Friday, 19 November 2010

French movies & coffee

Winters are beginning. And so are my exams. I'm not sure I'm fond of either of them. I liked how the weather was, say, a week or two back and I wish it would stay like that for ever and ever and ever. Maybe if I'm friends with that Percy Jackson guys, he'll do it for me? Or ask his super cool relatives from the Greek Mythology? Either ways, since I'm not friends with Percy Jackson (or any other person from Camp-Half Blood), I don't think I have a chance at weather freezing (ha!) and must simply adjust to the changes.

Everything is turning so cold these days. I like it now but I'm not so sure I'll like it a month later when the chill starts reaching my bones. Or in December in general. How is one supposed to give their 1st semester exams in their Masters in December? It's cold. It's freezing. It's inhuman to make anyone write in such a time. And, now, even though I spend some time with Plato and Aristotle, trying to understand what the hey they think about poetry and why exactly it matters, and what crazy bawdy stories Chaucer came up with waaaaay back in history, I get tired of it. And, honestly, who wouldn't?

So these days, I'm de-stressing, how? By watching movies. And, somehow, they're French. But then again, my options in English are Paranormal Activity and such like which I refuse to watch alone. And I am not that shameless yet to go out for The Social Network when my exams are round the corner. I, however, am shameless enough to watch french movies at home, curled up on my mat, inside my cozy blanket with a nice mug of coffee. Now, I know what they say about coffee making your nerves all wrung up and making you all edgy.. But, I find coffee among some of the most relaxing things. A nice mug of coffee (cold coffee in summers) somehow manage to calm me down and not give me a headache and not make me zonked out or blank or crazy-bitch.

So, what have I watched till now? Mainly the movies I have seen before. Them being:
1. Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain)
2. Priceless (Hors de Prix)
3. Coco Before Chanel (Coco Avant Chanel)
4. Persepolis

I'm a big fan of Audrey Tautou. Big Surprise.

Amélie is one of the best, quirkiest and cutest movies ever made. It is so magical and I end up relating to Amélie so much. And it tells you so much about living your own life to the fullest. Like Amélie, we all realize how important it is to live life like there would be no tomorrow and help others' achieve it but when it comes to us, we shy away. Besides, this movie pays a lot of attention to one my my personal favorite paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir--- Luncheon of the Boating Party.

Then there is Priceless. It is a modern day Breakfast at Tiffany's. In fact, the director of Priceless himself admits to be inspired by the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's and both the book and the movie are among my favorites (I am a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn as well... maybe actress with the name 'Audrey' are talented).

Coco Chanel was one of the best things that ever happened to fashion. Coco Avant Chanel is a brilliant movie. It does not glorify Chanel or bitches about her. Okay, so she was a little too obsessed with the colour black, but then again, considering she was living at a time when everything pink and frilly and gordy was considered fashion, I don't blame her.

And last, there is Persepolis. Seriously, watch this one. Audrey Tautou is not in this movie but this is a classic. As goos as the book itself. It is cool and you will love the way Marjane Satrapi's character starts singing "Eye of the tiger" with an Iranian accent!! It is brilliant. It is technically an animation but it is better than anything you can possibly imagine.

I now want to see He loves me... He loves me Not (À La Folie... pas du tout). It deals with Erotomania, a psychological disorder also known as "Delusions of Love". At present, I am very very intrigued with this psychological disorder. Maybe I should download it. Hmmm...

Friday, 12 November 2010


I should probably warn you beforehand that as I write this post, I suffer from a tremendous bout of common cold and have a monstrous headache, not to forget a tad bit emotional. Funnily enough, I was reading Agatha Christie's Hallowe'en Party, where my favorite Hercule Poirot says "The trouble with a catarrhal cold is that is hard to glean the proper amount of sympathetic consideration from one's friends". Such is my case. Today, I took the day off, and was watching You've Got Mail and admiring both the bookshops in the movie where the scene comes where Meg Ryan's character is down with cold. And Tom Hanks' character, who is madly in love with her, comes to visit her with a bunch of daisies, her favorite flowers. Now, I don't know when I became of romantic disposition, but suddenly I wish somebody would come up to me with a primo Café Mocha from Costa Coffee and maybe some lilies won't hurt. But that's asking for too much, I know.

But that is not what I intended to write about today. I was just thinking about what lots of people have telling me to do: taking my writing seriously. A hard task. It requires a dedication.
Anyways, I got thinking of women writers in particular and then, gradually, onto something, a teacher of mine had said something in passé over 2 years ago: All women writers commit suicide. Now, that, obviously is not true. But it got me thinking.

Most of the women writers do seem to suffer from some sort of a depression. Most. Not all. I hope. I mean, people like Doris Lessing and Arundhati Roy and even Sarah Webb seem okay... psychologically. But most women writers do really seem to be troubled.

The most famous example of this is Virginia Woolf. I haven't read much by her... just a few essays and Mrs. Dalloway, but still, I adore the way she writes. I do. Except for the lesbian bit which I frankly don't/ can't relate to. She writes with this poetic, rhythmic truth, it almost breaks your heart. Oh, if you're a fan of Mrs. Dalloway, please watch The Hours. It's beautiful. It is. Virginia Woolf was famously a psychological case. She was always nervous, apparently imagined things and well, you get the idea. In the end, life became simply too unbearable for to live. It's tragic and I feel really bad for her husband, Leonard Woolf. He seemed to have genuinely love her.. which most men & women won't do when your wife or husband is "mad" and has a history of committing suicide.

Ok, the next: Emily Dickinson. I mean, dude, she kept herself confided to one tiny room. In that sense, the exact opposite of Woolf who wanted to get back to London with all its charm and life. Dickinson started wearing only white. Didn't come out of her room for years they say. Starting changing her name's spelling. And fantasized about Death.

Agatha Christie is known to have run away and "disappeared" because her 1st husband walked out on her for another woman as a result of which Christie suffered from depression.

No, ok, of course this is a stereotype... all women writers cannot be unhappy! I'm not. Touchwood.

But maybe sadness and suffering has something to do with writing.. Maybe. Maybe you can assess certain emotions better then. Maybe it's not just women, maybe it's men too. But there is something intangible there. J. K. Rowling is among my favorite authors ever and she openly admits to having suffered from depression. I really admire her and she has helped me with her Harvard Speech in getting me out of a really hard time in life. Her courage to get through this thing, with practically no ray of hope for a secure tomorrow and her will, still, to write Harry Potter's life down on paper is inspiring to me. If I were under clinical depression, or nervous or shut up in my own room willingly, I doubt if I would have the will to write.

Jane Austen is my other favorite author. She never married. And she lived in the 19th Century!! She created Mr. Darcy. I wonder whether society's taunts ever got to her.

It's amazing how these women kept their will to write.