Singleton + Writer + Book Lover + Moviegoer = Screen Spinster

Welcome to the loneliest blog on the web. I have no words of wisdom to espouse. (why does espouse sound so much like spouse? Is that word trying to rub it into my spinster brain?) Anyway, I don't own a cat. Never will. I don't cook, nor do I sew or knit, but I do spin a yarn (tale) from time to time. I have no domestic talents, I am not a domestic engineer/goddess, nor do I want to be. I'll sometimes post my views on scripts, (mine & yours or theirs) movies, television shows and maybe theatre, along with my own musings usually in the style of a poem. So pull up a rocking chair, sit back as your cherry pie bakes and stay a while if you like.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Your Voice In My Head by Emma Forrest: A Memoir

Depression sucks. Plain and simple. It sucks away the hope. It sucks away your life. It sucks away the joy. It sucks away as it eats away at the deepest, darkest parts of yourself. Emma Forrest has battled depression for pretty much most of her life, and in this memoir, she chronicles her ups and downs with it, and she does it with prose that melts the reader into her words.

I first came across Emma Forrest via another blog site, where they made mention of a memoir and how the author writes about her relationship with Colin Farrell, so I read an excerpt out of curiosity, and I got sucked into her style of writing. I am not a Farrell fan. I've always thought he was kind of "dirty" and I understand a bit more why I felt that way about him, after reading this memoir. Although, he is simply known as Gypsy Husband, it's clear who she is writing about. He just happens to be a man she loved, and a relationship that ended in such a way to further trigger the depression. It wasn't the cause, as Emma is quite open about how long she's had depression, the manic parts of her personality, and the bad/wrong men she's been with. Although, I came to this memoir months ago out of that curiosity, not fully realizing the complexity of her story as it deals with depression, it wasn't until more recently that I was able to read the entire memoir, and got passed the hollywood hook and into the trueness of her story. And the special relationship she had with her therapist who died much too young, and the affect his life and death has on one of his patients.

I think everyone will come across depression at sometime in their life, whether it's a direct personal experience, or via a loved one. Depression is brutal, and can take no prisoners. And it is very hard to articulate, or describe to those who have not gone through it themselves, and Emma has found a way to do that, and has provided a bit of comfort for those who've lived in it, or are still living in it.

Her honesty is raw and gritty, and, at times, uncomfortable. She describes her suicide attempts, her cutting, her high risk sexual escapades, all of it. She lets us in. I believe she's experienced some backlash for her memoir/writing style, and has been described as a namedropper. But this is her life. These are her experiences, and some of them revolve around people who are well known in certain parts of the world. It's unfair to judge that part of her memoir, as it's her truth, and they are her experiences. What matters is the way she tells her story, and if it's relatable, or fascinating to read. And it is. And the most important part of this memoir, is what she learned from Dr. R. The doctor who taught her how to live with depression in a way that made her believe she could love and respect herself.

At the end of book, Emma still battles with depression, as it will be a life long struggle, but she has hope, and she has "his" voice in her head. Not a voice of past relationships, not the voice of sadness, but the voice of a kind doctor who gave her hope.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie Thoughts: UNKNOWN

Liam Neeson is a good actor. I enjoy his screen presence. But not even his talent can save the horrible dialogue that litters this film. I can't remember the last time I saw a film that had such terrible dialogue. There was no subtext or mystery surrounding most of the words. Everything was "on-the-nose." It's eye-rolling bad. And when delivered by January Jones, it's laughable, and not in a good way.

The film in a nutshell: Martin Harris goes to Germany with his wife Elizabeth for some kind of conference, but before he gets to that conference, he's involved in a car accident that leaves him in a coma for a few days. He wakes up in the hospital, and nobody is there to claim him. He starts to remember who he is, confronts his wife, who says she doesn't know him, and he is then introduced to the real Martin Harris. Stuff happens. Car chases. Investigations. Attempted murder, and actual murder, as Martin tries to figure out who he is, and what the hell is going on. Along the way, he partners up with a taxi driver (Diane Kruger) who was involved in his car accident, and her life is then brought into danger. We finally find out what's going on when the "twist" is revealed, and then the movie starts to make a bit more sense. As for as a twist in a thriller film goes, this one is okay. It's not too far-fetched or ridiculous, and is plausible. But by that point, the horrible dialogue, and terrible acting by January Jones (she is beyond miscast in this role, and it's painful to watch her), the film is already in the shitter.

Now that being said, I was in the mood for a cheesy thriller set in Europe. I had a feeling the movie wouldn't be great, and it wasn't. I just didn't think the first 30 minutes would be that terrible, or that the dialogue would hurt my ears so much. Who wrote this?( Oliver Butcher & Stephen Cornwell) And with a quick imdb credit check, I can now see why this film is so badly written. Sigh.

Unknown is pretty bad. It's really cheesy. It borders on the ridiculous. But if you're in the mood for a no brainer film then I guess you can go see it, but maybe go on a cheap Tuesday night, or wait until dvd. There is something about seeing a bad film in the theatre where you can laugh out loud at the stupidity of some of the situations. It's a way of making yourself a bit of an elitist, and mocking those who are just not as cool as you, which can be kind of fun! However fleeting that feeling may be.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

I've never had a True Valentine until my first niece was born, and now I have 3 Valentines all under the age of 4, and that's dandy by me.

Am writing this, as my man (shocking, yes!) makes me dinner.

I am still undomesticated and ungoddesslike in the kitchen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Revisiting the classic on the big screen

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Back To The Future again on the big screen at a digital film festival. I hadn't seen the film in cinemas since I was a little girl. I've seen it countless times on vhs, television and dvd over the years (It is my favourite movie of all time), so it's not like I wasn't familiar with the story. But over the years, things got lost on the small screen, details I'd forgotten, overlooked, or never really saw in the first place. The digital copy was glorious to watch. Every scene was crisp. Every facial expression clear.

I was finally able to really take in everything. I noticed props that I hadn't noticed before, and the sets within the world were front and center. A perfect town.

The opening sequence is one of the best ever. We get the set up of Doc Brown's place. We see clocks, and Doc's inventions, the television pops on, foreshadowing plot information (involving plutonium) and then Marty McFly shows up, and even then we don't see his full face right away. The opening sequence is funny, and yet mysterious, and makes the audience want to know who lives here. What is this guy all about? Doc Brown is the catalyst for this epic, scifi, comic, adventure. He is the glue that holds it all together. Christopher Lloyd gives one of the best comic performances in history.

I saw the film when I was quite young, and I was a passionate fan of Michael J. Fox's. He was going to be my husband, and I didn't care that I had already (probably at that time) surpassed him in height. I ended up growing to 5 Feet 10 inches. He was the love of my life, at that time, and well into my teen years. So like any rabid fan, I went to see BTTF for him, and him alone. But what I didn't realize was that when I first watched the film that I would be so profoundly moved by it. It made me believe that anything was possible. It made me think that there's more out there than what was in my little girl world. It made me believe in time travel to a certain extent. It made me fall in love with cinema, and looking back it was the catalyst that lead me to writing.

The screenplay, written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, is one of the best ever written. It is air tight. Not one word of dialogue is wasted. Dialogue is all about set up, and character reveal. It's pretty much a perfect screenplay, and one of the most original stories of our modern era. If you write scripts, then reading this is a must, and studying the final product is a given.

Watching it again in the cinema, after nearly 25 years, was such a treat. I laughed throughout. I thought back to the young person I once was, and all that I had believed in. How innocent I had been as a movie goer (I'm much more jaded now) and I fondly remembered that girl, and the excitement she felt whenever she got to go to the movies, and watch something truly original.

If you get a chance to see BTTF on the big screen, please do yourself the favour, and get your butt to the theatre. Buy yourself a pocorn, and a soda pop, forget about calories, and allow yourself to be transported to a place full of possibilities.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Review: Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

24 female writers tell us what Judy Blume meant to them when they were young girls, unsure of themselves, and navigating the rocky road of puberty, and parents who just don't understand. The collection of short essays is a must read for anyone of a certain age (cough, cough) who grew up reading Blume's books.

Are you there God, it's me Margaret remains with me after all these years, a special place in my heart underneath where I "must, must must increase my bust" line. I also realized that there are some of her books that I never read like Forever and Deenie, and I wonder how that happened. It might have been my interest in Francine Pascal and VC Andrews. I'm off to the library to change that.

I was so in awe of Judy growing up that I read her biography when I was ten. I used that information to write a speech about her, and I read it to the whole class. I think I wanted to be her before I even knew what being like her meant. I have failed on the literary front to be anything near to her. I haven't really tried, but reading these essays reminded me of how much I once did. It's inspiring in a way to be reminded of the girl I once was, the girl with hopes, and dreams, and questions that kept coming, and coming, most of which never got answered.

This book is really a love letter to Ms. Blume. And if you ever read Superfudge, or Blubber, or Otherwise known as Sheila The Great, or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and so on, then read some of these essays. You'll be pleasantly delighted.