My life in movies

Standard

(Snowed in and bored, so here’s something completely silly!)

Movie my brothers got taken to see while my mother was giving birth to me:
Return of the Jedi

First movie I can remember seeing in a theater (the library screening room, IIRC):
The Fox and the Hound

Movie I fiercely fought back tears at, because I was a tough girl at the ripe old age of 6:
All Dogs Go to Heaven

Movies that, embarrassingly, can always make me cry:
Hardball
Tomorrow is Forever

Movies I can quote every single line of dialogue to because we rented them repeatedly and/or taped them off TV:
Follow That Bird
Robin Hood
National Velvet
Little Mermaid
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown
What About Bob?

Movie we got to watch if it rained at recess:
The Neverending Story Part 2

Movies that my crazy childhood best friend would watch only certain scenes of, over and over:
The Wizard of Oz (flying monkeys)
Return of the Jedi (Ewoks dancing)
Meet Me in St. Louis (throwing flour in people’s faces)

She might have been insane, it appears:
Yup.

Yup.

Movies that were always on HBO when we would get the free trial:
War Games
Rain Main

Movies that my family members quoted until the lines lost all meaning:
Rain Main
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Sling Blade
This one terrible TV movie about Charles and Diana’s divorce that unfortunately is not available anywhere Stateside

Movie my parents bought because the dog liked to watch it, even though no one else did:
Snow Dogs

Movies that informed my notions of romantic relationships:
The Cutting Edge
Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken
A Far Off Place
The Bodyguard

Movies I watched chiefly because of the hotness of the actors therein:
Swing Kids
Little Women (1994)
White Squall
Eight Men Out
That one where Bon Jovi is on a submarine with Matthew McConaughey

Movies that made me feel smart as a nerdy teen:
Contact
The Truman Show
Romeo + Juliet
Gattaca
10 Things I Hate About You

Movies I was so desperate to see I bought illegal, edited DVDs:
Garden State
Love Actually

Movies I watch when I’m sick:
Can’t Hardly Wait
She’s All That
Clueless
Persuasion (1995)

Movies that shaped my sense of style and aesthetics, to the present day:
Singles
Clueless
Troop Beverly Hills
Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Movies I have watched way, way, way too many times:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Citizen Kane
Casablanca
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Hot Rod
The Saint

Movies with comically bad Russian dialogue and/or accents:
The Saint
K-19
The Hunt for Red October
The Bourne movies (Лштшфум Ащьф)
Independence Day

Movies I saw on awkward dates/group outings/group dates:
The Hulk
A Beautiful Mind
Hidalgo
Paradise Now
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Movie I slept through in a theater:
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Sequels I’ve seen without having seen the first film:
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (well sort of)
Toy Story 2
The Incredibles 2 (in Russian no less)
Oceans 12
Return to the Blue Lagoon

Indie movie I saw on an early date with my husband:
Children of Invention

Movies my husband made me watch before we could get engaged:
Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
Those other three ones

Movies I made my husband watch after he put a ring on it:
Roger & Me
Hot Rod
Escanaba in da Moonlight
Love Actually (see above)
Glitter

Movies I don’t understand why everyone loves:
The Goonies
The Notebook
E.T.

Movies I didn’t see until later in life and now regret all those years not knowing:
Soul Man
Heathers
In the Mood for Love

Movie I have no intention of ever seeing:
Titanic

Movie my husband cannot believe I’ve never seen:
The Shawshank Redemption

Movies my husband and I quote most often to each other:
Summer Catch
Varsity Blues
School of Rock
Bring It On
Eddie & the Cruisers Part II: Eddie Lives!
The Other Sister
The Saint

Possibly the best gift I have ever received:
Eddie & the Cruisers parts 1 & 2 DVD set

Movie I watched once in the middle of the night and told everyone was awesome for the next decade and then rewatched and was so embarrassed:
Thank God It’s Friday

Movie I’ve seen the first 15 minutes of, over and over, on an overseas flight:
V for Vendetta

Movie I watched in a hotel room in Denmark because it was literally the only thing on TV that wasn’t porn:
Hotel for Dogs

Movies I will sit down and watch every time they’re on TV regardless of how many times I’ve seen them/how good or bad they are:
Happy Gilmore
Tommy Boy
The Breakfast Club
Sleepless in Seattle
A Few Good Men
Dumb and Dumber
Office Space

Movies I think are dumb but I will hate-watch if I am in the right mood and have a potent potable:
The Jane Austen Book Club
Runaway Bride
The Last Song
The Lincoln Lawyer
Blue Crush

Movies I hate so much I can’t speak about them coherently for very long without just starting to make noises:
Garden State
Emma (1996)
Dan in Real Life
The Village

Movies in which I root for the “bad guy”:
The Sound of Music (Baroness Shraeder is awesome.)
Return of the Jedi (The Emperor)
Swing Kids (Christian Bale, that is, not, you know, Hitler)
Armageddon (the asteroid)

Movie I should have seen in a theater:
The Perfect Storm

Last movie I saw in the theater:
Austenland

Next movie I will see in a theater:
Casablanca, if I can drag the mister

 

Przedmowa / Dedication | Czesław Miłosz

Standard

Przedmowa

Ty, którego nie mogłem ocalić,
Wysłuchaj mnie.
Zrozum tę mowę prostą, bo wstydzę się innej.
Przysięgam, nie ma we mnie czarodziejstwa słów.
Mówię do ciebie milcząc, jak obłok czy drzewo.

To, co wzmacniało mnie, dla ciebie było śmiertelne.
Żegnanie epoki brałeś za początek nowej,
Natchnienie nienawiści za piękno liryczne,
Siłę ślepą za dokonany kształt.

Oto dolina płytkich polskich rzek. I most ogromny
Idący w białą mgłę. Oto miasto złamane
I wiatr skwirami mew obrzuca twój grób,
Kiedy rozmawiam z tobą.

Czym jest poezja, która nie ocala
Narodów ani ludzi?
Wspólnictwem urzędowych kłamstw,
Piosenką pijaków, którym ktoś za chwilę poderżnie gardła,
Czytanką z panieńskiego pokoju.

To, że chciałem dobrej poezji, nie umiejąc,
To, że późno pojąłem jej wybawczy cel,
To jest i tylko to jest ocalenie.

Sypano na mogiły proso albo mak
Żywiąc zlatujących się umarłych – ptaki.
Tę książkę kładę tu dla ciebie, o dawny,
Abyś nas odtąd nie nawiedzał więcej.

English: Średnicowy Bridge in Warsaw Polski: M...

Most Średnicowy w Warszawie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dedication
(tr. by Czesław Miłosz)

You whom I could not save
Listen to me.
Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.
I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.

What strengthened me, for you was lethal.
You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one,
Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty;
Blind force with accomplished shape.

Here is a valley of shallow Polish rivers. And an immense bridge
Going into white fog. Here is a broken city;
And the wind throws the screams of gulls on your grave
When I am talking with you.

What is poetry which does not save
Nations or people?
A connivance with official lies,
A song of drunkards whose throats will be cut in a moment,
Readings for sophomore girls.
That I wanted good poetry without knowing it,
That I discovered, late, its salutary aim,
In this and only this I find salvation.

They used to pour millet on graves or poppy seeds
To feed the dead who would come disguised as birds.
I put this book here for you, who once lived
So that you should visit us no more.

Warsaw, 1945

* As Clare Cavanagh points out, the English translation loses something very important: the singular you. This is not an address to all the victims of the war, but to one person.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Po prostu (Simply) | Julia Hartwig

Standard

Po prostu

Na wszystko przyjdzie pora
Ale nie przyjdzie czas wskrzeszenia pierwszych nadziei
i pierwszych miłości
ani utrwalenia w słowach tego co przebiega ci przez głowę jak wiatr
i bywa przeczuciem jakiejś ważnej prawdy
lecz umyka tak szybko jakoby swawoliło
Przychodzi jednak nieodwołalnie pora
kiedy po kolei tracić zaczynasz wszystko co kochałeś
i wszystkich którzy odchodząc stąd
nie wyjawiają ci czy odchodzą zawiedzeni
Przychodzi ten czas
a ty przyjmujesz go bez wstydu i pokory
ot tak po prostu

Julia Hartwig

Disappointed

(Photo credit: simone|cento)

Simply

For everything there will come a time
but the time for resurrection of first hopes and first loves
     will not come
nor for arresting in words that which runs through your head like
     a wind
and might be a premonition of some weighty truth
but escapes as quickly as if it frolicked
Inevitably the time comes however
when one by one you begin to lose all the things you’ve loved
and all those who leave from here
without revealing to you if they depart disappointed
That time does come
and you accept it without shame or humility
just like that simply
Enhanced by Zemanta

George Santayana | Sonnet XXV

Standard
Hail to Caesar!

(Photo credit: **Mary**)

Sonnet XXV

by George Santayana
As in the midst of battle there is room
For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth;
As gossips whisper of a trinket’s worth
Spied by the death-bed’s flickering candle-gloom;
As in the crevices of Caesar’s tomb
The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth:
So in this great disaster of our birth
We can be happy, and forget our doom.
For morning, with a ray of tenderest joy
Gilding the iron heaven, hides the truth,
And evening gently woos us to employ
Our grief in idle catches. Such is youth;
Till from that summer’s trance we wake, to find
Despair before us, vanity behind.
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Letter | Dana Gioia

Standard

The Letter
by Dana Gioia

 

 

 

Adams Express Company postmark, with 'Paid 10'...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
And in the end, all that is really left
Is a feeling—strong and unavoidable—
That somehow we deserved something better.
That somewhere along the line things
Got fouled up. And that letter from whoever’s
In charge, which certainly would have set
Everything straight between us and the world,
Never reached us. Got lost somewhere.
Possibly mislaid in some provincial station.
Or sent by mistake to an old address
Whose new tenant put it on her dresser
With the curlers and the hairspray forgetting
To give it to the landlord to forward.
And we still wait like children who have sent
Two weeks’ allowance far away
To answer an enticing advertisement
From a crumbling, yellow magazine,
Watching through years as long as a childhood summer,
Checking the postbox with impatient faith
Even on days when mail is never brought.

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Billy Collins | LINES LOST AMONG TREES

Standard

Lines Lost among Trees
Billy Collins

 

Coins

(Photo credit: Mark Bridge)

 

These are not the lines that came to me
while walking in the woods
with no pen
and nothing to write on anyway.

They are gone forever,
a handful of coins
dropped through the grate of memory,
along with the ingenious mnemonic

I devised to hold them in place-
all gone and forgotten
before I had returned to the clearing of lawn
in back of our quiet house

with its jars jammed with pens,
its notebooks and reams of blank paper,
its desk and soft lamp,
its table and the light from its windows.

So this is my elegy for them,
those six or eight exhalations,
the braided rope of syntax,
the jazz of the timing,

and the little insight at the end
wagging like the short tail
of a perfectly obedient spaniel
sitting by the door.

This is my envoy to nothing
where I say Go, little poem-
not out into the world of strangers’ eyes,
but off to some airy limbo,

home to lost epics,
unremembered names,
and fugitive dreams
such as the one I had last night,

which, like a fantastic city in pencil,
erased itself
in the bright morning air
just as I was waking up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wallace Stevens | Man Carrying Thing

Standard

Man Carrying Thing
Wallace Stevens

Snowflakes at night

(Photo credit: krystian_o)

The poem must resist the intelligence
Almost successfully. Illustration:

A brune figure in winter evening resists
Identity. The thing he carries resists

The most necessitous sense. Accept them, then,
As secondary (parts not quite perceived

Of the obvious whole, uncertain particles
Of the certain solid, the primary free from doubt,

Things floating like the first hundred flakes of snow
Out of a storm we must endure all night,

Out of a storm of secondary things),
A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real.

We must endure our thoughts all night, until
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

 

From Transport to Summer, 1947.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Twigs | Taha Muhammad Ali

Standard

English: P. dactylifera twigs once the fruit i...

 

Twigs
–Taha Muhammad Ali

Neither music,
fame, nor wealth,
not even poetry itself,
could provide consolation
for life’s brevity,
or the fact that King Lear
is a mere eighty pages long and comes to an end,
and for the thought that one might suffer greatly
on account of a rebellious child.
My love for you
is what’s magnificent,
but I, you, and the others,
most likely,
are ordinary people.
My poem
goes beyond poetry
because you
exist
beyond the realm of women.
And so
it has taken me
all of sixty years
to understand
that water is the finest drink,
and bread the most delicious food,
and that art is worthless
unless it plants
a measure of splendor in people’s hearts.
After we die
and the weary heart
has lowered its final eyelid
on all that we’ve done,
and on all that we’ve longed for,
on all that we’ve dreamt of,
all we’ve desired
or felt,
hate will be
the first thing
to putrefy
within us.

Translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi, and Gabriel Levin.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Happiness | Jane Kenyon

Standard

Happiness

by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.


And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.


No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.


It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
                     It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

English: The dwarf pine barrens in the Sam's P...

 

Enhanced by Zemanta