On My Mind: Vines & Shakes

PART I: All right. Stop what you are doing. I need you to go to this website: http://vinepeek.com

It  fascinates me. Flashes. Flashes of little worlds across the country happening instantly. My friend Derek introduced me to this, and by chance I recalled its existence this evening when a friend tweeted a vine video. I love it. It kind of almost creeps me out how I cannot stop watching, but then that feeling is replaced by appreciation. The whole vine app phenomenon is just another example of web video. It’s storytelling in it’s most basic, concise and condensed six second form. I would say these videos compare to the flashiest of flash fiction, like the writing exercises that ask you to relate a complete story in only six words. Yes, some of those stories are going to be pretty crap, but occasionally someone does something clever, something amusing, or sweet, maybe even sad (or frightening), but it’s that something that makes you feel a connection to the author and humanity. These are kind of like that. It makes me feel very human.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

I finally went to see Beasts of the Southern Wild, after several months of wanting to. It was an amazing movie. I completely understand why it’s nominated for four Academy Awards.

The movie tells the story of the Bathtub, a low-lying area of the bayou threatened by flooding and devastation.  The main character is Hushpuppy, a six-year-old girl dealing with the impending threat to her community in addition to her father’s failing health, which basically sums up the ‘tangible’ plot of the film. But alongside that sequence is a magical world involving great beasts rushing across the planet to the bayou, dream-like sequences, and ancient folk lore.

I would argue that at it’s heart it was a father-daughter story, for which I am a sucker. Needless to say I cried A LOT, but that’s only because I have a lot of feelings. The movie was sweet and heartbreaking, funny and visually stunning. It was such a creative film that actually trusted the audience to watch and make it’s own opinions about what exactly was happening.

The acting was brilliant. I just found out that the actor who played the father (Dwight Henry) was just a guy working at the bakery across the street from the casting agency and went out for the role on a whim. He almost didn’t accept the role because he was so dedicated to his business, but the producers really, really wanted him, and for good reason. He was perfect for the part. The passion and intensity was beautiful to watch. Then, of course, there was that little girl Quvenzhané Wallis. She just blew me away. Hushpuppy was such a strong, vibrant character; utterly fearless. That little girl is going places and that’s the truth.

It’s a good movie, and I really, really enjoyed it. Go check it out if you’ve got the time.

Round-Up: Movies, Writing, and Musings

Things that I know:

  • It snowed today. Which means that on top of the BLIZZARD we got last weekend, there is an additional two inches of snow on the ground. I LIVE IN UNENDING WINTER.
  • The amount of heart-shaped York Peppermint Patties I ate today numbers close to double digits.
  • Writing, when it comes, does not usually come easy.
  • There is no way I am going to be able to watch all ten films nominated for Best Picture by next Sunday.

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London, Day Two

Nothing is a better aid for falling asleep in strange places than complete and utter exhaustion. After a good night’s rest, Neil and I were ready for our first, real day in London (at least the first day where we would be fully awake and conscious). I was prepared to be the proverbial sponge and soak up all the details I could. It had been an uneventful evening previously, except for the stumbling in of our mysterious second room mate who I heard have a late night discussion  with Irish Guy. Something about going out drinking, but no, because she had already drank too much already. I’m not positive on the details – I was half asleep.

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Review: The Marriage Plot

by Jeffrey Eugenides
by Jeffrey Eugenides

I like to think I have a decent eye for good novels. My tendency is to choose books that I will not only like, but like extremely enthusiastically. I am on par in this most of the time, but sometimes I miss the mark. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides was a good novel. It was challenging, intellectual, and fairly interesting, but it wasn’t great. It didn’t get me overly excited or rah rah rah. Rather, I was a little underwhelmed.

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