To Mary

POEM: To Mary
BY: Louis MacNeice

Forgive what I give you. Though nightmare and cinders,
The one can be trodden, the other ridden,
We must use what transport we can. Both crunching
Path and bucking dream can take me
Where I shall leave the path and dismount
From the mad-eyed beast and keep my appointment
In green improbable fields with you.


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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
Two difficult movies in a row. The main character (the child) reminded me of Bennett. I didn’t like seeing the towers fall again, though at least this time it wasn’t over and over again like it was on “The Worst Day”… I liked the idea of a Sixth Borough, but it hurt my heart to see so much of New York City that I miss so desperately. I felt sick afterward. I don’t know what that means for someone else, but I think for me it’s still too soon.

The Help (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
Oh man, The Help was a hard movie for me. Racism sucks no matter the era, and I’m still having a really difficult time being okay with the agent of change being a Southern white woman rather than the main characters themselves. As a young white woman writer myself, I identified with Emma Stone’s character and cringed at the bleach-blonde racism of the other white (women) characters. I think part of the reason it’s so hard for me is because I don’t I’m that much better. When was the last time I stood up against racism? Is it a regular thing for me, or do I hide behind my privilege just like most other white people in this country? I fear/suspect/know it’s the latter, not the former. And I hate that. And I hate being confronted with it even though I know I should willingly do so.

Hugo in 3D (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
This was the first film my sister and I saw on the second day (of two) of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase. It was in 3D! We spent the first five minutes swatting the air because we kept thinking it was snowing on us. Obviously, we (1) see a lot of snow, and (2) see a lot of movies in 3D. >_> Obviously. Anyway, it was a cute story, and I liked the lesson I got from it, which was “if all the Earth is a machine, and machines only come with exactly the number of parts they need (and not any extra), then each of us an important part of the Earth since we can consider ourselves all necessary parts.” Although I’m not so mechanically inclined as Hugo, I think someone telling me that when I was feeling desperate in high school and college might’ve helped. I don’t know, but it made me think of my younger self and wonder what someone else could’ve done to better reach out to me. As a side note, I went into the film thinking it was a cartoon, but it isn’t, so just be aware of that if you watch it for yourself.

The Descendants (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 18 February 2012)
Sister and I actually arrived late for this film because I miscalculated how long it would take to eat dinner. Turned out it didn’t matter much that we were around 15 minutes late because it was thankfully nothing like The Tree of Life and we were able to pick up the story after a short while. George Clooney was really good, actually, and I liked the story. In the end, though, I at first thought the plot was too realistic (if I wanted real life, I wouldn’t go to the movies, after all, right?) and then that it wasn’t realistic enough (because of the way the family predictably ended up handling the sale of their inherited land).

The Tree of Life (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 18 February 2012)
Holy sheesh what is this movie I don’t even. Seriously. Also, Brad Pitt again? Really? I mean, it was billed as an imppresionistic… and it most definitely is. It’s allegedly about a son’s relationship with his father but it has the beginning of the world and dinosaurs and everything I mean what. It was Art with a capital ‘a’, If you know what I mean. It was good, I guess, but it felt like one of those movies that rich snobs talk about. Wing better than the others over expensive glasses of wine and I’m standing there with a root beer and totally out my depth. I didn’t understand it and it was exhausting to watch.

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Moneyball (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 18 February 2012)
Part of the first day of AMC Theaters’ Best Picture Showcase. It was all right, but I don’t particularly care about Brad Pitt or the Oakland As (or baseball at all, for that matter), so it didn’t blow me away or anything. Based on a true story, for what that’s worth. Sister taught me about tasks (something an actor does so that his or her character seems more human/relatable/realistic/credible) and then expressed her frustration with Pitt because all his characters seem to have the same one: eating. I didn’t notice until she pointed it out, but yeah.

War Horse (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 18 February 2012)
Saw this as part of AMC’s BPS (first day of two) with my sister. Decent film. Epic panning cinematography and depictions of war, as one expects from Steven Spielberg. Il liked the boy’s mother the best, I think, and her statement to her husband when asks if she’ll leave him if he loses the farm: “I may hate y’more, but I’ll never love ye less.” It was nominated for an Academy Award, after all, but I mean… it’s about horse, soo…

17 Again (viewed at home 2 February 2012)
Stupid movie with an unoriginal plot, but one I’d probably watch again if I didn’t want to think too much. Perfect for my mom because—although she’s not stupid—she dislikes violence and movie sex and likes happy endings. Corny through and through. The kid dresses as “K-Fed” and subsequently (of course) gets made fun of, so the next day he shows up dressed as… Tom Cruise. I’m not kidding. Also, the puns. OMFG. I thought it was cute that he kept forgetting he was 17 again, though. Yeah, I’d probably watch it again, even if it was just to show it to my mom. Such a dumb movie, though. Uuuuuugh.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (viewed in theaters 29 January 2012)
I chose this film because it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor (among other nominations) but then realized that it also has in it one of the actors I follow. (Yes, I follow some actors’ careers, okay? Don’t judge me.) Went to see it with Bobby, and it was okay, but it wasn’t what I was expecting (I don’t know what I was expecting), and I don’t think it really turned out to be my cup of tea. I mean, it’s a war movie, but with no actual war. (That’s the Cold War for you, I guess.) It’s set in the ’70s, so while I understand the rampant sexism, I still didn’t like it. I did like the hush-hush insider names for everything, though: Control, Circus, etc.

the Alice stories (read 17-25 January 2012)
And by that I mean Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, which I finally made the point of reading myself after having seen quite a few TV and movie adaptations of said. Here’s the thing. It really pissed me off that in every single adaptation I’ve ever seen the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen are combined into one character, so I thought that reading the original stories would help deflate some of that anger. Unfortunately, it only made the anger righteous instead of tamed, so. Really, though, I would honest-to-gods love to see just one screen version of the Alice stories that doesn’t conflate the two. They’re not even from the same game! Grr argh /knashing of teeth.