My Thoughts on La La Land

A couple weeks ago my best friend took me to see her favorite new movie, La La Land. I had heard that it was pretty great. In fact, my friend took me out for coffee beforehand to give me the whole schpeel on the colours, costumes, cinematography, live singing, one-take scenes, authentic Ryan Gosling piano playing and Emma Stone singing, and all other bits and bobs, just to make sure I appreciated it as much as I ought.

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Naturally, I was expecting it to be pretty good. However, I wasn’t expecting it to be one of those punch-you-right-between-the-eyes kinda films.

Here are a few candid thoughts from my journal the night I watched it:

“How cynical have I become? I used to be a dreamer. I would have been able to relate to the characters in the story, the hopelessly passionate dreamers of our world. But I am disillusioned.

*censored personal rantage*

…I do sympathise with dreamers, but I also resent them. Things just don’t go the way we plan as kids. Everyone must learn to compromise.”

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On the one hand, it is sad to watch a movie and realize that while a couple of years ago I could have put myself in the shoes of the characters to dance about, I have somehow become too cynical and unromantic now.

On the other hand, I am not at all tempted to change my ways. I am pretty much satisfied with being practical. This is how things have to be (for now at least).

 

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By far my favorite scene/song in the film.

 

Another thing the movie made me think about (and this is a bit more of a spoiler, so read ahead with caution) is all the could-have-been’s in life. It is a scary reality that every day we make choices that affect our entire lives. When we pursue one dream, we often (be it knowingly or unknowingly) leave another in the dust.

Okay, so enough personal mumbo-jumbo.

Can we talk about the music? Can we talk about how lil sis and I are going to spend the next few months digesting and regurgitating the entire soundtrack? Because it is epic.

I love musicals and am thankful that La La Land brought a traditional musical to the big screen. For that reason, I can forgive the film for leaving me a wet soggy broken mess unable to stop crying through the entirety of the credits.

Have you seen La La Land yet? What did you think?

The U.S. National Whitewater Center

Well hello everyone! I am in the middle of packing. And by packing I mean the continuation of my war on stuff. Because while I have room in my suitcase, I don’t have any weight to spare. I can only bring two suitcases under 50lbs each. Right now I probably have about 130lbs worth of stuff. Challenge accepted.

I apologize that my blog hasn’t been what I wanted it to be these past few weeks. Hopefully once I settle into my new home I’ll be able to find some rhymn and reason to my life and start blogging regularly again. Today I want to share a post I guest wrote for This Is My South, a wonderful website for anyone considering a vacation in the Southern USA.

Yeah, just as I about to leave I am starting to appreciate the gorgeousness and culture and mountains and just plain heaven that is the South. I will miss my North Carolina. Why is it that so often we don’t appreciate things until they are gone?

I wrote about one of my favorite local activities, the national whitewater center. Check it out here!

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Review: The Taming of the Shrew

Oh Shakespeare. You always have the words. Isn’t it amazing? That one mysterious Londoner in the 16th century had the skill and education to write a canon of what is widely considered the basis and best of all English literature? All the classical allusions, the foreign language quotations, the history, the literary allusions – WHERE DID YOU GET IT?!?! My main thought on Shakespeare is disbelief.

Putting that aside for a moment, it is February! Which means Renaissance month for the Fanda Classic lit 2015 reading challenge.

I had high and lofty ambitions about reading Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe or some other big thick intimidating theological work. Alas, between preparing for my trip and working more than ever before, I got distracted. Not to mention the fact that my older brother strongly cautioned me against Marlowe, apparently he can be quite vulgar and crude? Does anyone have experience?

Anyhow, I decided to settle for another Shakespeare instead. Good old Shakespeare is always there with another play. They are always fantastic and widely available at every library ever.

The Taming of the Shrew

The last play I read by Shakespeare was Othello, So as I began reading, I was emotionally preparing myself to be angered and torn and just, you know, dunked into the dumps of humanity. However, The Taming of the Shrew is most definitely a comedy. The entire play is much lighter in flavor (thank goodness).

This play has more characters than I think is normal for Shakespeare, Regardless, in typical Shakespearean fashion, one guy pretends to be another guy who is pretending to be this guy and basically it gets confusing really really fast. However, by the end of the play I understood who was who without doing any outside research or serious figuring.

The story was a simple tale of rich men courting two Italian sisters. One sister is angelically kind and one is about as pleasant as an angry pig. A bunch of guys want to wed sister (go figure), but the mean sister is older and must be married off before the young sister can begin courting. So it goes that the men plot and jest and woo and rival.

I must say, this is probably the most light hearted and simple of all the Shakespeare I have read. It was certainly enjoyable and fairly easy to read.

Of course, Shakespeare writes in antiquated language and can be difficult to understand at first. The more you read, the more you get used to it. I find that by the end of the first act I have usually gotten the hang of it, after which the Elizabethan style comes quite naturally. 

Added Bonus: The story takes place in Italy, which means that Shakespeare threw in a bit of Italian. (Don’t worry, a good copy will provide translation in the footnotes). Since I am studying Italian, I was encouraged to see that I understood it all. Of course it is mostly just the occasional greeting or farewell, but still… I was happy.

Have you ever read a Shakespeare play? What did you think?