Sunday, 3 June 2012

Musing Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation is a quiet film. Not quiet in the sense that it's boring, not in the slightest, it is by far one of the most interesting and engaging films I have ever seen. It's just quiet, a brooding film that stays with you long after the credits roll. One of the reasons I have such an affinity with this film is that it is completely up to the viewer how to the perceive the relationship between the two main characters, Bob and Charlotte. In my eyes, it is the perfect love story, so simplistic, it doesn't need long, intense dialogue or endless scenes of affection between the characters.

I watched this film when it first came out, eight years ago, boy does that make me feel old. My mum hated it, the first sign of a fabulous motion picture. I was fifteen years old when I watched this film and I understood it even then, the intense despair, loneliness and crisis that the character were seemingly trapped in, and the solace that they afforded each other. Lost in Translation remains my favourite romance film of all time, even though on the surface it may not seem romantic at all. At the age of twenty three, I can now fully relate to Charlotte, the lost young women who has travelled with her husband to Japan with hopes of finding her true calling. There is one truly wonderful scene in the film in which Charlotte explains her hopelessness to Bob, saying:

'I just don't know what I'm supposed to be. I thought maybe I wanted to be a writer...but I hate what I write, and I tried taking pictures, but John's so good at that, and mine are so mediocre...and every girl goes through a photography phase, like horses, you know, dumb pictures of your feet...'

For me, there hasn't been a more realistic scene in cinema since Charlotte laid on her hotel bed with Bob Harris and shared her fears. In a few sentences, Sofia Coppola managed to sum up the entire twenty-something female experience, at least she summed up mine. I wish I had written it, it's just so perfect, so encompassing and so god damn true. As a young person, I'm still coming to terms with who I am, what I want from life, what I want to achieve and what I want to leave behind when I depart this world. My mind is indecisive, running wild because this whole world has provided me too many options when it comes to what I actually want to do. I feel like Charlotte, minus the marriage, I'm wandering around lost with too many roads to travel down, and all I desperately want is someone to show me the way.

At its core, Lost in Translation is a love story, a romance of sorts, but the majority of people would probably view it more as a tale of friendship. In my head, Bob and Charlotte are happy together, he whispered to her that he loved her, left his loveless marriage and she hers, and they embarked on a soul-searching journey in which they found their true selves. This is why Lost in Translation is essentially a film of your own creation, it provides you the opportunity to let your imagination run wild, to decide their ending for yourself. Whatever happened between them, I sincerely hope that Charlotte discovered what she wanted to do. I hate to think of her ambling through the misery of indecision alone, stuck with a man who doesn't satisfy her desire. Wherever Bob and Charlotte are, I hope they're happy with their lives, with their decisions, and I hope they're not lost any more.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

How to be Cher Horowitz.

When I was much younger than I am now, I used to pretend to be Cher Horowitz from the nineties gem that is Clueless! With her computerized wardrobe, plaid skirts and backpacks, Cher was without a doubt the best dressed student at Bronson Alcott. She was the ultimate valley girl, surrounded by girlfriends and madly in love with, (but unaware of said love), with her ex-step-brother. Here are a few tips on how to emulate the Queen of the 90's teen movie, Miss Cher Horowitz.

Purchase a plaid skirt suit.

Swag yourself a 90's Motorola flip.

Bug out on gay guys and fall off the bed whilst trying to be sexually alluring.

Get a rich father and access to his credit card non-stop.

Wear knee high socks in all weather conditions.

Don't smoke pot, unless it's a special occasion y'know?

Have a teenage angst breakdown when you realize how superficial you've become.

Have the most beautiful hair in the world.

Cry yourself to sleep tonight because you realize you'll never be Cher Horowitz, that this isn't the 90's and that you're life is nowhere near as interesting as hers.

Photos and gifs don't belong to me, credit to random people on Tumblr.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Under-rated dead people....Esquerita.

Not many people have heard of Esquerita, it's a damn shame. In many ways Esquerita was Little Richard before Richard Penniman decided to don a pompadour and sing about a girl named Sue who knew just what to do. Eskew Reeder Jr. was born in South Carolina in 1935, when he was just a babe he sung for the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. He was a gospel singer naturally, but quickly made friends with two local girls who were studying the in's and out's of operatic singing. The two opera gals taught him how to hit the highest notes, which he then called upon in later life whilst performing his raucous, piano-driven rock & roll. Eskew taught himself piano, a natural pro with no lessons, according to Little Richard it was the wild Esquerita that actually taught him how to play.

He got his first break with a short-lived gospel group, the Heavenly Echoes, and when they split he ended up singing at the Owl Club back in Greenville. Eskew got wild with his style, he'd often sport make-up, a six-inch pompadour and a rock star's swagger, he was 'discovered' by talent scouts in 1958 and it was Mr Gene Vincent that actually convinced Capitol Records to sign him. Eskew Reeder changed his name to Esquerita and a star was born, well, maybe.

The music consumers of the late fifties didn't seem to be too interested in Esquerita, since they had all been pretty mesmerised by Little Richard, by the end of the decade raucous rock & roll had become old news. Sadly Esquerita never managed to get the critical acclaim and he died in 1986 due to aids related illnesses. I love Little Richard, but I strongly feel that Esquerita was a more talented musician. He was original y'know? He had these great ideas, these new and unique ideas, he basically invented camp rock & roll. I know that most of the great musicians ripped someone off somewhere along the line, I mean look at Elvis. Still, it makes me mourn for the original talent, the ones that have the ideas but never make it big. I mourn for Esquerita.

Music isn't what it once was, I'm not sure when it became so boring, so timid, so controlled. I long for the likes of Esquerita tearing up the piano, three wigs on his head, huge sunglasses, face covered in glitter. What makes me even more sad is that he spent the last years of his life as a parking lot attendant in Harlem. He watched his pal Little Richard get rich, get famous, get a mansion and get inducted into the rock & roll hall of fame. I'm not saying that Rich didn't deserve it, of course he did, but he still runs around claiming to be the architect of rock & roll, telling everyone how Elvis ripped off all those black musicians in the 50's. Well of course he did Richard, but so did you!

To close, I'd like to leave you with a few songs by the uber talented Esquerita. Listen to them, write about them, tell your friends, tell your family, play them in public. Don't let Esquerita become a forgotten name.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

What Molly Ringwald taught me.

The ingredients of sushi.
"Rice, raw fish and sea-weed."

That The Rave-Ups are a very, very good band.
Molly became a friend of the band and convinced John Hughes to feature them in the movie 'Pretty in Pink'.

     Not all 'richies' are evil.
"You couldn't buy her, though, that's what's killing you, isn't it? Stef? That's it, Stef. She thinks you're shit. And deep down, you know she's right."

Bad boys are hot.
In 'The Breakfast Club' Molly's character Claire hooks up with the class rebel, John Bender. She fights her way through his tough and grungey exterior and finds the sweet core within. She also teaches us that bad boys are super-duper-fine and even though they might sneak a look at our panties underneath a table they really do have hearts.

 Buy a dress, don't make one.
Come on, as much as I love the idea of making your own clothes, that dress she wore at the end of 'Pretty in Pink' really did suck.

   If you get an exchange student living with you, don't take him to a party.
"No more yankie my wankie. The Donger need food."

  Don't give your pants to a nerd.
Or do, but if he's charging entry make sure you get a 10% cut of the profits.

  How to dance.
 Whenever I go out I always try to channel Molly Ringwald through my moves.

  Chicks cannot handle their smoke.
Get some practice in before you smoke a joint in front of the guy you deny having the hots for but totally do.

  Get a job in a record store.
You get to listen to music all day and try on sunglasses. Easy peasy.

 Wear one earring and have a really goofy smile.
   And don't forget to date a guy that looks just like Anthony Michael Hall.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Fox Mulder, oh how you smoulder.

Fox Mulder, I love you.

Seriously, I know I use this word 'love' an awful lot but in the case of you, I mean it with all of my heart. When I was a kid and I used to watch The X-Files with my dad, or play the original PC game, I never realised the depth of my adoration. Alas, I have blossomed into a woman now and it's safe to say that you have well and truly captured my heart. It's not just your wonderfully coiffed hair or the way you look when you losen that tie and unbutton the top of your shirt, although both have the power to make me salivate.

It's not just the burning sexual energy you share between Scully, or the way you'd go to the ends of the earth to save her but you don't ask a thing in return. It's not just your constant pursuit of the truth or your dedication to protecting our world from the things that go bump in the night. And it's not just the way you looked in the pilot episode, spooky Mulder with his thick-rimmed glasses, the poster on the wall declaring that you want to believe.

It's your beautiful face. The face that made a million women swoon in desperation and wild abandon throughout the 90's, the face that inspired over 8,000 stories on Like many characters that I grew up with, I find it difficult to think that Fox Mulder doesn't actually exist. Of course, I'm not deluded, I'm very much aware that he isn't real, reality really does suck doesn't it?

But y'know, when I go to sleep at night, he is real. As real as real can be, and he smoulders as we dive deep into the world of unexplained phenomona. Lips pursed, fingers flicking through X-file after X-file, desperately searching for answers in a sea of questions. 

I love you Fox Mulder, fact or fiction. My love knows no boundaries.

And here is the greatest video I have ever seen, it's quite obscene how much I relate to this song, especially on boring Sunday nights.

Bree Sharp - David Duchovny