Archive | July 2015

“The Mechanics of Love”

I’ve been intrigued by this short film by Willard Maas and Ben Moore since I watched it in an experimental film class last fall. It was made in 1955 and the whole thing is a metaphor for sex. There are a bunch of phallic/fertility symbols (my personal favorite being a cactus) and shots of objects entering others (letters being pushed into a mailbox, a knife slicing bread) and the pace of the music and shots is rhythmic, then speeds up (apparently for orgasm) and comes to a rest. What I really like is the dialogue that is read over the images – it’s kind of haunting in a way. I’ve been feeling off lately, but there is still something about this film that appeals to me.

Warning: You will see boobs, and a woman with armpit hair and a hint of a mustache.

“Love, in some ways, is not always simple.”

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Insights on Love from 2011

I found a handwritten note in a box in my room dated 6/24/2011. I was sixteen when I wrote it, knee deep in a high school relationship that would last for three years and end explosively during my first semester of college. As I struggle to find my place in my current relationship, it surprises me how I’m still feeling the same things I felt four years ago. Anyway, here is my sixteen year-old self’s reflection on love:


One of the worst types of pain is the pain you feel when you learn that someone you loved, trusted, and idealized isn’t as perfect as you thought they were. When we are in love, we want to believe the other person is flawless, and entirely ours. But when we learn of their imperfections, it becomes hard for us to distinguish which parts of them are real and which parts of them we have imagined to preserve our own sanity. 


“Cesarean”

My momma swallowed a watermelon seed.
It grew upside-down and backward.
Warped, lodged feet first.
Prone to afflictions of the mind.

Sick and tired of life before
I learned how to be
Sick and tired.

I ruined my mother’s birthday.

I guess I knew what was good for me, even then:
They had to cut me out.

– P.B.

“Watermelon Watermarks” by Eugenia Loli

Some Summer 2015 Movie Reviews

Pitch Perfect 2 3 stars

Image via Pars Movie

I saw this one a while ago, so my memory might be a little foggy. It was okay, but for me it didn’t feel as “magical” as the first one. Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, and Anna Camp still delivered. The songs were good, and there was a decent mix of newer music and older music. But since when do the Bellas live in a sorority house? Who are these new randos in the group? Is Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) going to bump Bumper (Adam Devine) or not? This movie raised all these questions and more.

I didn’t really love the new girl Emily (Hailee Steinfeld – oh my god, someone younger than me playing a college freshman in a movie makes me want to die) that they were shoving down our throats, but that might be because she was eerily similar to someone I went to high school with. She seemed way too innocent and clean-cut, and she wrote one mediocre song and everyone hailed her as a genius. I wanted to see more of Jesse (Skylar Astin), but his character was pretty much wiped out and diminished to a cheerleader on the sidelines.

John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks) were still funny, too, but I think the best part of this movie was the Green Bay Packers. I think I cried from laughter when they were introduced in the Riff-Off. Also, Snoop Dogg was in there somewhere.

Aloha 5 stars

Image via Wikipedia

I really loved this one. It has gotten some hate on Rotten Tomatoes, but I don’t understand why. Aloha is honestly one of the first “romantic” movies where I couldn’t tell who was going to end up with who. It could’ve gone either way, but somehow they managed to wrap the story up without any of the characters ending up hurt. There’s some military mumbo-gumbo that I didn’t care about, but it didn’t take away from the love story at all.

Bradley Cooper was great. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors; he’s so dynamic. I had never imagined seeing Emma Stone as a fighter pilot, but she was absolutely fabulous. So were Rachel McAdams and the sassa-frass Alec Baldwin.

This was the first time I saw John Krasinski outside of The Office and I was worried that I would have a hard time processing him as someone other than Jim, but I was pleasantly surprised. Bill Murray could honestly play a pile of dirt and I would still love him. The emotional range of Danielle Rose Russell, who played Grace – Bradley Cooper/Rachel McAdams/John Krasinski’s daughter – was also outstanding, especially considering that this is only her second film credit. There were so many “stars” in this movie, but none of them took away from the plot. I honestly can’t say enough about how good everyone’s performance was.

Aloha left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside…and like getting revenge on my mom because she never signed me up for hula dancing lessons.

Inside Out 5 stars

Image via Screen Rant

Holy cow, Inside Out was fantastic too. Of course, I knew that it would be going in because it’s by Disney/Pixar. I don’t really know how else to describe it besides “smart.” I honestly don’t know how they continue to come up with stuff that is exciting for children but makes adults think, too. Also, I think this was the first time I’ve seen a butt (albeit animated) in a Disney film!

You can tell that they learned from Toy Story 3. There’s a similar theme of growing up and loss of innocence. The death of Riley’s (the little girl whose head the audience is inside of) imaginary friend in a dark pit of doom mirrored when Woody, Buzz, and company were almost incinerated.

I loved that the voices were recognizable, too. Amy Poehler (Joy, who was extremely similar to Leslie Knope), my one true love Mindy Kaling (Disgust), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Lewis Black (Anger), and Bill Hader (Fear) killed it.

All in all, Inside Out is a great concept and it’s executed beautifully. It speaks volumes about growing up, and even though it’s animated, the storyline seems “real” and reflects a common human experience. I can’t wait to see it again!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 4 stars

Image via What’s After the Credits?

Putting his Project X party days behind him, Thomas Mann stars as Greg, a high school loner whose mom makes him hang out with an acquaintance who has been diagnosed with leukemia (Olivia Cooke). His “co-worker” Earl (RJ Cyler), who comes from the other side of the tracks, tags along. Also, the lovely Nick Offerman appears as Greg’s dad. 3/4 movies on this list have someone from The OfficeParks and Recreation, or both. Is that some sort of sign? If anyone figures it out, please tell me.

I feel like this movie turned out exactly the way it was supposed to. It’s quirky, emotional, and has enough comic relief to get the audience through the depressing storyline. The soundtrack was moving, and the characters were honest.

The only thing that really pissed me off was that Olivia Cooke’s character kept her eyebrows through chemo. If you’re gonna shave your head for a role, just take the eyebrows off too. For God’s sake!

Now that I’ve seen the movie, I really want to read the book. That’s backwards from usual for me, but hopefully I’ll enjoy it just the same.