Monthly Archives

May 2014

Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind

May 29, 2014

Dear Reader,

So many flower metaphors. Lifetime is famous for producing terrible movies filled with terrible acting that just make you want to cuddle up under a blanket with some popcorn and watch for hours. Why is that? When did we develop a taste for crap telly, as the Brits would say? Life is short. Shouldn’t we want to listen to as much Mozart and Ingrid Michaelson as possible instead of playing Timber for the tenth time in a row? And likewise shouldn’t we be rewatching Return of the King or Sherlock for the hundredth time instead of bingeing all day on Lifetime movies and Jersey Shore reruns? And yet here I am telling you about one of my new favorite things. And its a series of Lifetime movies. This series is beyond a doubt  some of the worst acting, writing, directing etc. ever committed to everlasting infamy. From the book series by V.C. Andrews comes Lifetime’s adaptation of the incest-riddled, arsenic doughnut laden classic Flowers in the Attic and its sequel, Petals on the Wind.

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In case you have missed this epic, Petals on the Wind just premiered a mere four or so months after the first movie, giving you around that long to get caught up before another one likely comes down the pipeline. The movies tell the story of the Dollanganger family. This is pronounced “dollyganger,” in case you were wondering. Mother Corinne and her hubby begin the movie in love, seemingly well-off, and as beautiful and blonde as their four children. The father dies suddenly and all is revealed. They are a family in debt and must run off to Corinne’s mother’s family estate to live. Here the audience learns that the family has disowned Corrine for marrying her half-uncle. Grandma locks the kids in the attic, beats them, and stands by and watches as they are poisoned.

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She believes incest is bound to run in the family and Cathy and Christopher, the two teens just hitting puberty, are the target of her vitriol. This, of course, pushes them towards everything she feared. The sequel takes place ten years later, once they have escaped the attic and are fighting (or not) that apparently genetic predisposition towards incest.

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If these movies seem terrible, they are very terrible. Although Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka are just some of the legitimately proven to be good actors in the series, their performances are so comically bad that I can’t imagine that they were really trying all that hard. Seriously though- grab a bottle of wine (or six) and your closest friends and sit down to marathon these two. You will laugh and gasp and cringe- and thoroughly enjoy yourself. This is Lifetime at its juiciest and most horrid. Don’t miss it.

23-petals-in-the-windAnd don’t miss the at least two more installments coming soon to a tv near you.

 

JeremyJahns is My Movie Spirit-Animal

May 23, 2014

Dear Reader,

I watch a ton of movies. I kind of always want to see all of them. If you have had this issue then you know it can be hard to decide what is actually worth spending your (probably limited because they are so expensive nowadays) movie budget on. I like to turn to a couple sources for movie reviews. In the past, I would often turn to Roger Ebert’s reviews because I always found that he had a beautiful way of putting things, often expressing feelings I would have later in a way I never could have. I also like to turn to the New Yorker’s movie review for much the same reason. However, since the passing of Roger Ebert I have searched around for some other sources. YouTube is a weird and often wonderful place and it is here that I have found my movie reviewing spirit animal.

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Jeremy Jahns, who runs a channel exclusively dedicated to reviewing movies, tv shows, trailers, and video games, is this person. I just… never disagree with him. Maybe once and a while I like something a little more than he did or dislike something even more but… for the most part we are in sync. Singing together in four part harmony must be next. His reviews are professional but also often hilarious. He is down to earth but still very much knows what he is talking about. I never would have gone to see some movies if he hadn’t given them such favorable reviews. I watched Looper because he loved it. And then I loved it. It is entirely possible he is controlling me remotely through some form of hypnosis, but I am cool with it. I get to enjoy some really great movies. His latest review on X-Men: Days of Future Past was crazy-favorable. So one can only imagine how excited that makes me. Check this kid out friends. Seriously he is very cool and very worth your time.

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Here are some of my personal favorites:

Jeremy’s Dollhouse review, his Firefly review and his Skyfall review.

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Summer’s Lease

May 21, 2014

Dear Reader,

The end of school in the spring used to mean the immediate begin to summer. Summer meant freedom from everything one had grown tired of. This summer I couldn’t wait for classes to be over so I could work as much as I could, trying to put away some money instead of spending every penny on groceries and utilities and the like. When I found that I could work nearly forty hours a week, more than doubling my salary, I felt myself let go a rush of breath I had been holding for months. How strange a feeling that is, this sort of growing up feeling of freedom.

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A summer full of uncomplicated poolside chats with school mates and smoothies on shady back patios was the sweetest rest I could have dreamed of just a few years ago. But now I feel the freedom of a mind more at ease and a usefulness that is more satisfying even than the crazy-good ice cream they sell across from campus.

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And with that increase in work hours has come an increase in free time. Strangely enough, the feeling that there is less free  time available has led me to use it more wisely, sleeping a bit less, reading more, venturing out to museums and libraries that I might have had plenty of time for before, but always put off out of a kind of indolence that extra time breeds. But when that time is cut to the quick and every minute needs to be thought of, pleasures seem sweeter and an afternoon reading Daniel Deronda on a bench in the Impressionist exhibit can really be the sweetest summer pleasure of all. And a free one, I might add.

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So as fruit gets cheaper and more plentiful and the days stretch out their light and warm breezes, I hope you find as much pleasure from this summer as I am. I work in the basement of a library without a ray of sun, sitting for seven hours straight turning scanned images into tifs. And I couldn’t be more happy. Happy summer break friends.

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The Love Book

May 19, 2014

Dear Reader,

Have I got something for you today. This fine Monday I am going to blow your mind with POETRY. I can see from your possibly skeptical faces that you don’t quite believe me. However, trust me on this. I was recently introduced to an app called “The Love Book,” which contains a collection of love poetry (and some prose) available right at your fingertips, wherever you may be.

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I happen to be a lover of poetry, but if you are a bit unsure of whether you like it or even if you are sure you don’t, I recommend still checking this out. Because the best part of the app is that a large selection of the poetry and prose is read aloud for you by some really really great people: Gina Bellman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Hiddleston, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, and Emma Watson.

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In other words, you get to hear awesome literature being read by that really sexy lady from Leverage, Bellatrix Lestrange, Loki, that really awesome guy from Homeland, his wife who is also Narcissa Malfoy, and Hermione Granger. I don’t know how to describe hearing “She Walks in Beauty” from Damian Lewis or “May I Feel Said He” from Tom Hiddleston. All I can say is that after that last one, you will feel like you need a cigarette.

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The prose is a great collection too. There are passages from the script of Love Actually and passages from Harry Potter. There are also passages from Wuthering Heights and other doomed love chronicles. It is an amazing and wonderful thing to have at your fingertips, especially when you need some poetry and love in your life.

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With that in mind, I have included some Tom Hiddleston things. Enjoy!

Thursday at the MFA

May 16, 2014

Dear Reader,

Alright. The week of Whedon has been interrupted by other life things. I haven’t even managed to get through all of Firefly this week. However, I did spend all afternoon strolling around the Museum of Fine Arts. I have managed to live here for many months without making my way down there, even though it is easy to get there, free for BC students to get in, and full of really gorgeous things to see and do. The most important part of that sentence is this: FREE FOR STUDENTS. If you are a student in a Boston area school, you get in free. You also get a 10% discount in the store because you are treated as a member. One of the things I love to buy at museum stores is those little postcard prints. They are fairly cheap and you get to take home a miniature of the things you loved while you strolled. Unfortunately the MFA has very very few of them. Sadness. But I bought a few impressionist ones, which I will share with you.

3c7bcf5c8ffc840868514ba05055f8bcSome lovely Renoir…

d92500d9f75a9d7aabd38d262a436431Some more lovely Renoir,

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Water Lilies, of course by Monet…

d9260c758569d1e8e9aae9a69a55c136And some more Monet (this is my favorite). All of this got me thinking about adding some art to my bedroom, something that I have been trying to do for some time. I already have a print of Van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms, something I based my whole color scheme for my room on. But I have one wall space above my bookshelf that I need to use for art purposes. I decided to purchase a print of the last surviving Velasquez nude, known as the Rokeby Venus.

4fb544d9fbc0244bdfbb629c6603a6dbThis painting has quite a history. In 1914 a suffragette attacked the painting with a meat cleaver, severely damaging it. She apparently wanted revenge for the arrest of another suffragette and also to stop men from staring at it all the time. It hangs in the National Gallery in London, where it has been fully restored. It came to my attention when I watched the miniseries Parade’s End, which places one of its main characters in the National Gallery when the mutilation took place.  She later imagines herself as the woman in the painting as she prepares to spend the night with the man she loves.

parades-end-episode-2-damage1With the literary, historical, and artistic elements all present, I thought this would be the right print to hang above my bookshelf. It should arrive next week and I can’t wait 🙂 I hope you enjoy the art my friends and take a trip to the MFA, or your own local museum, and see some for yourself.