and stays human. An adult human.
And I realize, as much as I’ve been hurt, I’m still turning into into a creative outlet. And I realize, there are creatures in our subconscious and ancient myths who can add to things we feel in day to day life.
And while yes, I am writing on a blog, and wow is this a long entry, I don’t feel this is me. I did not take journalism in college. I took art. I studied media communications, and focused on video production.
We all want to be that director and win an Oscar. But for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write. I can write here. Or I can explain lessons I’ve learned without the aide of movies or music, and I just write.
May 31, 2012
I think this will be my last post here.
I’m considering making a new blog, but I’m not too sure yet. Regardless of if I do or not, it isn’t as if I have readers following my entries, who would need a notice of my new online whereabouts.
I was thinking of writing a few different things here. Mainly things I never got to write. I was gonna write about me cause I’m self-centered, or write about my friends but then reflect it back on me.
This blog has definitely run its course, I hadn’t posted on it for ever five months and no one cared. Well, the author of another blog (who is in my blogroll!) had mentioned it, but only after I wrote a comment on his. Of course.
I don’t mean any harm by writing that.
So, I guess in the long run, no, I am not as creative as I would like to be. Which, I guess is a human trait I never thought of until now. We all wanna be rock stars or movie directors, don’t we? But, either we don’t express our creativity, or we try to, and no one likes it the way we do. Or, just a small number of people do.
So, if you aren’t as creative as you’d like to be, let me leave you with this. A manager at a job I used to have once told me that God created us, so we should create. I found that very insightful, even though I am not all that religious. So, for those of us who do not believe in God, or an almighty creator, let me leave you with this as well. If we do not create, we have nothing to leave behind. Nothing to ever show that we were here.
It’s true, one day the world will end, and one day the universe will end. But for now, let’s create, while we still can.
May 27, 2012
Wow, I never realized how much that sounds like (or at least rhymes with) the ‘new’ Death Cab album…
Well, I made it. Practically three years in the making, since I had it that one fateful morning at my parents’ house.
I have that job. Well, kinda. I have my apartment. I have some weekends off, but definitely have Sundays off.
However, there are new stipulations. Such as an oven that I should clean, and a smoke detector that is very sensetive.
But I had it. Toast and tea, the way life should be.
May 18, 2012
May has always been an interesting month for me. For starters, it’s my mother’s name. Um, pretend I didn’t write that…
For most students, May is one month before summer break which also means finals or regents testing depending on your state. As a college student, May means finals – and graduation. In fact, five years ago to the date I graduated from college!
While I can’t say what has happened to me every May since college – like I think I can with November cause of pretty girls – May has definitely been up with Novemeber as a meaningful month in my life.
As I said, I graduated college in May. Last year, I swore I was in love with someone (which reminds me – what a terrible idea that was!). But what that really meant to me in the long run is that I can love. Usually I’m as exciting as a blank book cover. Only when I’m falling and my innards are flapping was my life exciting. But having the ability to love is something I never saw in myself – until last year.
This May, I am continuing on with my never ending growing, never ending learning, and never ending changing. I got a Full Time spot at a bank. Which on the surface isn’t much – I didn’t go to school for accounting or anything. BUT, it also means that I can finally leave my high school job. Which definitely was the most exciting thing as of late.
And I can look at this two ways. There goes a good chunk of my life that made me who I am – good, bad and indifferent. Or, I can look at it as a chance to look towards the future. The moment I left I should’ve done this, I could’ve done that.
But also, the moment I left, I was ready to start the next chapter of my life. There will be challanges, and there will be problems to face. But I can finally wake up in my apartment on a Sunday, drink tea and eat toast. Cause that was what I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time.
The question isn’t if the reward of toast is worth the challanges. It is if I’m up for the challanges. And the answer had better be yes – cause if I’m not, I’m losing this apartment, that toast, and that tea.
December 31, 2011
Yesterday, one of my fishies died. I had it for eight years – very old for a fish. But it was my fault – I took really bad care of my fish. But that’s why I get hardy fish like silver dollars, who take it and take it and take it, and finally die – after eight years.
About a week ago, I went home to my parents’ house. It was Christmas, and I felt I had to. I watched football with my family, which I never do. And it was nice. I think I finally see what my mom does, just because my dad does. She didn’t know a damn thing about sports, now she knows the Red Sox better than I do – not that I’m a Red Sox fan.
About a month or so ago I put my ex in her place. And I felt bad, but it needed to be done. That makes me sound horrible. Perhaps I am – afterall, I let a fish I had for eight years just die like that – *finger snap*
About a year ago, I was smitten with someone. It didn’t work out. Oh well.
But last year, I was a very different person. And it feels weird how I am now. There’s a side of me that’s no different from how I used to be. Every old crush is worth my time. Even if she has a boyfriend. And there’s a side of me that looks to future – and knows I should look to the future – but that makes me just as lonely.
I never wrote posts like they’d be my last. I always wanted to report my shortcomings, and maybe I’ll try to fulfill them tomorrow. But everything dies, everything goes away. I wanted to make an album about that – and I want to make a movie that mentions that.
Maybe one day, I’ll let go of that balloon, that I let go of. It is resolutions time, isn’t it?