Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Song Around the World - Stand By Me

My mum sent me this in an email today, and I just think it's so lovely. I'm so happy music exists.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Perfect jobs

We went around the table at dinner tonight deciding for one another what we saw as the perfect job. I was told that I should be a magazine editor (or else just a regular editor), and The Devil Wears Prada came up. "Yes," said Tiffany. "That character was made for you."

I looked at her askance. "Really."

"No, just like, you, are very firm in your opinions, and..." (This dialog is not exact, but is basically what she was saying.)

It's true. I am very precise in what I like and what I don't, and when something is right and when it is wrong.

Then I started fantasizing about having an assistant who I could send out to pick up whatever food I was craving. That would be great.

I don't think I'm very much like Miranda Priestley (or Anna Wintour), but I sure do like to decide things.

I love Michel Gondry. His little accent. His big mind.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

automated haiku

This thing creates haiku out of blog posts. Cool.

Mine for the most recent post:

pose was the one way
I was able to enter
the experience

Hmmmm. Feels profound.

(Found via Sara Ryan.)

Have you seen this one?

I've been thinking about my favourite movies again (it's a little thing called procrastination), and about the ones that I always pick up when I'm wandering around the video store with a friend, asking again and again, "Have you seen this one?"

Quite often, with these titles, the answer is no.

So here are my picks:

Irreversible (2002)

This is one of the most amazing but graphically (graphically) disturbing (disturbing) films I have ever seen. It shows rape and murder in unflinching, straight on, uncut detail. It was recommended to me with the same caveat I will put forth - it is amazing, beautiful, outstanding, but I'm not sure you want to watch it. If you feel like your psyche doesn't need any more violence than the world already throws at you, I completely understand. As Roger Ebert said in his Chicago Sun-Times review (which gave the film 8 out of 10), "As I said twice and will repeat again, most people will not want to see the film at all. It is so violent, it shows such cruelty, that it is a test most people will not want to endure. But it is unflinchingly honest about the crime of rape. It does not exploit. It does not pander. It has been said that no matter what it pretends, pornography argues for what it shows. Irreversible is not pornography." I watched this by myself, at home, and I'm glad of it. I was able to enter the experience without worrying about how anyone else was taking it, and without the movement of another person taking me out of it.The story is told backwards, and the camera moves back through time in what seems like one long, winding shot. It is exquisitely well made. It is art. It is not entertainment.

Enlightenment Guaranteed (1999)

Two German brothers get lost in Tokyo on their way to a Buddhist monastery. This movie is charming, funny, smart, warm, true. It's one I've been wanting to watch again since I first saw it a few years ago, and I have also meant to watch Doris Dorre's other films. I think they will be equally great.

After the Wedding (2006)

Jacob is from Denmark, but has been working at an orphanage in India for years. The orphanage is in financial trouble, and a wealthy Danish business man is offering a huge donation, but only if Jacob goes to Denmark to meet with him. I don't want to say much about this one, but it is so emotionally rich and textured, and so heartbreaking and beautiful and great. I loved it. You probably will too.

The Anniversary Party (2001)

I love this movie so much, and have seen it so many times that it is hard for me to believe that everyone else hasn't also seen it. An amazing ensemble piece that revolves around Joe and Sally (Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh) a married L.A. (so L.A.) couple who have reconciled after a brief split and are celebrating their sixth anniversary with a party in their home. The tensions between the two (and all of their guests) escalate as the day wears on, and every moment reveals truths that nobody necessarily wants to see. That said, the amount of stress in the house is matched by love and affection, and I didn't find the film depressing or heavy at all. The amazing cast is rounded out by Kevin Cline, Phoebe Cates (and their two kids), Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, John C. Reilly, and others. Stellar.

Monsoon Wedding (2001)

This is by far one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Monsoon season in Delhi. A family. A wedding. So many stories are told, and they all come together beautifully. It has everything one could want in a film; it is funny, sad, romantic... and so so so gorgeous. Thinking about this one has made me want to watch it again, right now. I might.

What about you? Any favourites you think are underknown?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mannerisms you have taken on entirely because of fictional characters

I love and adore Diane Keaton/Annie Hall (in my head they are one and the same) so much that I have taken on certain of her mannerisms in a way I hope is endearing but fear is entirely affected. It's actually really just one habit - putting my hands on my hips like she's doing here (imagine this photo involves her doing the same thing with both arms.) I think it all came about when I went as Annie Hall for halloween this year, and this pose was the one way I was able to get into character. And I liked it. So I kept doing it.

Are there any fictional characters or celebrities who have influenced your own mannerisms? Am I the only one who has done this?

I feel very exposed right now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Room

Came across an article in A.V. Club today on The Room. I have never wanted to hop on a plane to Los Angeles and find a midnight screening so badly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

University of King's College

This is the place where I live. Look how quaint. I love it. A lot.

Tonight was "Big Night" and it was ay-may-zing. The talent here. There was a pirate band, that I can't remember what they're called, but I love them.

And Ron's most hilarious diary entries from 2000. But they were made up.

I wish I could post clips.

It's weird how much of an inside thing this part of my life is.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

In the wind

I was prepared for differences in climate and weather when I moved from one coast to the other, but I didn't know exactly how it would be different. The thing that has surprised me is the wind.

On windy days I go out into the world, and in the places and moments when the wind picks up behind me and pushes into me, I feel so alive. I feel whipped up. Aware. Awake.

I've been trying to put the feeling into words, and reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkold Estés, I came across an idea that resonates with me. Estés (who I just discovered shares my birthday, albeit in 1945) is talking about storytelling, and she says, "The trance teller calls on El duende, the wind that blows soul into the faces of listeners" (20). This line is paired with an end note that says: "El duende is literally the goblin wind or force behind a person's actions and creative life, including the way they walk, the sound of their voice, even the way they lift their little finger. It is a term used in flamenco dance, and is also used to describe the ability to "think" in poetic images. Among latina curanderas who recollect story, it is understood as the ability to be filled with spirit that is more than one's own spirit. Whether one is the artist or one is the watcher, listener, or reader, when el duende is present, one sees it, hears it, reads it, feels it underneath the dance, the music, the words, the art; one knows it is there. When el duende is not present, one knows that too" (519).

I love that feeling.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sex Expert

One of the jobs I would choose if I could be anything ever (alongside indie "it girl" actress, indie "it girl" songstress - then older but still super cool actress/songstress - graphic designer, novelist, teen librarian) would be sex expert. I think it would be such a fascinating job, especially because so many people are so hung up about all things sex. Not to say that I don't have the awkward laugh when certain subjects come up in certain company, but I think of myself as fairly open, and would love to be one of the people bringing that openness to the world at large. Watching this clip about "sexting" the other day, I was appalled at the way the young women on the show were being villainized, and the way sex was being portrayed as "nasty." I think we (the media, schools, parents, friends) are doing a crummy job of educating ourselves and one another about sex and sexuality.

Luckily for all of us there are amazing people on the job, including Heather Corrina, the driving force behind scarleteen.com. Browsing the site today I came across an excellent article, 10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age). Highly recommended.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Why some words
put together
are poetry

And some are not.


I have recently become disenchanted with the exclamation mark. I'm not sure where this feeling has come from, but every time I use one I feel a little bit cheap.

I came across a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald recently that perhaps sums up my feelings: "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke."

I think it has to do with my minimalist self - always paring down to the essentials.

That said, if you are one of my favourite people who happens to use a great number of exclamation marks (of which there are a few), I find them charming when used by you. I mean it.

Punctuation marks I do like: ; & ?

Watching people

Tiffany made me go to Youtube to watch this video, and it is about the most adorable thing I've ever seen, for today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let the Right One In

I didn't know what to write about this film after I watched it yesterday afternoon, but I was still thinking about it this morning, so I decided I had to write something.

"Best vampire movie. Ever," says the box. Now, ask any of my horror-freak friends if I like horror movies. Nope (except for a very few works of art, a la Suspiria). They scare me, and instead of going with that and being swept into the moment, my reaction is to completely take myself out of the experience. "It's a movie. It's just a movie," I repeat to myself. I don't enjoy myself at all. That said, Let the Right One in was a completely different kind of film. First of all, the word film is apt. The DVD menu had "play movie/film" as its prompt ("I'd rather watch a motion picture," I stated), and this is definitely more than a movie, if I'm going to be film snobby about it. Cinematic glory might be a better term.

Two lonely 12 year olds (one of whom has been 12 for a very long time) meet and fall in love. It is winter in Sweden - white and black. And then comes red. White:red. Snow:blood. Purity:murder. This film is beautiful, shocking, lovely, sweet, savage. Amazing.

10 stars.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I go out walking (way before midnight)

Today is such a glorious day that I had to abandon homework in favour of a long walk. It was so beautiful, and warm, and even though the trees are still bare I feel spring. Heck, I almost feel summer.

Two pictures from the walk:

Friday, March 13, 2009


It's Friday. And this is my favourite Friday song (it just feels like the weekend). I wanted to post it, but there is no real video, and the live versions were all fairly low quality, so feel free to just play the video and go do something else while listening to the song (That's the Way We Get By, by Spoon).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Argento Poem

We’re watching Italian Horror movies in class
On screen women are murdered en masse
Including a lesbian couple, just so more women have to die
On their lawn is a silver bust,
Placed there by the art director I guess because this is what lesbians would have on their lawn
Announcing to the world, “we like naked women”.

Across the theatre, the classroom,
There is a boy I had a crush on
And seeing him today, wonder if I still do,
And I turn my head to look at him in the dark, see the outline
Think I hear him laugh
Imagine us in future classes curved in darkness together
Behind me, is a girl, a friend,
We both confided our crushes at the same time
This is bound to be awkward.

The light is too dim to write my notes
About castration anxiety (the murderer is known as the headhunter)
And the chain that binds the hero, a long steel umbilical cord,
So they are scrawled all over the page
Up and down and upside down on both sides of the paper
This director always plays the black gloved hands, says the professor
And of course, he is the ultimate killer, the ultimate saviour
He is in control of this world
And I must say, if someone feels the need to kill a great many beautiful women
On screen is better than on the street
I guess

*I have been going through my old essays from film classes, craving critical thought, still thinking about doing a phd, despite entreaties from certain people not to. I took an auteurism class (twice, actually, with different directors). This time it was with Dario Argento and David Cronenberg, and so I searched my hard drive for documents with the word Argento to see if anything was hiding. I found this poem. I don't remember writing it (in September of 2005, apparently). I think it's really funny.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Great Lake Swimmers

It amazes me, sometimes, how many people and things there are in the world. There's always something new to discover.

All of a sudden, people started mentioning the Great Lake Swimmers. People in different cities, who didn't know one another. So I listened.

They are glorious.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Saturday was a glorious day. It was fresh and warm (er than it had been in a long time, at least) and beautifully sunny. People were out in the quad, drawing and playing music, singing, being young and gorgeous and alive. The whole world was young and gorgeous alive.

Then came Sunday. I woke up to white and black and grey, snow swirling heavily outside my window.

I was... a little bit despairing.

And craving colour.

So I went to the art store and dropped a significant amount of money on art supplies: a new sketchbook/journal (I love journaling on unlined pages) and 7 gorgeous shades of art pen.

And I drew pictures of flowers.

And felt infinite (ly better).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Wackness

Ahh 1994. I remember you well. I would go home after school to watch Rapcity on Much Music (yes, this is true). I was devastated by the death of Kurt Cobain (even though before it happened I didn't even know who he was). My favourite actress was Drew Barrymore (I still wish we were best friends). I wore ridiculous baggy jeans with giant plaid shirts and white face powder with revlon's Blackberry lipstick. I was 12.

It's the summer of 1994 and Luke Shapiro is is either the most popular of the unpopular kids or the most unpopular of the popular, but that doesn’t matter anymore because high school is over. Alone in sweltering New York City, during the no-man's-land between graduation and starting college, Luke is "mad depressed, yo." He spends the summer dealing pot to, among other people, his psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley - oh sorry, Sir Ben Kingsley), who imparts this wisdom: "Don't trust anyone who doesn't smoke pot and listen to Bob Dylan." Boundaries are shifting, and Luke finds himself in love with a girl who barely spoke to him in school. But the relationship between Luke and Dr. Squires, who is himself going through a bit of a breakdown, is the real heart of the story. The Wackness is about the things men do to become the men they need to be (you can replace the word men with people, but it's really nice to have a soulful, beautiful film about men and their relationships).

The Wackness is a beautiful portrait of a young man who exists in the same state as many others, disconnected from the world and from other people, and about the process by which he makes a connection and starts living his life. It's a masterpiece of time and place and mood, centred and steady and it spins with a perfect velocity through the moments it holds up for reflection and admiration. Plus it has a dope soundtrack.

10/10 stars. (I've switched to a ten star system - something about being in school).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Places I want to be right now and why (kind of)

Scandinavia. I don't know which country. Maybe Sweden? Because I miss being blonde.

Miami. Hot. Food.

New Orleans. Food.

Paris. Because I miss the feeling. It is like being free and dedicated to pleasure and connection.


Email me at thenewisthetrue (at) gmail .com
My photo
Toronto, Canada
I think I might be addicted to books. And noodles. I need the ocean. I want to know everything. Almost. I love love. And loving things. Like love. And like.