31 July 2015

2015's Favourite Films #2

A wee while ago, I posted about 6 films that I've watched and loved in 2015 so far - here. Now, I'm gonna tell y'all about another 6 films that I've seen this year which are, in my opinion, freaking fantastic and completely worth watching. 

Kill Your Darlings (2013): John Krokidas
If you like Daniel Radcliffe, poetry and/or killer 40s fashion, you'll love Kill Your Darlings. It's a film set in 1944 about the poets from the Beat Generation and it's insanely stylish but there's an amazingly dark, sinister undertone throughout and it's essentially a murder mystery so don't be fooled by the big glasses, cable-knit jumpers and tweed coats. I love the general aesthetic of Kill Your Darlings.

Mysterious Skin (2004): Gregg Araki
This is an odd one because I didn't think twice before putting it on the list yet I can't bring myself to watch it again. Mysterious Skin is such a powerful, brave film but it's disturbing. It sticks with you for months after you watch it which I feel like is the mark of an amazing movie. If you simplify it right down, it's about a male prostitute and a guy who's convinced he was abducted by aliens. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the part of Neil absolutely brilliantly and Gregg Araki directed it to perfection (I'm a big Araki fan). There are some really beautiful shots and gorgeous, vivid colours that contrast with the overall muted aesthetic, which sticks to the jewel-colour motif in the book it was based off of.  The full thing's just stunning. I'm finding it really quite hard to write about this film because it's so graphic but if you're old enough, give it a watch.

Heathers (1988): Michael Lehmann
On a slightly lighter note, Heathers is a true 80s wonder. I say "slightly lighter note" because it's still dark and twisted but it's hilarious so it's definitely some light relief after Mysterious Skin. This film just oozes 80s style which I absolutely adore and Winona Ryder kills it throughout (literally). Heathers somehow manages to mix crime and comedy to perfection, completely taking the piss out of what it means to be 'cool'. It has some great acting and one of the best plots to come out of the 80s. 10 out of 10, would recommend to a friend.

I Killed My Mother (2009): Xavier Dolan
Oh look at that, another post involving Xavier Dolan, what a shock. I Killed My Mother was Xavier Dolan's first feature film and, correct me if I'm wrong, I think he wrote it when he was 17 so that makes me feel like a massive failure. It's a semi-autobiographical film about a gay teenager with a complicated relationship with his mum. One of my favourite things about Xavier Dolan is his complete lack of fear when it comes to breaking the rules of film-making; he throws in some really weird shots that may or may not work and you spend the full film just admiring his guts. The dialogue and interaction between characters (especially Hubert and his mum) is ridiculosuly natural and believable, and the fact that it's in French somehow makes every word sound better. I love everything about this film.

Kaboom (2010): Gregg Araki
Another Gregg Araki film...I should've thought this through. Kaboom only has a 5.7 rating on IMDb which is a travesty in my opinion because I watched it in April and I still tell people about it on a weekly basis even now, 4 months later. It's potentially the most bizarre film I've ever seen. It makes no sense. I love it. I watched Kaboom one night after a really sad episode of Skins because I thought it would be quite light-hearted (and it has Juno Temple in it who's kinda my queen) but I was wrong...very wrong. I've never been so disturbed and confused by a film in my life. It's a sci-fi movie about a group of college students experimenting and trying to find themselves but it's honestly so weird and out-there. I won't say anything else because I don't want to ruin it at all but it's psychedelic, wacky and absolutely hilarious. Gregg Araki is a genius. 

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of (2015): Stephen Kijak
Bit of a wildcard to finish with but you probably saw this coming because it's common knowledge that I really like the Backstreet Boys. Like, really like them. This is a documentary about the backstreet boys but don't be fooled into thinking that they're just a superficial boy-band with killer harmonies and over-flowing bags of talent because this documentary is a work of art. There is so much more to the backstreet boys and everyone should love them as much as I do. I mean, have you heard Quit Playing Games With My Heart? It's genius. I cried buckets at this film, mainly when I saw how well Nick Carter had grown up. Just take my word for it and dedicate a day to this documentary.

Just a quick little apology for the lack of female directors. The film industry in general definitely supports male directors more than it does female directors but I should've made more of an effort to be more critical and watch films more diversely, and to feature a more diverse range of films in this post. Sorry! I'll work on that for future film-related posts.

Have you seen any of these films? What have been some of your favourites from 2015 so far?

26 July 2015

Currently I'm...#22

I've actually got 4 books on the go at the moment so feel free to hate me a little bit because I sure do. I really need to just dedicate a couple of days to getting all the books I'm reading finished so I can start a new one and focus on it. The 4 books in question are How To Be Both by Ali Smith, The Art Of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins, Ayoade On Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey by Richard Ayoade, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. I'm genuinely loving all of them so I'm not sure why I haven't finished any. I'm trying to re-read the first three Harry Potter books so I can get on with the rest of the series. I have a lot of reading to do.

Listening To:
I've been getting back in touch with my past wanna-be scene kid and listening to the bands I loved when I was 13 and 14. I actually made a playlist called 'That Time I Tried To Be Scene', including Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, Mayday Parade, Death Cab For Cutie, You Me At Six, Boys Like Girls, All Time Low and a whole lot of Patty Walters covers. It's a real blast from the past and I freaking love it. I've also been getting back into Relient K and alt-J. It's been fun. 

I don't usually talk about films in these posts but I watched Frances Ha last night and it was really brilliant so I felt like it needed a mention. Series-wise, I finally started watching Buffy and it's every bit as good as I was expecting, and I've been keeping up-to-date with season 6 of Pretty Little Liars but I'm not enjoying this season anywhere near as much as the past seasons. I'm a big PLL fan but I'm feeling like 6 seasons is verging on excessive. I'm kinda losing interest with who A is because it's went on for so damn long. I feel bad for saying that...sorry.
Juno Temple.

What have you been loving recently?

21 July 2015

Everyone Makes Mistakes

I know I've made mistakes and messed up multiple times in the past. I also know that I'll make mistakes and mess up multiple times in the future. I've finally come to realise that it's normal and you know what? People don't always care as much as you think they will. People forgive and forget and most things look a bit better after a cup of tea and a good sleep. I have a habit of blowing stuff out of proportion and feeling a lot worse than I should, I guess that's down to anxiety. What can I say? I've always been a worrier. When you think about it, what's actually important is that nothing lasts forever (especially the bad stuff) people are good and everyone makes mistakes, some more than others. Real life example time: in a few months, I'm going to think posting that photo is a mistake. And I'm covering a pizza stain on my jumper with the camera so that was a mistake, the pizza was good though. It's gonna be okay. Life's good.


17 July 2015

2015's Favourite Films #1

I'm a huge film fan. 
I'm not sure where this stems from but for the past couple of years, I've had a real love for film. I can't just have a film on in the background anymore, I just need to watch every little detail and fully appreciate what I'm seeing. I can't just watch a film for the plot, I need to soak up everything and watch it fully. I watch films like many people read books; living in that world for a couple of hours and I can't stop thinking about it afterwards. I freaking love film. For some odd reason, I never really talk about film on my blog but that's gonna change right about now. To ease y'all into my film-love, I thought I'd share some of my favourite films that I've seen in 2015 so far, and hopefully you'll share my love for them too. 

About Time (2013): Richard Curtis
About Time's been around for a couple of years now but, for some weird reason, I only just got around to watching it last week. My mum and sister have been telling me to watch it since it came out in 2013, saying that it's amazing and I'll love it but, being the twisted person I am, I brushed it off and decided not to watch it. (WHY, CATRIONA? WHY?) I finally watched it and oh jesus it's wonderful. I'm not the biggest Richard Curtis fan but About Time is beautiful. It's slow and gentle but completely gripping. It sucks you in from the very beginning and makes you live every second as it happens. About Time is, funnily enough, about time. It's essentially a rom-com about time-travel but it somehow makes it seem completely possible and realistic. I was so impressed by this film (and I cried a hell of a lot). 

Palo Alto (2013): Gia Coppola
I watched Palo Alto on a whim a wee while ago, not knowing anything about it at all. All I knew was that it's directed by Gia Coppola, Sofia Coppola's niece. I guess that's all I needed to know. Palo Alto follows the lives and relationships of 4 teenagers (I know, sounds a wee bit shit) in an absolutely stunning, thought-provoking way. It hasn't got any crazy plot but you get completely enthralled in the lives of these kids as they try to work out what the hell they're doing. It has some gorgeous shots and realistic dialogue which is a nice change for a movie with teenagers in it. The acting is brilliant and it just has an overall beautiful aesthetic. Love this film.

Obvious Child (2014): Gillian Robespierre
This is another film that I watched on a whim with no pre-judgement whatsoever, I just stuck it on when I was cleaning my room but I ended up watching it fully and doing absolutely no cleaning so that kinda backfired. Obvious Child is about a stand-up comedian in her twenties, who is forced to grow up pretty quickly when she becomes pregnant. This film made me laugh to peeing-point whilst still being really emotional and heart-warming. The acting is seriously brilliant (Jenny Slate and Jake Lacy need to be in every film ever), the dialogue is crazy realistic and it's hella empowering. Highly recommend this film to literally everyone.

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011): Lynne Ramsay
This film...ohhhh this film. We Need To Talk About Kevin slaps you round the face with style. It's done so well and what really impressed me with this film is the lack of dialogue, yet it somehow manages to say so much. It really shook me up and stayed with me for literally weeks after I watched it. Every single moment is used perfectly. Every shot is stunning. Every word spoken is purposeful. Ohhh my gosh, it's just brilliant. The plot itself is really quite disturbing (essentially evil child and a mother who really struggles to love him) and the film as a whole is incredibly stylish. Go on, watch it.

God Help The Girl (2014): Stuart Murdoch
I'm about to say something pretty out-there...you ready? I do believe that God Help The Girl is my very favourite film. Like, of all the films I've ever seen. Like, overtaking Fame (that's a biiiiig deal). I'm a life-long Belle & Sebastian fan, I love Glasgow and the three main actors (Hannah Murray, Emily Browning and Olly Alexander) are a few of my favourite people so it's kinda inevitable that a Belle & Sebastian musical set in Glasgow with those three actors would be my new love. It's just perfect. The music, the setting, the characters, the fashion, aaaarrgghh I love it all. Get it watched.

Heartbeats / Les Amours Imaginaires (2010): Xavier Dolan
Finishing up with a wee bit of a wild-card: Heartbeats is your classic love-triangle story but it's in French and it's directed, written and produced by Xavier Dolan, an insanely talented young director from Quebec. Heartbeats is crazy-beautiful. I'm a huge fan of Xavier Dolan as it is but Heartbeats is probably my favourite of his films. He just has such a distinctive, gorgeous style and this film really showcases it. It may be a wee bit heavy for some people and you have to be in the right mood to watch it but it's totally worth it. 

I think I'll do a part 2 for this post because I have quite a few more films that make the cut. 2015's proving to be a damn good year for films (even though none of these actually came out in 2015). 

Have you seen any of these? What are some of the best films you've seen this year? 

1 July 2015

18 Before 18

I turn 18 in under 2 months and there's a fair few things I want to do before I'm officially an adult. Some of them are really little but frankly I find it weird that I've never drank a cappuccino so that made the list. Think of this as a bucket-list with a really short deadline...I guess.  Now that I'll be putting it in writing, it's official: I'm doing these 18 things before I turn 18. I have until the 8th of August.

1. Busk again
I haven't been busking since last year and that sucks. I really like busking so it's about time I did it again and I'm thinking I might be better than I was last year which is a bonus. Time to dust off the handful of default songs that act as a security blanket. 

2. Climb a tree
I was about to say that I haven't climbed a tree since I was a kid but that would be a complete lie because it would imply that I was once the outdoorsy type and we all know that ain't true. The other day, I climbed a few feet up a tree but I'm aiming higher, I want to climb higher than the height of an average 18 year-old.

3. Buy a record player
We've played vinyl in the house since I was tiny but I would absolutely love to be able to play records in my bedroom. I love the way vinyl sounds. (Done!)

4. Hike
The last time I hiked, I was about 10 and I tried to run down the hilly-mountain thing once we reached the top and fell a fair distance so I feel like I should give it another go. Like I said, I'm not the outdoorsy type but I think even I could climb a big hill.

5. Drink a cappuccino
Pretty self-explanatory. I only started drinking coffee earlier this year but I'm yet to have a cappuccino, I usually go for lattes or just like...normal coffee (so technical). I wanna try a cappuccino.

6. Get my eyebrows done
I'm super reluctant to let anyone go near my eyebrows because I've always done them myself and it's a genuine fear of mine that I'll over-pluck them and have really sparse brows. I over-plucked between the ages of 13 and 16 and I'll never live it down - my eyebrows were quite thick but started incredibly far apart. It was tragic. I really like my eyebrows now but I feel like they would benefit from a professional shaping them properly. 

7. Take photos in a nice city
Since getting my DSLR, I've really been getting into photography. I want to spend the day in a beautiful city taking photos. 

8. Watch the sunrise
I've never done this. How sad. 

9. Go to the cinema alone
I can't decide if this would be sad and lonely or really nice and peaceful. My own company's pretty great so I think it would be nice. Besides, I usually struggle to find someone who will sit through weird films with me *cough* the backstreet boys movie *cough*

10. Start learning a new instrument
I've been in piano lessons since I was 6, took tuned percussion and drum lessons for a few years a while back, and I've been playing ukulele since 2012 but I feel like it's about time I tried something new. I bought a guitar a few years ago and am yet to properly try to play it so that's definitely an option, but I'm thinking I might give my sister's old violin a shot. 

11. Scrapbook
This is a work in progress. I'm tempted to tick this one off already but I don't think I've scrapbooked quite enough to justify it. I love keeping a record of good memories and I'm quite creative so scrapbooking seems perfect for me.

12. Swim in the ocean
I can't swim and I'm scared of deep water so this is gonna be interesting. I just like beaches and feel like me trying to swim in the sea would be hilarious for everyone watching so why the heck not?

13. Have bubble tea again
I haven't had bubble tea since last September. I need bubble tea.

14. Go for a really long walk
Contrary to popular belief, I really like walking. I want to just start walking and not have a set destination in mind and just kinda walk...for a long time. Not like days but a good few hours. This is probably one of those things that sounds really nice but turns out to be cold and painful and boring. Think I'll give it a go anyway.

15. Watch Dexter*
I've never watched Dexter but a lot of people have told me to watch Dexter and I want to watch Dexter.
*Dexter can be replaced by any of the following: Prison Break, Game Of Thrones, Buffy, Breaking Bad, Misfits, 30 Rock or American Horror Story. I get a lot of TV reccommendations.

16. Write a short screenplay
*In progress*

17. Get myself a uni-appropriate wardrobe
It's been quite a while since I bought new clothes and I feel like a lot of what I own doesn't really suit me and isn't who I am anymore. I really want some new clothes for when I start uni in September. I also kinda feel like where I live doesn't let me dress the way I want to dress but I'll be spending a lot of time in Glasgow when I start uni and people are so much more expressive and free with how they dress there so I can finally wear exactly what I want to and play with my identity a bit more. I can't wait.

18. Get a job
I'm trying so hard but no one wants to employ me. I don't get it: I'm cute and can knit fairly well so everyone should be fighting to employ me. Ah well...I'll keep trying.

What's on your bucket list?
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