Suits introduced me to this one. I love to listen it under the night sky full of stars. Lovely.
Artist: Gregory Alan Isakov
Song: The Empty Northern Hemisphere
Suits introduced me to this one. I love to listen it under the night sky full of stars. Lovely.
Artist: Gregory Alan Isakov
Song: The Empty Northern Hemisphere
“We’re all breakable. Some more than others.”
Original Title: Perfetti Sconosciuti
Director: Paolo Genovese
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Description from IMDb: Seven long-time friends get together for a dinner. When they decide to share with each other the content of every text message, email and phone call they receive, many secrets start to unveil and the equilibrium trembles.
A comedy movie with a dark tone and a whole lot of drama. I just finished watching this movie(It’s 8:00 P.M., 28th February 2018) and I enjoyed every minute of it, the screenplay was so good that at times I forgot looking at the subtitles because I was so engrossed in watching the characters. I liked how there were just a few characters, seven to be precise(I like movies and books with fewer characters) and they played their part very well.
Marquez said “All human beings have three lives-public, private and secret.” and I think he was right, we all live three lives, we are a different person when we are with our friends, a different person when we are with our family and a different person when we are alone.
One lingering theme in the movie is how people decide to really hide a part of themselves from others no matter how close they are to each other. People do this for several reasons, they are ashamed of it, they feel guilty about it or maybe they made a mistake and have no idea how to confront it. And people may think that they want to know everything about someone they are close to but the reality is that they don’t want that, people are afraid that they may get to know something or some reality that they won’t be able to live with. Likewise, many people live in loveless marriages or relationships, they know deep down that something is wrong but they don’t even try to confront it, they live a secret life discreetly along with their relationship but completely avoid to fix the relationship they do have. One can do two things in this situation either fix it or leave it; however, most people don’t do any of it. And I don’t think they live a happy life either with all this hiding and guilt that builds up over time.
Here in this movie we have 7 friends, including 3 couples and one single guy and a game that can turn either way, it can lead to some excitement or it can crash everything down. This movie shows how these lifelong friends, who think they know each other, might actually be Perfect Strangers.
The setting of the movie is very simple and confined. The whole thing happens in just one place, but it does carry out the message very well. The movie concentrates more on the message that it is trying to convey, the emotions, the psychology of people and their responses and actions to the information, but that doesn’t mean that it is not beautifully shot, it is and it totally complements with the theme of the movie.
If I talk about the actors then I must say that they really did a good job and their conversations flowed naturally and this movie is all about conversations and talking it out. There are not many other elements in this movie to look out for, so, it was completely dependent on the acting and the script, which turned out to be really really good.
When I say, conversations flow naturally in this movie is because, the conversations between these characters revolves around all kind of topics, from sexuality, kids, accepting oneself and marriage etc… and as it happens in real life that these conversations can lead anywhere, and same thing happens in this movie and this also creates a very tense situation through out the movie because you never know when this can turn into an argument or a conflict.
I haven’t watched any movie by this director before, so he is completely new to me. However, I liked what he did here in this movie and one good thing is that he let things flow naturally and gave these actors a freedom to improvise as things developed which gave this a movie a realistic touch.
This is kind of a movie where you can easily connect. I really didn’t take it as a comedy movie, for me it was more of a drama, I don’t know, maybe I’m either too critical of things or the humor was lost in the translation, it can be one of the two things. Or I can say, that yes it is a comedy but it carries the sad reality and that makes it less of a comedy for me. However, I don’t really care about the genre, the best thing about this movie is that you can relate to it very easily and somewhere deep down you know that it can happen and the director did a good job in the way he shot the film to make it even more convincing.
I had a really great time with these characters.
And now a song for you, Perfetti Sconosciuti by Fiorella Mannoia, have a good time.
I just watched the movie, Perfetti Sconosciuti and heard this lovely song. The film turned out to be really amazing and so is this song and I can say that, I love her voice.
“I do not recall my own first glance of love, my own first gift of love. Yet it happened. Those divine simplicities are erased from my heart. Good God, then what do I retain that is of value?”
Read: 16th October, 2017
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes 40 seconds. Contains 1534 words.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Description:A young man staying in a Paris boarding house finds a hole in the wall above his bed. Alternately voyeur and seer, he obsessively studies the private moments and secret activities of his neighbors: childbirth, first love, marriage, betrayal, illness and death all present themselves to him through this spy hole. Decades ahead of its time, “Hell” shocked and scandalized the reviewing public when first released in English in 1966. Even so, the New Republic praised “the beauty of the book’s nervous yet fluid rhythms… The book sweeps, away life’s illusions.”
It was a strange little book and it hit me in a good way. Its been a few months now, but I remember how I cherished this book and I would totally love to experience what this character experienced, I’m a sucker for slice of life stories and here in this book there were many. I love watching people, people are fascinating that way. I don’t think I ever get bored while waiting for someone or while standing in the queue or even while traveling, I either read or there are always so many people to watch.
“There is no paradise except that which we create in the great tomb of the churches. There is no hell, no inferno except the frenzy of living.”
Hell, a novel by Henri Barbusse was written in the year of 1908(I’m not sure though, it might be the year of publication), also know as The Inferno, is story of an unnamed narrator who lives in a boarding house and there he finds a hole pierced in the wall which gives him access to look into the adjacent room, and there he gets to see the life of people unfold in front of him without them having any clue. The whole story occupies less than a month of time but makes the narrator, as well as the reader, reflect upon the philosophy of life and most importantly reflect upon their own life. So, this man in this book confronts the realities of life.
“Like everybody else, I am a copy of the truth spelled out in the room, which is, “I am alone and I want what I have not and what I shall never have.” It is by this need that people live, and by this need that people die.”
I’m going to divide this review based on different topics, like love, or rather, lack of it, death and innocence. There are many things in this book that one can talk about; however, I’m going to talk about the ones that moved me and touched me.
I like how James Joyce once wrote that: “For myself, I always write about Dublin because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.”
Similarly, in this book through a small hole on the wall we get to see life, not the grand aspect of it if we consider the whole world, but how it can be contained even in the stories of people we come across in our lives. It is true, in the particular is contained the universal.
In this book, the reader along with the narrator, get to witness, incest, marriage, adultery, birth, lesbianism, lost passion, young love, the first kiss, illness and death and the emotions associated with them.
I feel strange about this, but if I really extract from all that I have read, then I can say that Barbusse played with this theme on very many different levels.
“We deceive ourselves a good deal about love. It is almost never what they say.”
Adultery and lost passion: Here we get to see a husband and wife, and the strangeness that creeps between them.
You think you know a person, you enjoy being with them, and you feel safe in their company and, one day out of nowhere the strangeness creeps in, you look at that familiar face that you loved for months or for years, but somehow now you see a stranger in them and you no more feel safe and somewhere deep down you know that you lost something and that is how it is with everything that transcends time. If I talk about myself then I can say that I hate that strangeness and I find it absurd.
Other person doesn’t have to be your lover, it can be a friend, maybe a best friend, your sibling or even your parents.
“Perhaps she denied herself to him.”
Here we come across lost passion between husband and wife, and their loveless marriage.
“Because he did not know her, because she was different from the one whom he knew. To have what one has not.”
Narrator: “I’m sorry for the men and women who go through life together in the chains of indifference. I am sorry for the poor heart that has what it has for a short a time. I am sorry for the men who have the heart not to love any more.”
The reader also gets to see, the lover of the wife, but even there I don’t find the fulfillment, they might have had a wonderful start, like every other love affair, but like every other love affair, it ends in disappointment.(I may be generalizing a lot here, sorry)
“Do you know what we are?
he murmured. “Everything we say, everything we think, everything we believe, is fictitious. We know nothing. Nothing is sure or solid.”
Old man’s Young Love:
“Everything reminded me of her. I was full of her, and yet she was no more!”
The dying old man talks about the girl he loved when he was young and who he lost to some disease(I forgot which one). I really liked his story, and since I don’t want to spoil it for you, I’ll just say, whatever they both created together had a great value for him because that contained the love they had for each other, only that now when he looks back, he doesn’t feel same about them, those things were no exception, it was only the experience that they both shared with each other that made those things worth it. Nothing is really exceptional, it is only what you associate it with that makes it exceptional. You have to read the book to see what I’m talking about.
Two young lovers:
In the book, we also come across the innocence of young lovers and their vulnerability to the newness of things and first experiences.
“Once more their lips joined. Their mouths and their eyes were those of Adam and Eve. I recalled the ancestral lesson from which sacred history and human history flow as from a fountain. They wandered in the penetrating light of paradise without knowledge. They were as if they did not exist. When – through triumphant curiosity, though forbidden by God himself – they learned the secret, the sky was darkened. The certainty of a future of sorrow had fallen upon them. Angels pursued them like vultures. They grovelled on the ground from day to day, but they had created love, they had replaced divine riches by the poverty of belonging to each other.”
On Death: I don’t have much to say here, but I can quote all that I liked.
“We do not die. Each human being is alone in the world. It seems absurd, contradictory to say this, yet it is so… All we can say is: I am alone.
And that is why we do not die. Once, bowed in the evening light, the dead man had said, “After my death, life will continue. Every detail in the world will continue to occupy the same place quietly. All the traces of my passing will die little by little, and the void I leave behind will be filled once more.”
He was mistaken in saying so. He carried all the truth with him. Yet we, saw him die. He was dead for us, but not for himself…
“Every human being is the whole truth.”…. We do not die since we are alone. It is others who die. And this sentence, which comes to my lips tremulously, at once baleful and beaming with light, announces that death is a false god.
But what of others? Granted that I have the great wisdom to rid myself of the haunting dread of my own death, there remains the death of others and the death of so many feelings and so much sweetness. It is not the conception of truth that will change sorrow. Sorrow, like joy, is absolute.”
And this is how the book ends, “I believe that the only thing which confronts the heart and the reason is the shadow of that which the heart and the reason cry for. I believe that around us there is only one word, the immense word which takes us out of our solitude, NOTHING. I believe that this does not signify our nothingness or our misfortune, but, on the contrary, our realization and our deification, since everything is within us.”
I loved reading this book and I must say this book is so human and one of my favorite books from the year of 2017. To end this, I would just say, “Don’t look around because everything you need is within you.”
“You can’t trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it.” – W.C. Fields
I was a little girl when I traveled to Southern India and that was in the year of 2005, also that was the first time I saw the sea, I was mesmerized by its vastness and stunned by the strange beauty it held, it was strong and wild and at the same time carefree. I was also afraid of it because the place where I was living also suffered from its violent nature in the year of 2004. So, one thing I knew was to stay away from it and enjoy its beauty from a distance. Since then I have learned to follow this rule, “when you see a danger, you stay away.” At least that is what I follow when I see something that can hurt me. But the biggest fear that I have of the sea is that you can never know how far it can come to pull you in.
When I was a kid, I always had this recurring dream, where I’m sitting on a very tall wall which is in the middle of an ocean, I’m afraid of its vastness, afraid of the dark blues of the ocean and the gray sky. There is nowhere to go, and the only thing I could do is jump in it or wait for someone to help me out or maybe find a way to get away from that situation. I always felt very strange about that dream, neither anyone came to my rescue nor did I fall in the ocean and never did I try to get away from it. I still see that dream sometimes but I don’t feel afraid of it anymore I just know how it’s going to end. Now, it’s just a known danger.
I was talking about staying away from the danger but what if you don’t know it’s dangerous. On that very trip, I went to another place near Kanyakumari, a town on Pamban Island called Rameswaram. The sea there was calm and composed and I was very happy that yes I can totally have some fun now. The water was shallow and I could easily stand in it but strangely enough this time the sea engulfed me completely and I must tell you, I don’t even know how to swim, I tried to ask for help but I couldn’t get my hand out of the water and after some time I even stopped trying because I didn’t know how to help myself. However one good thing happened the sea didn’t want me either, it did swallow me but within some time it spat me out.
I think there is no use of fighting the sea, the only thing one can do is follow it and I did just that, I let things happen and after a while I was fine and out of it, safe. I did drink a lot of salt water and I felt nauseated afterward. In the deepness of the sea, when I was drowning, I felt helpless, but since I couldn’t do anything, I resigned. That was the first time I faced death.
I have learned this thing in my life that I can avoid danger when I know it’s dangerous but in other cases I need to test the water and take a plunge and just hope that it will be alright, I can’t avoid everything to keep myself safe, then there is no fun and I will always be afraid of everything. I have been into deep waters but thankfully got out of them at the right time.
“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” – Dave Barry
It’s been years since that incident and I still go to different places just to enjoy the vastness and the beauty of the sea and I respect the water and I know its power and how it can caress your hand when you dip them in it and how in a moment it can pull you in.
I always enjoy the night time, sitting at the shore in the silver moonlight, when strong winds are flowing by, water does look monstrous but you get to feel its strength, the sound it makes while hitting the rocks and sound huge waves make when they hit the shore. Good thing is that both bigger waves and smaller waves fade away, some pound and some lap but both of them goes away. Some caress you and some hit you. Some take things with them into the deep water, some toss away things onto the shore. I like how I can drown in the mystery and darkness of the sea at night.
“There are always waves on the water. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small, and sometimes they are almost imperceptible. The water’s waves are churned up by the winds, which come and go and vary in direction and intensity, just as do the winds of stress and change in our lives, which stir up the waves in our minds.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Nothing like when you lie awake at night with open windows, letting the air come in with its salty scent while listening to the sound of wind whispering through the trees. Everything about it is comforting and peaceful at least until you don’t get to face the wrath of the sea. So, much like how life is.
“The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void.”
Read: 11th February 2018
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes 35 seconds. Contains 719 words.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Shimamura is tired of the bustling city. He takes the train through the snow to the mountains of the west coast of Japan to meet with a geisha he believes he loves. Beautiful and innocent, Komako is tightly bound by the rules of a rural geisha and lives a life of servitude and seclusion that is alien to Shimamura – their love offers no freedom to either of them.
Snow Country is both delicate and subtle, reflecting in Kawabata’s exact, lyrical writing the unspoken love and the understated passion of the young Japanese couple.
What a day it was to read this book, it started with gray undertone in the sky to a storm accompanied by strong winds and hail. As I’m writing this I can still feel the cold damp air coming in through the window and I wonder what destruction it must have caused to those crop laden fields. Now there is silence all around and I can see only one person walking on the street in the dark of the night and as creepy as it may sound I’m sitting beside the window of my room watching him.
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata is a lyrical prose, and as what I have read in the introduction by Edward G Seidensticker, this book is an attempt to infuse poetic form haiku with a novel.
Kawabata in this book beautiful described the nature and landscape of the Snow Country and I think this is the most descriptive book that I have ever read. The theme of this book and the description of the landscape complements each other very well. As far as the story is concerned I thought it was less of a plot-driven story but the story focused more on expressing human emotions and a slice of life that these characters were leading incorporated with nature, I also believe that setting of Snow Country was an integral part that worked well with the theme of the story and also helped the writer to fuse the poetic form with a novel.
The reason I said that this story focus on “slice of life that these characters were leading” is because we don’t get to know the complete story about these characters, we only get to know a part of their life, the one they are sharing with each other.
To be true when I started reading this book, I was confused, it’s only when the writer started dropping names I figured it out. So, in the beginning, I was confused and a little frustrated but then after a while, things started making sense. So, I guess this book needs patience.
I loved the opening scene, but with time I realized there are so many of them and I just enjoyed it as a whole and I must say that the writer never missed a chance to bring out the beauty of the surrounding.
“In the depths of the mirror the evening landscape moved by, the mirror and the reflected figures like motion pictures superimposed one on the other. The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted into a sort of symbolic world, not of this world. Particularly when a light out in the mountains shone in the centre of the girl’s face, Shimamura felt his chest rise at the inexpressible beauty of it.”
The book revolves around isolation and loneliness, around decaying love and separation. There were several plot developments throughout the book and so many things were left unanswered. Kawabata didn’t really talk a lot about the background stories of these characters neither do I know what kind of relationship was shared by Yoko, Komako and the music teacher’s son nor do I know anything about Shimamura’s family back in Tokyo and what kind relationship does he have with his wife and children. On one hand, I’m not very clear about Shimamura’s character, I found him cold, unemotional and impotent while, on the other hand, I found the character of Komako very interesting and at times I was worried about her for all the possibilities and impossibilities that lies ahead of her to face.
Even if I let alone the story, this book is still worth reading for all the beauty that is contained in it and the imagery that the writer has created.