The first time I watched Sabrina was in Taiwan a few years ago. The first time I watched it, I was just so entranced by Sabrina, and how they used to speak, dress and move. It reminded me of a subtle transformation from a young, innocent girl to a mature and graceful young lady. There’s something about watching a film in black and white that makes one feel strangely nostalgic, even though they haven’t lived in that period of time. Audrey always had a natural elegance, and her style visually reflects that part of herself. The fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy was known for designing clothing for Audrey that complimented both of their styles.
Is it possible to fall in love with a film in the first 2 minutes? The drawing of a person’s face on the chin reminded me of my sister and me when we were younger. We’d draw a face on our chin and talk, while the other person tries not to laugh. I remember often losing this game. The dominos falling remind me of a simpler time when we could spend hours playing board games, cards and knuckle bones. We would spend time writing our own stories, creating with our hands and using our imagination. Going to school meant break times were filled with crafty things, trading stickers and playing games.Some how I like it more so back then, because we seemed to look in each other’s eyes more. Even if one wanted to escape from talking, we’d try to make an effort in the end, rather than staring down at a phone screen. More on that some other time. It was one of the sweetest films I’ve seen in a long time, and Audrey Tautou was just the perfect Amelie to play it. It reminds us to do good deeds to bring a little spark into other’s lives, to remember to fill our lives with excitement and joy. It’s a reminder that our lives are just (and if not more) exciting as a film that we feel immersed in. The film was something different and special, in that it had a story line that I’d never really wondered about, but it also felt nostalgic in some ways. It was unpredictable which made it all the more enjoyable to watch, in that you’d hope for one thing to happen, but perhaps another thing might happen. Audrey was such a wonderful Amelie, because she gave that extra charm and light that the film would of lacked without her. There were so many things happening in the film, that I feel I’ll have to watch it again some day just to notice some more little things.
It was quite lovely to see little snippets where the narrator would tell us at exactly what time what someone may be doing. He tells us what a particular person likes and dislikes, which is interesting to know every persons little quirks. A part of me could relate to Amelie in some subtle ways, such as the idea that she’s more quiet, an introvert, deep thinker, loves to watch films, imaginative, a little shy at first, likes cats, doesn’t have many friends, likes to spend time alone and takes time to express her true feelings to someone. One of my favourite parts of the film was the script itself, and the simplicity of the lines. Such as when she talks about liking the sound of cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon. It’s those small things that can give us the greatest joys. The film visually has a warm tone that carries the soft sweet atmosphere throughout. The childhood box reminds us of the memories we hold from our younger days, and the important parts of our lives that give us strong feelings when we think of them. Amelie makes you want to cry, laugh and smile all at the same time!
One of my favourite scenes
The first time I watched Midnight in Paris was in 2015, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s been a sort of yearly tradition ever since, where I’d watch the film at least once a year. Each time I watch it, I feel transported into a different time and a wonderful fantasy world, where we could interact with our favourite people from the past. If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s films, such as Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, To Rome With Love and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, then you’ll know his style. Not to mention, the soundtrack was so exquisitely and magically beautiful.
There are so many parts to think about, from love, relationship, era, history, writing, artists, nostalgia, imagination and self expression. Even the simple things, from seeing the beauty of walking in the rain at midnight in Paris. There’s something timeless about it. You lose sense of the present, and your thoughts wonder off into a world unknown, perhaps with a saxophone playing in the distant. The film starts with a montage of Paris scenery set to 1940’s jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet’s “Su Ti Vois Ma Mere”to set the atmosphere.
There is beauty in the most small, delicate things. The thought of rain in Paris against the night light reminds us of the simple beauty in life. Gil tries to explain to Inez in a scene, but she can’t imagine such a thing. Gil: This is unbelievable! Look at this! There’s no city like this in the world. There never was. Inez: You act like you’ve never been here before. Gil: I don’t get here often enough, that’s the problem. Can you picture how drop dead gorgeous this city is in the rain? Imagine this town in the ’20s. Paris in the ’20s, in the rain. The artists and writers! Inez: Why does every city have to be in the rain? What’s wonderful about getting wet?
We often want what we don’t have or cannot experience. No matter how wonderful it would be, I know I won’t ever be able to see Ella Fitzgerald perform live, talk to Audrey Hepburn over coffee or hear Karen Carpenters beautiful voice in the flesh. There is sometimes a kind of romanticisation when looking at the past. It brings a strong sense of sweet nostalgia. We see the surface of others life, and may feel like it seems magical and amazing. However, it’s an illusion in the sense that we all live our lives with the good and bad.
Interact with those who support you and are extremely honest about your work. It’s important to surround yourself with those who inspire you, and those who support you. Perhaps if you’re an artist, having other artists giving honest feedback can be beneficial. This means that they aren’t afraid to tell you when they like or dislike something. Their comments are there to encourage growth and improvement. Hemingway (seen in the film), had a way of being incredibly honest, that you almost felt like the words come straight out of his soul.
Connecting with creative minds can solidify great friendships. Similarly to the previous points, being surrounded by those who share a passion similar to your own eg. art, writing, film, and engaging with them can create strong friendships over time. You talk about your point of views, opinions and thoughts. It allows you to broaden your knowledge and see things from different angles. A strong and true community is important.
The importance of writing and how it lives on in every era. Writing through every age communicates to people. Held at the hands of each person, the words soak in and we’re left feeling a certain way or thinking about certain things. You can read something from over 100 years ago, and ponder about it. How does it relates to your life in the present. Writing teaches us something, as much as reading does. Although, a writer should read often in order to write with an open mind.
Loneliness is in the mind, but so is imagination. Many artists can often feel lonely, especially within the process of creating. However, it’s that same experience that they all have, in which they all use their imagination and creativity to bring something real and raw. When we use our imagination, we lose sense of loneliness and time, and we enjoy the time we can spend in solitude and thought. We’re more likely to have sparks of creativity and energy to express ourselves.
Be persistent in the pursuit of your dreams. If no one believes in you, who is left to? The simple answer is you. You’re the one who is there for yourself to pursue and be motivated in chasing whatever it is you’d like to accomplish in life. No one can bring you down, unless you allow them to. Even the goals we set in mind, can only be completed if we set out to do so. We might write them on our to-do list and make sure of ticking them off. No one else is going to tick them off for us.
We must be grateful for the time we live in and learn to see its magic. When we live in the present, we can truly live our lives with fullness. Gil: Adriana, if you stay here though, and this becomes your present then pretty soon you’ll start imagining another time was really your… You know, was really the golden time. Yeah, that’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life’s a little unsatisfying. It’s a reminder that we must cherish the moment we live in, it’s the moment we truly have.
Love should cancel out all feelings of death. Ernest Hemingway: I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well, which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know, or Belmonte, who’s truly brave. It is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds, until the return that it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.
Artists go through their journey of struggle to something great. Every artists struggles before creating something great. It makes me think of J.K. Rowling, when she talked about how she had years where she was struggling in her life, yet through that time she created Harry Potter, and what it is today. She brought magic and made it alive for every person to experience, even when she battled through difficult periods in her life.
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When I was younger, I watched many musicals, old films, ballets and operas at home. The old soul within me loved it so much. Whether it was Cats, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, The Fiddler on the Roof, The Nutcracker, Swan lake or Love in the Afternoon. It was during the time when televisions were far bigger and technology had not yet placed a smartphone in our hands. I used to hum myself to sleep with the songs and it always seem to take me to another world. I decided to watch My Fair Lady for the third time, maybe for the music, fashion or just to escape the world for 3 hours. Originally a musical, it’s one of those film musicals that will make you laugh and smile. Read here to find out more.
The lovely Audrey, sung by Marni Nixon.
As I write this, I realise that all of these films are animated. However, if you’re like me on a rainy day, most of the time I want to watch a good animated film. It makes me feel imaginative and brings out the inner child within me. Especially if you’ve been staying indoors from the Sydney rain last weekend you will be able to understand the definition of movies on a rainy day. Although, it was quite a stormy one, I felt safe inside my cosy place. It was one of those days where it was dark outside even at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. When I finally did go outside, there were many sad umbrellas that were caught in the wind lying on the pavements, and dead leaves scattered on the path that could no longer crunch. Even so, I do love Winter like an old friend that always wears a red knitted scarf. There are far too many other films I love (most of the Disney films) and adventurous, action, romantic comedy and drama films that I enjoy watching too. Here are a few that I would recommend on a rainy day, while lying in bed with a hot fruity tea. Spoilers ahead*
Coraline. It was during 2014 when I was sitting in my little room on the first floor. The house was very quiet. Coraline is such a wonderful film with just enough creepiness. With buttons as eyes, a tunnel that goes into the other world and a wise lesson on being grateful for what we already have. Although, I did think to myself if I watched this when I was 5 I would of been terribly scared of the Other Mother.
The Corpse Bride. I’ve watched this film many times as we had it on DVD when I was in NZ. This film will always be one of my favourite. The piano scene, the wedding, the singing and the general contrast of the upper world being in it’s all it’s grey and melancholy, and the under world in all it’s colour and lively energy.
Wreck-It Ralph. This movie is definitely the “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” kind, because I put off watching it for such a long time simply because of the poster. Then knowing Disney, I’d surely know that there would be some kind of wonderful adventure, story line and characters that you can’t help just loving. This film was so funny and unexpected, I loved the whole idea.
The Little Prince. Originally I had read the book first. The film is based on the book, and is as heartwarming and adventurous as you would imagine. I love that it reminds us to always stay true to ourselves and stay curious. Life is full of many questions, and we should never stop asking. There are a lot of great lessons in the film (as well as the book).
Alice In Wonderland. Alice is one of the most intriguing characters. No doubt that she is extremely curious and entering Wonderland reveals new things that she has never experienced. If it’s all in a dream, well then even in dreams we are always learning something. “The whole thing is a dream,” Carroll told the dramatist Tom Taylor, “but that I don’t want revealed till the end.”
Cinderella. One of the classic Disney films, It will remind you that A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, and that whatever you set your mind to and believe it with all your heart, it can come true. I always believe this even though Disney makes it all too easy with happily ever after’s. I do believe that our dreams can come true, especially in a world where people may try to bring you down
Kiki’s Delivery Service. If you ever get the chance, you definitely need to watch other Studio Ghibli films. From Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle, to name a few. When I was younger, I loved watching this film because not only was it somehow so satisfying to see an animated character eat drawn food, but even today when I watch it, it reminds of that new adventure we have when we move to a new city.
Studio Ghibli never fails to impress, with it’s touching moments and scenes that indicate something deeper, whilst relating to the audience. At least, I felt as if I could relate to it as an introvert like Anna. The film is written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi who touches on the the memories of our past, traumatic moments, childhood difficulties, friendship, feelings of loneliness and being an outsider. The character Anna is a tom boy 12-year-old girl living in Sapporo, and suffers from asthma that’s prone to panic attacks. After a panic attack, her foster parents send her away to be relatives in rural Hokkaido, where the air is fresh and clean. The seaside setting is beautiful, but Anna prefers to sit by herself and draw, than socialising with the locals.
At the beginning of the film, and throughout, there were moments that made me able to relate to her. Through going through depression, past memories that haunt and feelings of being left out through out high school. When Anna meets Marnie, a blonde hair blue eyed girl, she feels a familiarity, as if she has met her in her dreams. They become close friends who share both of their secrets and adventures with one another. There is a gothic like theme that surrounds the film, where Marnie wears Victorian clothing and lives in a huge mansion under the moonlit sky, by the seaside. There’s an other worldly feeling that Marnie gives, that is comforting and yet familiar to Anna.
The film shows how breaking out of the dark feelings of depression, feeling left out and lonely can be immensely freeing. Often we need to go on a new journey to break free of all our past traumas. High school was definitely not an easy time and the feelings of being an internal outsider can sink in so deeply. The feeling of our personal life and school life can sometimes integrate, making us feel even more left out. However, when Anna makes a new friend, their friendship strengthens her and she feels comfortable without being judged for being different.
For the duration of the animation, we see Anna change from a lonely and empty person who doesn’t express her emotions, to someone who opens up and smiles without feeling afraid. The amazing lessons on self discovery, finding yourself, making a new friend and letting go of the past are all a part of our lives. It is also a reminder to be understanding of those who are different. They can often have gone through difficult times. When Marnie Was There was both touching, meaningful and may shed a tear or two at the end.