So, this is not the first time I have tried - and succeeded in some cases – to lure you into the Kingdoms of George R.R. Martin, but in celebration of season 2 (episode 3 comes out tomorrow) I thought I’d remind you about the best TV-series on TV right now. Based on the epic book series by GRRM, Game of Thrones is everything you can wish from a really great HBO series: war, sex, gritty realism, nakedness, death, crazy religious people, incest, blood, witty humor and just a hint of magic, all mixed together in a blend of beautiful scenery, fantastic costumes and the best actors you can find out there.
Tyrion Lannister: Tell me, when your men slaughtered Ned Stark’s men at the throne room, did you give the orders? Janos Slynt: I did, and I would again. The man was a traitor. He tried to buy my loyalty. Tyrion: The fool. He had no idea you were already bought. Janos Slynt: Are you drunk? I won’t have my honor questioned by an imp! Tyrion: I’m not questioning your honor, Lord Janos. I’m denying its existence. [Janos jumps to his feet furiously] Janos Slynt: If you think I’ll stand here and take this from you, dwarf… Tyrion: “Dwarf”? You should have stopped at “imp”. And yes, you will stand here and take it from me, unless you like to take it from my friend here. [Gestures to Bronn] Tyrion: I intend to serve as Hand of the King until my father returns from the war. And seeing as you betrayed the last Hand of the King, well, I just wouldn’t feel safe with you lurking about. There’s a ship leaving for Eastwatch-by-the-Sea tonight. From there, I’m afraid it’s rather long walk to Castle Black. I hope you enjoy the Wall. I found it surprisingly beautiful… in a brutal, horribly uncomfortable sort of way.
This is the series were the bad guys win and your favorite characters are killed off one by one. And then the bad guys die. And the real bad guys step out from their scheming place in the dark. Season 1 was awesome, season 2 promises dragons, dead people coming back to life (but not in a good way), a mysterious star in the sky foretelling 2674 different prophecies and five kings fighting for the throne left by the late King Robert. Valar Morghulis.
The Hunger Games exceeded my expectations and gave me everything I wanted and more. It’s morbid, beautiful and as realistic as it should be. The technical part is well executed, using handheld cameras to underline the urgency and the reality of the situation, saturated colors and controlled chaos in the Capitol versus the dirty grey and blue shades to underline the poverty and dismalness of the districts. All accompanied by a mix of indie and country music, and an appropriate amount of silence. The contrasts are vile, and not unlike the real world.
The criticism of the reality TV-generation is harsh as well, but more than that the story itself is an equivalent to George Orwell’s 1984, for teenagers. The “Big Brother is watching”-theme is underlined by the cameras hidden in every tree or plant in the entire arena, capturing every moment of Katniss’ battle for survival. The running commentaries from the show’s host Caesar Flickerman (perfectly portrayed by Stanley Tucci) serve to explain the events for the viewers, but also add to the morbidity of the entire situation as it is broadcasted on live TV to the entire nation.
How you manage to create a movie about kids murdering other kids and still keep it PG-13 is beyond me but this movie should be on every “Movies to watch”-list this year, and personally I am already anticipating the sequels.
Favorite soundtrack song: Maroon 5 ft Rozzi Crane – Come Away To The Water
- In love! You know, dizzy and feverish and nausea.
- That’s not love, Jacks. That’s the flu.
So I’m on this girly-girly-girl movie craze at the moment, albeit the sarcastic, pessimistic kind of girly movie. My latest favorite: Love And Other Disasters. Jacks is 20-something, works as an intern at Vogue and lives with her gay bestfriend in an apartment in London. She talks with an American-British accent, loves Breakfast At Tiffany’s, has the weirdest friends and some serious commitment-issues. Just my kind of gal in other words. The movie makes fun of your a-typical romantic comedies, has Gilmore Girls-worthy dialogue, and at the same time it is just so beautiful. Just look at her clothes !
- Who can honestly say: I will always love you? - Whitney Houston - Yeah when she’s high on crack.
HappyThankYouMorePlease – written, directed and staring Josh Radnor (Ted from How I Met Your Mother). Beautiful movie about a group of young people living in New York, chronically cynical by birth and failing at life because of it. As they transition into their 30s they try to cope with those big questions of being in love and being loved, and how that actually works in the long run. “ You write short stories and I think you like living short stories. I’m kind of ready for the novel.”
TiMER – imagine that you knew the exact date that you were going to meet your soulmate. 98% approval rate. Sounds pretty neat doesn’t it. No more failed relationships, heart aches, divorces, horrible dates, embarrassing high school crushes. That’s the world 30-year-old Oona lives in, but unlike all those happy couples on TV and everywhere around her, her Timer is blank, meaning that her soulmate has not yet gotten one. Then she meets this guy, and he’s reckless and cute and all of those things (and there is still 4 months left until he is going to meet his soulmate), and suddenly she needs to ask herself the vital question: ”Do you think the TiMER actually works, or is it just a self-fulfilling prophecy?” Not as predictable as one would think.
Do you have any nice, not blockbuster, feel-good movies for me? I’m sort of in the mood for something like that today.
I can’t help counting the days until the first (out of four) Hunger Games movie is out in theaters. Enjoyed the books, as that kind of light entertainment that I found in Twilight way back in 2008, only a lot better. Katniss is a kick ass lady, and I still have crush on Gale (doesn’t really help that they cast the handsome Liam Hemsworth for the part in the movies). And Peeta is a cool kid, if you like the kind, ever-sacrifizing type.
For those of you who don’t know anything about the series, it is set to a future North-America destroyed by a nuclear war. The population is split into 12 different districts, all controlled by the elitist and superficial, but powerful, Capitol. Every year the Capitol holds the annual Hunger Games, as a reminder of their dominance (and to keep all thoughts of a rebellion out of the question).
In the Hunger Games 12 girls and 12 boys are chosen from the 12 districts to compete – to the death – in an arena, on live television, to entertain the vain population of the Capitol and to keep the fear alive in the poor, controlled districts. Our heroine, 16 year old Katniss Everdeen, volunteer to be the tribute (contestant) from her district when her sister is chosen, and voila! the game is on. 24 contestants go into the arena, but only one comes out of it alive.
Have any of you read the books and are you looking forward to the movie(s)?
“I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away.”
In my humble opinion everything the Joss Whedon touches turns to gold. Pure entertainment gold. My addiction started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in those days when I was younger than I am now. After Buffy ended, Angel took over. Then came Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog with Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, where Neil plays an aspiring supervillain who is trying to balance life as an “evil genius” and his crush on the girl next door. The obsession with Nathan (and various “Must See Sci-fi & Fantasy-series”-lists) lead me to Firefly, the brilliant Wild West meets Space Odyssey show that ended with a popular night-time movie on TVNorge: Serenity.
By this time I was craving anything that Whedon made more than chocolate and Starbucks coffee, and was over-joyed to discover Dollhouse, one of my favorite tv-series to this date. Sadly it only consist of two seasons, but having met cancellations a couple of times before in his career (most notably with Firefly), Whedon knows how to handle abrupt endings, and the result is a series that feels like a two season-movie. The show revolves around a group of beautiful, mind-wiped humans known as Dolls who are implanted with false memories and skills for various missions and tasks, from romantic encounters to thefts and extortion. My kind of tv-series in other words.
“People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don’t like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.” (Mal is Nathan Fillion’s character in Firefly blog.anm.)
Needless to say, I was thrilled when it was announced that Joss was the director in charge of the highly anticipated Avengers movie that premiers in a couple of months (May 4th), but his true masterpieces are his TV-series. Criminally underrated, filled with that sarcastic humor, quick banter, flawed but perfect characters, important political questions, strong female roles and pop cultural references that you just can’t get enough of. Or at least I can’t.
“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”
I recently watched the movie Sin Nombre, literally translated into “Nameless”, and I’d like to recommend it to all of you. It is a Mexican-American movie about a group of people trying to escape from their lives in Mexico and to the other side of the border, to the US. We follow Willy, known as El Casper, a member of the gang La Mara Salvatrucha, who has to flee when he accidentally kills the gang leader. We also get to know Sayra, who is running away to find a new life with her father’s family in New Jersey. They meet as they journey by train (on the roof of the train, mind you) through Mexico, and bond as they flee from Border Control, police and members of Willy’s gang.
I ventured into this with some prior knowledge of Mexican and Latin American politics, and their violent history, but knowing things in theory, and seeing them play out on the screen is obviously two entirely different things. Watching this movie left me with a lot of questions (and nausea) as well as a new understanding of how the big headlines we get from Mexico about gang wars and violence might actually be as outrageous as they sound (I’ve always felt like the news papers exaggerate the situation).
Back home, my friend Clarissa made me see this crazy neighbor, Doña Eleanor, you know, like witchcraft? She smoked this puro, then told me with her freaky voice that I’d make it to the U.S. but not in God’s hand, perhaps in the Devil’s. – Sarya
The producers of the film paint the environment surrounding the main characters in gritty realism meets nature at its most basic level. This is survival of the fittest, the weak uncertainty avoidance level seems almost to border on anarchy, as gangs kill and rape people left and right without having to answer for it in a court of law. Or so it seems.
With that background I begin to understand why there are so many Hispanic immigrants fleeing to the US, risking prison and death for an uncertain life in a country where the culture and language are foreign to them. It is preferred to an entire life of violence, extortion and death in a culture you know.
Just read through a “small” list of the highlights of the movie year 2012, and I am practically giddy with excitement. By now you should have realized that I am part time movie geek, full time tv-slave, and the line up for this year’s “make my brain mushy from watching the screen too much”-list is marvelous. These are some of my personal favorites:
Slowly getting back on my feet, as school and health is getting started in the right direction. The last couple of days have been spent alternating between school, books and TV (or TV on the computer), in other words: my social life has been non-existent. But then again, you need to have those periods once in a while to appreciate the greatness of interaction with other human beings.
One (of the many) things I’ve been watching is BBC’s Laughter Therapy. There is really nothing quite like British humor, dry wit is my wit to booth, etc. Someone posted a video of Steve Hughes under one of the articles about “Moccamann-saken” where he talks about being offended, and it’s just hilarious. He also has a beautiful (and very in-your-face) speech about common sense. And then you’ve got the man himself, Michael McIntyre talking about self-combusting appliances, ryanair and nice vacations. Plus my favorite: Dara O’Briain (who takes great pleasure in making fun of his audience). So if you feel like laughing, check it out!
Sorry for the long break, I’ve been apathetic for the last ten days or so. Daily routine has involved watching TV, reading books on the lanai, an walk every day around sunset, repeat. Good thing school starts in less than two weeks, so I can stop this “I have nothing to do”-routine. I’m bored. Luckily people are coming back now, from vacation that is, so I can be social again.
One of the series I’ve been watching this past week is the British TV-series Misfits, a gritty sci-fi series that combine the best of Skins and Supernatural in one sweet, perverse and very teen-Brit package. Majorly offensive, and super-hilarious, and good enough to win the BAFTA for Best Drama Series last year. Just finished season 2 of the series, and am currently wrestling between a passion for handsome but crazy Nathan, and the strange – but potentially badass – Simon.
To celebrate that we 4 days off from school (Thank God for Thanksgiving), I have donned my Justin Bieber t-shirt and will escort it over to Ward Entertainment Center to buy three tickets to Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Not because I have finally started to foster a stalker-ish love for Edward Cullen, but because I feel like an outsider among all the haters who have already seen the movie. It must be noted that I am not a hater. Well not a brutal, mindless hater. But Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner as sparkly vampire and hairy teenage-angst/pedophile werewolf doesn’t make the cut.
Happy Thanksgiving, loads of love from 14-year-old Maren.
You think beautiful girls are going to stay in style forever? I should say not! Any minute now they’re going to be out! Finished! Then it’ll be my turn! - Fanny Brice
I just love Funny Girl. Barbra Streisand playing the role of comedienne Fannie Brice, from her early days in the Jewish slums of the Lower East Side, to the height of her career with the Ziegfeld Follies, and of course her relationship with notorious gambler Nick Arnstein. Barbra performing Don’t Rain On My Parade, People and My Man adds to the magic of the movie, in addition to her exquisite clothing, hairstyles and make-up. I want to be her in that movie. And have Nick love me. Pretty please with sugar on top?
If I was back in Norway now, having to deal with cold weather, rain and snow, Anastasia would be my number one source of inspiration this fall and winter. Over-sized coats, large scarfs, men’s boots, fingerless gloves and a uniformed cap, all Russian. With some hints of the Tsar royalty underneath, like decorated capes and dresses in dark red, purple, royal blue, emerald green and golden details.
Watched the movie again last week, and felt all sorts of childish. I loved this movie when I was younger. Anastasia was/is the perfect tomboy.
Who is your style icon for this fall/winter season?
Awkward. – just discovered this tv-series about a week ago and finished season 1 in around 5 days. This is an awkward teenage series that is actually funny awkward and not American Pie-awkward. The show revolves around the life of Jenna Hamilton, a social nobody in high school up until she has a freak accident that looks like a suicide, and become known as “That Girl”. We follow her through her life at high school, her crush on the school beau (who actually likes her back from the beginning this time, but refuses to be seen with her because he’s cool and she’s not), her relationship with her friends, skitches (skanky bitches) and her mother who acts more of a teenager than Jenna does.
“Assumption is the mother of all screwups.“
The Hunger Games - Read the book yesterday, after watching the movie trailer (and also after several recommendations from some of you) and was pleasantly surprised. Not that it’s a pleasant book, far from it. The main plot takes place in post-apocalyptic country of Panem, built in the ruins of North America, after a war that left the wealthy Capitol district in charge, ruling like dictators over the twelve surrounding, poorer districts. The Hunger Games are an invention of the Capitol, part reality series, part tool to control the poorer districts, all survival of the fittest. Katniss Evergreen represent her district, together with a baker’s son named Peeta, and together they need to find a way to survive, because there are 24 contestants, kill or be killed, and the last one standing survives.
“It’s not a fair comparison really. Gale and I were thrown together by a mutual need to survive. Peeta and I know the other’s survival means our own death.”
Dr. Stan Weathers: You don’t feel normal? Charlie Bartlett: My Family has a psychiatrist on call, how normal can I be?
Watched Charlie Bartlett (the movie) yesterday and I have only one thing to say about it: I’m in love. First of all because of the main character, Charlie Bartlett (played by Anton Yelchin): manic, depressed, crazy & ingenious. In the beginning of the movie there is a scene in which he gets high on ritalin and it is really just plain gorgeous the way he reacts to it.
Not only is Yelchin doing a splendid job, but this movie also contains the one and only Robert Downey Jr, playing the part of an depressed principal with serious alcohol issues who spends all his free time drinking scotch and playing with motor boats in his backyard pool.
Add a couple of stereotypical high school kids longing for drugs and therapy to get away from life in the manner that only high school kids can act, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a good movie night.
Marilyn Bartlett: Well maybe there’s more to high school than being well liked. Charlie Bartlett: Like what specifically? Marilyn Bartlett: [thinks for a second] Nothing comes to mind.
You can watch the trailer for the movie right here.
This blog belongs to Maren, a 23-year-old quasi-intellectual girl from Kristiansand, Norway. She has got a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Oslo, and is now living in Honolulu, Hawaii where she is working on a MA in Communication at Hawaii Pacific University. She likes books. [more?]
In 2004 I started to write down what books I read in order to keep track of them all. Since 2006 I have gathered them here instead of in my notebook and they serve as a reminder of how I should read more and compete to beat my old “record”. You can find the complete list here.
LOSTMYHEAD.ORG / MAREN 2009
LOSTMYHEAD.ORG skrives av @ Maren Bjørgum og er underlagt lov om opphavsrett til åndsverk.
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