Great Movies That I’ve Seen During my Long and Boring Winter Break Away from School

Phew. Sorry for the excessive title.

For those who didn’t know, I’m a junior at a college in upstate New York (in the cold windy town of Oswego, to be exact). For some reason, (probably a state school thing) we have a crazy long winter break (6 weeks!), and I thought I’d have enough things to keep me occupied (I went to visit my boyfriend downstate for a few weeks, I work when my job decides to randomly call me in, and I’ve spent as much time with my family as I possibly can without going insane). But I quickly ran out of things to do, so I’ve been filling up a lot of my time watching movies that I’ve always wanted to watch, or movies that have been recommended to me (thanks to my friend, Andy). I’ve also been watching a lot of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Say Yes to the Dress,” but we won’t elaborate on that.

So, here is a list of the movies that I’ve seen during my time away from school this winter (in no specific order). I fully recommend them to anyone who wants cover themselves in blankets, sip on a cup of tea (or wine, or vodka, no one’s judging), and forget about their lives for about 2 hours. Enjoy.

 

Harold and Maude (1971)- Drama/Comedy/Cult Film

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This is a great classic, but unconventional movie about a young man named Harold (played by Bud Cort), who constantly fakes his own suicide, and an eccentric and “full of life” 80-year-old woman named Maude (played by Ruth Gordon), and their loving and romantic relationship with each other. I don’t know if I can do justice to this film by writing about it, so I’m just going to really recommend that you all watch it. One of the best parts of the film is that the whole soundtrack is by Cat Stevens. Here’s a clip:

 

Hamlet 2 (2008)- Comedy

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This movie combined a few of my favorite things: musicals/drama/theatre and really well-done comedy. Dana Marschz (played by Steve Coogan) is a drama teacher who is completely unsupported by his students, his school, and his wife. Because of this, he decides that he needs to write a new musical that will draw an audience. He writes Hamlet 2, which is the controversial sequel to Hamlet, set to music and dance. My personal favorite is “Rock me Sexy Jesus.”

 

Animal Crackers (1930)-Comedy

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Animal Crackers was my first Marx Brothers movie, and I loved it. It’s one of my boyfriend’s favorites, so I watched it with him when I was visiting a few weeks ago. If you’ve never watched the Marx Brothers, I highly recommend it. Before I sat down to watch the film, I had low expectations, because a lot of other comedies that I’ve seen from the early 1900s just don’t entertain me. But the Marx Brothers presented their comedy in such a skillful way (different characters that they fall into, as well as sarcasm and dry humor), that I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off. Plus, my boyfriend does really funny impressions of Chico.

The film takes place in the house of Lillian and Mrs. Rittenhouse, who invite Captain Jeffrey Spaulding (an African explorer, played by Groucho Marx) to a party. Throughout the movie, characters played  by Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo (the boring one), also arrive, which results in chaos.

 

World’s Greatest Dad (2009)- Drama

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Robin Williams and Daryl Sabara <3 <3 <3

This is a really good movie that doesn’t get as much recognition as it should. Lance (Williams) finds his son has accidentally died while jerking off, and decides to turn his son’s legacy from that of a failure to a hero.

 

Murderball (2005)- Documentary

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By far one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. Very few people know about paraplegic rugby (a.k.a. “Murderball”), but it’s such an interesting game. This film explains the sport, shows the lives of some of its greatest players, and emphasizes how important it is to the lives of many people around the world.

 

Pitch Perfect (2012)- Comedy/Romance

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Really funny movie. If you like Glee, I recommend this movie (or if you just really love funny, girly movies). I cried at the end. Also, Adam DeVine (of Workaholics) is in it ;)

 

In Bruges (2008)- Comedic Drama

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Colin Farrell stars in a comedic crime drama about two hit men and their trip to Bruges, Belgium. One of the best films I’ve seen in a long time (it balances drama and comedy perfectly). The best part of this movie is the very end… so emotionally gripping!!

 

Blue Valentine (2010)- Romantic Drama

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Two words: Ryan Gosling. This movie is not for everyone. It’s extremely slow moving and emotional, and it may or may not have a happy ending :x. However, the performances are amazing. Gosling and Michelle Williams really captured the heartbreak and passion (or lack there of) of a failing marriage. This movie made me cry quite a few times.

 

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)- Indie Comedy/Drama

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If you’ve never seen a Wes Anderson film before, I would recommend it. I really didn’t like the beginning of this movie. I almost stopped watching it. But about half-way through, I fell in love. Suzy and Sam are great characters, and I really like the presence of symbolism and the star studded cast (I love Edward Norton!). Something that I wasn’t too keen on were all the things that Wes Anderson took from French film (I felt that he was trying to do too much), like the images that were eerily similar to Pierrot Le Fou (one of my favorite movies): breaking the “fourth wall,” scissors, the beach, the record player, etc.

But, despite those details, I really enjoyed the film.

 

A Clockwork Orange (1971)- Drama

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Another slow-moving, but terrific film. This psychological drama is based on the book, by Anthony Burgess, and I think Kubrick did a great job adapting it to the screen (especially the language!). Malcom McDowell (the actor who plays Alex) conveys so much emotion and authenticity that I became really immersed in the movie and its characters.

*Another recommended Kubrick film: Lolita

Since I’m now back at school, my movie watching time will have to be sacrificed for my classes, but I will still be enjoying the TV series Shameless (soooo good!), and I will be reporting back here every now and then.

Fin :)

Something Very Humbling About Spending a Day Scrubbing Floors

… and taking care of a TV-addicted seven year-old with a fever.

Today, instead of substitute teaching, I spent my day taking care of my sick seven-year old sister, Ivy. I woke up to her watching cartoons on the pull-out couch downstairs, her skin burning with a fever, and her eyes full of “I can’t move without hurting” tears. I can never handle sick kids; whenever Ivy’s sick, she looks completely helpless and miserable, and there’s nothing I can do but let her watch hours of television and provide her with ice water. And she hates to cuddle (which is odd, because it’s one of my favorite activities).

So, to pass the time, I scrubbed the floors in my house. Although I had no idea what I was doing, it felt good to do something to purge myself of frustration. If you’ve never done it before, I suggest this specific chore (something I thought I’d never say). Not only does it get the floors fucking clean, but it humbles you. It helped me to remember that the world, in fact, does not revolve around me, and that I deserve what I am willing to earn. I think that’s an important thing to realize every now and then. 

Now that my sister is feeling slightly better, I am off to listen to Marina and the Diamonds and fill out scholarship applications.

xoxo

This Too Shall Pass

I was hesitant about starting a blog that addressed the situations in my life without sarcasm, self-pity, sick humor, or other things that I could hide behind. I’ve had a Tumblr for years now, and I use it to cover up the reality of my well-being by posting photography or art or utter bullshit, avoiding the things that are really happening to me. I do that a lot, I avoid the problems in my life by sitting in pools of blankets and lethargy, and watching “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” for hours on end. I blame others. Through lying, I manipulate the people in my life to take responsibility for the things that I have caused. I do this every day of my life. And I’m tired. I am very tired. 

I’ve been in a downward spiral for a very long time now. A really great friend of mine describes the feeling as one of those penny funnels at the mall; the penny spins around and gets lower and lower, and eventually falls into a little hole. I know many people don’t understand how that can pertain to emotions, but that’s how I’ve been feeling for the past year and a half, and I’m ready to get out. 

So, here’s the story of my decent into this downward spiral:

In the Summer of 2011, I discovered that my boyfriend of two years had been cheating on me for quite a while. I was confused, angry, and bitter. I began to look at life, not with the optimism that I had been so well known for all throughout high school, but instead, with a pessimism that still follows me to this day. 

In November 2011, I lost my uncle to a heart attack. Although I was supported by the rest of my family, my peers at college failed to offer any support to me. Although I try everyday to not be angry at them, I cannot get over the fact that they saw me in such pain, and did nothing. I do not consider their friendship to be true or honest, whatsoever. 

In the Spring of 2012, I started dating my current boyfriend, an amazing guy named Chris. He’s pretty cool, and I love him a lot.

Late that Spring, I was declined a job as a yoga instructor, a job that I had worked my ass off for in training. Since then, I have not practiced yoga. Since then, I have not had the inner balance that I used to have. I’m not sure that I’ll ever get it back.

The Summer of 2012 was full of ups and downs for me. I got to spend 10 days in Europe (Germany and the Czech Republic), which was phenomenal, and I had some experiences that I will never forget.

However, in July, I lost one of my friends to suicide. I still cannot fully comprehend what happened, and it has broken my heart.

So, that is where I am right now. Completely out of inspiration and hope, and absolutely terrified to wake up every day. But, despite these events, I want to get better. I need to get better in order to continue living my life.

I was told today that I “really need to get a hobby.” This was not said in a malicious way, and I take no offense to this statement, because, it’s true. I need something to do besides go to class, work, judge people, and watch trashy tv shows all day. I need something to cleanse my mind and my heart. I am hoping that writing will do this. I want to write about my life, the people I love, the things that I love to do, and the events that are changing me as time passes by.

I am terrible at ending these things. So, to that handful of people reading this, follow me as I write, in order to get better, and try to bring my life back into a positive light.

xoxo