This Week I... #2

January 28, 2016

~~ This Week I #2 ~~
Here's what I've been up to these past couple of weeks...
  • Last Wednesday I skipped a lecture so I could speed around town in the car and take my driving test, which meant another 7am wake up call and copious amount of caffeine before hopping in the car. Thankfully I passed the test first time although I made an idiot of myself on the test route and kept making sarcastic comments about myself under my breath... whoops.
  • On Saturday I went on a beautiful night out with two of my favourite people, so a big hello to El and Amber if you're reading. The picture of us above was actually taken before we went out, and I look drunk as heck already which is amusing as I really didn't think I was...
  • Fell in love with Zoe London's new website design which I deliberately found a computer for so I could experience the full 'magazine style' layout. It really is truly beautiful and something I wish I could achieve with my limited coding skills - I also love the 'track of the day' feature that's now present in her blog posts as personally I prefer the music/lifestyle side of blogs rather than the fashion side as don't you think fashion blogging has become very samey in recent years?
  • I went to see The Danish Girl in the cinemas which was a weird ass film but nobody else seems to feel the same way as me about it, you can read my review of the film here.
  • I also watched Joy and the second film in the Hunger Games series again this week, the latter only because I couldn't work out how to use my own television which I've had for quite a few years and needed a film with dark lighting to test the brightness settings out on.. it turns out I am an idiot and still to this day I have no idea how to make a dark film actually viewable. Sigh.
  • Something else also happened this week which is really big but I can't remember it... but if I do I'll include it in next weeks, as I say I really am an idiot.
 
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Sunrise

January 25, 2016

 
~~ sunrise ~~
 
Looking out of my bedroom window, I release an audible sigh as I contemplate the events yet to take place in the day. It's 6:54am, and I'm late. Very late. Having slept through four alarms and countless repeats of Confident by Demi Lovato, there's little time for breakfast, let alone make up and hair styling. I'm looking at darkness, a black vapid expanse of nothingness, but I don't feel down. I feel tired, but alive. And I think that's because of what's to come next. The belief of being awake before the world. Knowing that I might be awake, but many of the worlds creatures are not. Well, until sunrise anyway.
 
Grabbing an 8am commuter train is something many would consider a nightmare, but I unashamedly adore it. I relish in the fact that at 7:35am I will be walking down ice ridden streets, barely illuminated by street lamps as mellow in colour as washed out linen, with little other to disturb my journey than rustlings of trees and the odd vehicle speeding down the lanes I inhabit every morning for only a matter of minutes.
 
I adore the fact that I get to see what few others will: the sunrise. The raising of colours and light across a town that only minutes previously was submerged in natural darkness, the beginnings of a new day and the removal of the night. I get to see our local river, which during the cloud filled days looks dirty and misused, bathed in orange and yellow light reflected through the overgrown bushes that threaten to fall into the depths of the water, I get to see the skate park filled with nothing but wildlife, with rabbits jumping over the metal structures rather than tracksuit bottom wearing humans.
 
Once arriving at the station, I get to hop onto a train so jam packed with people there are customers loitering in the aisles, knowing that by the time I arrive at my destination, the world will be alive and stores will be open to the masses, the brief tranquillity of my sunrise walk almost forgotten in the fog that is everyday life.
 
And that's why I like sunrise. The idea of colours mashing together to create beauty in a once desolate environment is something I adore, and I encourage you to wake before the birds one morning so you can appreciate it too.
 

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The Danish Girl Film Review

January 23, 2016

Plot Summary:
A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer. (via IMBD)
 
Review:
Watching films in Yorkshire is a weird thing, I've come to gather. It's not what's playing on the screen, as that's the same in every cinema worldwide, but more of the clientele that visit the screen with you. When I saw Titanic in the cinemas, a man maybe of 20 years shouted "HE'S FUCKING DEAD" as we all saw Jack slip away into the waters. When I saw The Danish Girl, another man, maybe of 60 years, repeatedly uttered "Bloody Hell" every time something that wasn't seen as correct 100 years ago came onto the screen. And yes, that includes a close up of Eddie Redmayne's penis. So as I first start to think of a review of the film, that's what comes to mind. But it shouldn't.
 
The Danish Girl is what I would call a love story, one which has a clear beginning, middle and end. It's a slow burner, with a beautiful setting that makes me want to visit Copenhagen tomorrow. Today even. It's a film that I would describe as made for awards ceremonies and the Academy Award ballot voters. It's truly beautiful, and the acting in it was, in some parts, sublime. But there was just something missing.
 
I don't know what it is, because the memories of it are of a film that I felt proud to have watched, enlightened even, as I saw somebody who obviously was torturing himself in his mind as he had to pretend to be the man he know he wasn't. It had humour, and Eddie Redmayne's style of acting really brought that out, every slight upturn of the lips timed just correctly so that it caused a smile for the viewer as well.
 
But then at the same time, it was filled with a hell of a lot of clich├ęs. As Einar steps out of the house and goes to a function as Lili for the first time, he/she/a gender neutral pronoun kisses a bloke and GUESS WHAT?! His wife sees. Shock horror. Oh my god. So damn predictable like a high school movie. Lili seems to fit every stereotypical female gesture into the space of five minutes, the careful caressing of ones own face, the shy laugh to a potential date... it screamed of a Disney Channel movie rather than what will probably be an Oscar winning one.
 
Yet the saving grace of the film was Alicia Vikander, who played Einar's wife Gerda. Although from history books we know that Gerda wasn't the person you'd think she was from this movie, she played her part perfectly. You could see the hurt and the happiness in her eyes every step of the way and she deserves that Best Supporting Actress nod, even if she doesn't win it.
 
As a story I enjoyed it. As an experience, it was one I don't believe I'll be participating in again unless it pops up on Amazon Prime. See it for yourself and leave your reviews in the comment box below.
 
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Joy Film Review

January 18, 2016

Synopsis:
Joy is the wild true story of Joy Mangano and her Italian-American family across four generations, centered on the woman who founds a business dynasty by inventing the Miracle Mop, becoming a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen. Like David O. Russell's previous films, Joy defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty, and love.
 (via IMBD)

Review:
Joy as a story doesn't sound great, does it? A lady makes a mop? How is that meant to inspire me to part with my hard earned cash and take time out of my day? I mean, it's a mop!?! Yet still the trailers interested me, the first one having a backing track so catchy I found myself humming it when it wasn't blaring out of a cinema screen at work, the second one piquing my interest in something that typically I should have no interest in. But that's the beauty of film, isn't it? Being able to see things from other peoples' perspectives whilst also learning things about yourself along the way, being able to critically think about other people and what their needs are in their environment in relation to yours... and that's what Joy means to me. 

Joy focuses on Joy Mangano, a single mother of two whose life revolves around everything but inventions, the one thing that kept her imagination going at a young age. Long story short, she has an epithany whilst asleep on a set of stairs a la Cinderella, and decides to make a mop that, after a lot of heartache and upset, she will end up selling thousands of on the TV network QVC. 

Although the film may be based around a single household object, it signified so much more than that to a wide eyed eighteen year old who still doesn't know exactly where she's going in the world. From the humorous interactions between Joy's mother and father, to the upset and subsequent meltdown that happens later in the film, I felt a uncomprehensible feeling of inspiration every time the scene changed. It was like this film was made for me. Looking at Joy's life, I watched wide eyed as I compared it to my own and vowed to do something.

Though the film is in no way similar to Mean Girls, my reaction was exactly the same as watching that seriously for the first time - at the age of 10 years. Ten years old and slowly growing into a world I didn't truly understand yet was unwillingly flung into, sat in a living room gazing at a screen as the things I thought I could never put into words came to life in front of me. And that's how I feel about Joy. It's the film that's going to guide me through life for the next few years, until I see something else that blows the glass ceiling of my brain to smithereens as I try to hop, skip and jump through my twenties. 

Joy Mangano was a normal lady from a normal (ish) family who lived in a normal neighbourhood but achieved something extraordinary. And as I sat and watched the end credits roll for the third time in as many weeks, I've vowed to do something extraordinary too and to never give up, because by not following my dreams, I'm hiding away like a cicada - and seventeen years hiding is seventeen years too many, as Joy realises in the film. 

This review isn't really much of a review - more of a thought process, as I begin to scramble down my feelings of a film that has truly changed my life whilst trying not to sound like a total dick. Maybe I did choose to go and see it partly because of who was in it (yes, big Lawrence fan girl here) but that's not the reason I'll see it again and again, as even three weeks after the original viewing, I still can't stop thinking about what I witnessed, as if it was an epiphany. And I think that suggests to you my true feelings of a film you need to judge yourself. 

You can watch the trailer of Joy here: ~~trailer~~
You can read a better thought out review of Joy by a TPF1138 (Tumblr) here: ~~review~~

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This Week I...

January 03, 2016

This week I...
  • Discovered 'study-blr' accounts on Tumblr, which exist solely to post pretty pictures of revision and to encourage good studying habits, which is something that I've found really helpful in the past few weeks in the run up to my first exams of university.
  • Began listening to new soundtracks and albums to promote a good working environment, the Joy soundtrack (playlist here) has become one of my favourites alongside this Keep Fit album (playlist here) that comes for free as part of my Prime membership if I need a pick me up after economics revision.
  • Made full use of my new stationary from That Lame Company, an independent UK based store that sells the most beautiful notepads and deskpads, their 'I Should Have Done This Stuff Yesterday' to do list pad is a constant fixture on my desk at the moment for good reason, and their service is fabulous, my order came within 2 days of ordering! 
  • Wore some sick clothes and shoes such as the beauty in the picture above - I had such a good week of nights out and pizza, I really should have done one of those OOTD things but they're not really my thing as my attempt at posing is usually horrendous.
  • Watched Love Rosie again, and absolutely adored it for the second time. I think it's going to end up being one of those films that live on and on, much like Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. It's just so upsetting yet heartwarming... thank you Orange Wednesdays (rip) is all I can say for introducing me to this beauty.
What have you done this week?


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