19 November 2006

Reviews on fire

A few nights ago, I went to see Casa de Areia, The House of Sand. A Brazilian movie starring the real life mother and daughter, Fernanda Montenegro and Fernanda Torres as Mother and Daughter in the film. Incidentally, the movie is directed by Fernanda Torres's husband, with the leads written especially for these two women. You might recognize Fernanda Montenegro as the actress nominated for an Oscar for Central Station in 1998 and who lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow, who won for Shakespeare in Love.
This movie was really amazing in a lot of different ways. The pace, unlike American movies, is slow and takes its time to allow the story to unfold. When the characters speak to eachother-- it is in clipped, boiled down questions and answers. There is not a lot of dialogue but much expression between the actresses as well as between the people and the land. The film was shot in the middle of the desert- but a desert as strange, changeable and moody as its new inhabitants. There are some breathtaking visuals in the film having to do with the changing landscape. I thought it was really great because the filmmakers assumed that the audience is fairly sophisticated and would understand a crucial jump in time based on the actresses. (I will say no more as I don't want to be a plot spoiler). The film's thematic threads are circular in nature, Mothers taking care of their daughters who then become mothers and begin again. I could go on about other themes-- but it would ruin the movie. I would recommend it though- if you are in the mood for a slow paced that requires some mental energy. I've been starting to see previews for Almodovar's new film, Volver, with a very sultry looking Penelope Cruz-- can't wait for that! I guess I'm on a Spanish film kick.
In the book dept., I'm currently reading 13 Moons by Charles Frazier. So far I really like it, it requires a lot of attention and focus. I am a slow reader and sometimes get lost in my own thoughts so that I have to reread a page a few times. Frazier writes with a very lovely- aromatic sense of description. I love the first paragraph of Chapter 8-- which is where I am currently:
That next summer in Valley River, I was not much of a business man. Nor did I crack a lawbook. Mostly I concerned myself with the weight of Claire's breast in my hand, the echo of a new poem,........., the mute colors of long sunsets,........

Ahhh, to be young and in love!

Otherwise, I just finished baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Here is a preliminary photo of the studio. There is another window on that wall with the window you see and a storage nook behind where I was photographing. I don't like that light-- but you can't have everything!

Well, that's about all from Western NY for the moment. Happy Turkey Day!!!

11 November 2006

AHHHHHH, now I can breathe a sigh of relief! Ever since the big snowstorm we haven't had internet service at our house which means I have to drive all over town trying to get online at all the places that offer it for free! Today, it's fixed! and I can post something new. I am majorly antsy because I feel like everything is on hold.....I haven't been able to move into the new studio space because the electricity isn't hooked up yet, my freelance gigs don't kick in till next week, my art materials are all packed up....so what is there to do? This past weekend I visited D and we had lots of fun in Pittsburgh! There was a praying mantis clinging to the outside of his house for 2 days. Aren't praying mantis's good luck?
We also went to see Borat. I'm embarrassed to admit I laughed my head off- especially at the unfortunate incident in the hotel where Borat catches his trusty companion doing a naughty deed, I don't want to ruin any surprises so I will say no more. This is definitely NOT a movie I would send my Mother to go see. It's thick with potty humor, raunchiness, and offensive to every religion and race. But, you've gotta hand it to Sasha Baron Cohen for going all the way and over the top. The best part was when Douglas turned to me in the movie theatre and thought all the people Borat comes into contact with in the movie are in on the joke-- which they are not! That made me laugh tremendously-- ah ahahah ahaha ......

Also, I'm embarrassed to admit I watched a small portion of America's Next Top Model. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure as I'm waiting for Lost.

I was struck by a Tyra-ism. She was telling the girl who was getting the boot that she didn't have enough confidence in herself, that the judges were stunned by her beauty and believed in her, but she didn't believe in herself and that it was apparent to them in the way she flaked out or felt silly in the challenges. She explained to this young, inexperienced girl that even if she didn't feel confident she had to act as though she did. Her exact words: "You've gotta fake it to make it." I really liked that and wrote it down for myself. Ah, words of wisdom from Tyra Banks (or the writers). (Don't you like the juxtaposition of the picture of beautiful Tyra Banks and hairy, gross thong wearing Borat! Clever! Anyways, I came home on Wednesday and have been checking in on the studio, going to the gym and playing with Smitty. For those of you who've forgotten about Smitty- he is our neighbor's Border Collie. He is such a sweet, smart dog but grossly neglected . So, sometimes we take him for walks or bring him to the house and play with him. 2 nights ago, I was giving Smitty a good petting- laying on the floor next to him when he laid down too and picked up his paw so I could scratch his belly. Dogs do not question their dog-ness. As I always like to say. Today, I started perusing some recipes for Thanksgiving. I would love to incorporate pomegranates into the mix.... Delicious!