Category Archives: silver screen

climb every mountain

**Ok, so I just wrote an entire blog post, and then promptly lost it. Just an example of the kind of day I’m having (see below) Now I’m going to try to re-write it…

So, I arrived in Toronto exactly 2 weeks ago, and to quote Big Chris, It’s been emotional….

Like a rollercoaster, as they say, complete with elating ups and stomach-dropping downs. I have to give full credit for the ups to my amazingwonderful (and very lovely) friends, who have done everything to make me feel at home here. One of these exceptional friends treated me to a evening at Roy Thompson Hall last night, where we watched/listened to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and vocalists perform some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s biggest hits. Now, I’ve always been a big fan of musicals, and I never fail to be amazed when a song manages to capture certain feelings that simple speech just can’t grasp. Three-quarters of the way through, I leaned over to my friend and whispered that the only sad part of the concert was that I couldn’t sing along (at least without getting ignominiously kicked out…) Lo and behold, the soloist singing Edelweiss not 5 minutes later invited the audience to join in! Just like in the movie! (Coincidentally, this is also the point in the movie when I lose it, sobbing as if it were my country being wrenched away from me. Something about nationalism that I can’t quite seem to relate to except through song…) It made me so sublimely happy, and all was right with the world.

Until today. Today was just one of those days. One of those days when the world seems to want to laugh at you. Hysterically. First off, I had to pay customs fees for a package that I had to also pick up from the post office. As if I don’t already pay enough taxes. Then, while I was in the PO, the sun came out. Now, I realize that this is normally considered to be a Good Thing. However, I had decided I didn’t need to bother toting my sunglasses with me (I know, I was just asking for it!), and was squinting and cursing the nice weather all the way home. I was also too hot in my clothes at that point, which I absolutely despise! Anyway, I won’t bore you with the rest of the details (except to comment that I’m using my crock pot for the first time, and it smells a bit suspicious… kind of like it might decide to blow up at any moment…)

I’m trying to keep my momentum going with the help of youtube, listening to inspiring musical tunes while singing along and dancing around my room… Join me!

Except that I can’t whistle… I feel like an ugly duckling who will never be a swan when I try…

I CAN sing, though! So here are some more:

I feel like that one is my theme song, right now…

“What will my future be? I wonder.

It could be so exciting, to be out in the world, to be free!

My heart should be wildly rejoicing

Oh, what’s the matter with me?

I’ve always longed for adventure,

To do the things I’ve never dared.

And here I’m facing adventure!

Then why am I so scared?”

I may not be off to take care of 7 troublesome children, one of whom definitely Does Not need a Governess, but these lyrics resonate with me on a personal level right now.

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October 10, 2012 · 8:57 pm

you make me feel like dancing!

Today is Valentine’s Day! In my humble opinion, love in all its forms should always be celebrated, but it’s nice to have at least one day dedicated to this practice. I hope you all told at least one person you love them today, and that someone returned that affection. Whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, brother, sister, neighbor, dog… even a perfect stranger!

Here are some videos that make me smile. Whether you’re dancing alone, with a special friend, or even a household appliance; on a plane or in the kitchen doing the dishes; in shoes, bare feet, or roller skates, Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!

xoxo Julia

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Filed under silver screen, small pleasures

hollywoodland

Hey friends!

The past couple of months have been super busy, but quite enjoyable! I have managed to make it to the movies a few times, and today I finally saw The Artist. Personally, I thought it was just remarkable, and the use of sound definitely deserves plenty of recognition. But what I wanted to talk briefly about is Hollywood’s obvious current interest in its own beginnings and the power of the inspiration that can be found in the world of film. In addition to The Artist, I can see this trend in several other recent movies, namely Hugo and The Muppets. All three of these aim to show cinematic productions as akin to magic. I’ve found all three to be incredibly inspiring, from an artistic standpoint, and they’ve also given me a newfound appreciation for my hometown and its contributions to the world. They make me want to enter that world, but not the one of 2012; I find myself wishing I could have been a part of the early days of film…

In terms of a more realistic goal, I’m seriously considering taking tap dancing classes… How’s this for inspiration?:

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power down

Hello friends,

I have been MAJORLY delinquent the past month or so, and for that I apologize. My life got a bit crazy in November, and I’m just now getting it under control. And wouldn’t you know it, I signed on to post a couple of days ago and right at that moment, my house lost its power! As those of you in the Pasadena area know, we had a super crazy windstorm a couple of nights ago, and the entire area looks like it’s been hit by a massive hurricane. I still have no power at home, so I’m typing this from a coffee shop that I’ve visited at least once a day for the past couple of days to keep in touch with the rest of the world.

I’m sure that many people can see the benefits of losing power: a forced disconnection from our overly-connected lives, a bit of peace and quiet in the midst of holiday craziness… I’d like to see the bright side of this, but I admit this power outage has affected me rather negatively. My house is absurdly cold. After the sun goes down at 5 pm it is completely dark, and there are very few options at that point… Can’t watch a movie, can’t go online, can’t read by candlelight (I tried, and I have the headache to prove it). Can play games by candlelight, but that gets old fast when no one will play with you. All in all, it’s terribly easy to feel sorry for myself in this situation. However, in the spirit of this blog, I feel compelled to see the bright side of things.

1) A tree didn’t collapse on my house (a house down the street was not so lucky) or my car

2) when my bedroom window imploded in the middle of the light, none of the glass flew into the room/ my face

3) I have an excuse to treat myself to coffee and tea while I answer emails at internet cafes

4) I have an excuse to not answer emails

5) In the midst of disasters, people are suddenly friendly. Yesterday morning, as I was dragging branches and scooping up glass from the front yard, my neighbors actually came up and spoke to me! I swear, it was the first time I’d even met some of them, and it made me want to have a block party or something.

6) probably the most important point: no one I know was hurt or had their property badly damages.

I went to see The Muppets with my mom last night, and was blown away by how much I loved it! I was absolutely sobbing by the end (though admittedly “Rainbow Connection” always makes me sob). I thought it was well-written, witty, charming, with great songs (by one of my favorite Conchords Bret McKenzie) and appropriate cameos (especially enjoyed Emily Blunt as Miss Piggy’s assistant at Paris Vogue)! It also greatly increased my existing love for Jason Segel… Anyway, GO SEE IT! You won’t regret it 🙂

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Filed under silver screen, small pleasures

everybody dance

So, as some of you may know, I’m a total sucker for movies that have choreographed dance numbers. Tonight I watched a new film that I’ve been wanting to see for months now, called Bran Nue Dae. It’s about an Aboriginal teenager who runs away from Catholic school to return to the girl of his dreams, complete with singing, dancing, technicolor scenery of Western Australia, and Geoffrey Rush as a Catholic Priest! It’s just as charming as it sounds, and so I decided to do a post on some of my favorite musical scenes from films. Here’s the one that inspired it!

Did I mention it’s pretty irreverent?

For the rest, I’m automatically eliminating any that appear in a traditional “musical” film, as if I don’t, there are just too many good ones!

A classic from Heart and Souls. The best part starts around 1:05

[500] Days of Summer. Definitely not my favorite movie, but I LOVE this scene!

Remember Heath’s debut? With the marching band?? So good.

This movie introduced me to this song, and for that I am eternally grateful!

Another recent one. This just makes me so incredibly happy every time I watch it! The best part is when they’re standing together alone on the platform and he kicks her playfully. JAI HO!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but I think that’s enough for tonight

Oh, and the title of this post is a reference to one of the BEST musicals ever– Waiting for Guffman!

(it’s at 2:26, but you should really just watch the whole film. It’s amazing!)

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cheer up, charlie

Hi friends!

So I’ve decided to have a Halloween movie marathon, and by that I mean I will be watching all my favorite Halloween/candy/fall themed movies that are not in any way part of the “horror” genre (I don’t like scary movies). So far I’ve screened The Addams Family, Corpse Bride, and The Witches. (My all-time favorite is Hocus Pocus, but I’m saving it until we stop having 95F days) Last night, I decided to turn to a long-time favorite: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I find that every time I watch this movie, I’m newly enchanted by it. From the very beginning, when the opening credits appear against hundreds of freshly-made chocolates, I’m hooked! (I don’t think I’m the only one who is incapable of watching these first 5 minutes without gorging myself on whatever chocolate I can find…. I hope I’m not, anyway…) I also secretly (well, now it’s not-so-secret) harbor a crush on Gene Wilder because of this film…

ANYWAY, since my copy of the movie exists on the VHS tape and was recorded from television, I decided to take full advantage of the DVD I’d received from netflix and watch some of the special features. I was beyond pleased when the recent interviews with cast members revealed that the German actor who played Augustus Gloop fulfils every German stereotype I’ve ever heard of! 

It’s not clear in this photo, but I believe he’s even wearing lederhosen. As all true Germans do. But seriously, how cute is that red bow?! He made sure to wear his absolute best for the interview, and has captured my heart in the process.

Just thinking about this movie makes me want chocolate… excuse me…

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