Words words words

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Happy February!

I’ve been having a weirdly emotional week- and I say weirdly because there’s not really much going on that should be causing me to be such a mess- which has resulted in posting being essentially nil.

In the interest of actually putting something up with a minimum of effort, here’s an update of my list of words. Bonus points if you can pick out the ones inspired by my moodiness!

  • ineffable
  • porpoise
  • chamois: I knew this was a leather but apparently it’s also a cute goat. I hope the two aren’t related but they probably are.
  • mildew
  • mope
  • tenacity
  • veracity
  • morose
  • scallop
  • marabou: Another word that I think of as being a clothing material term (one that makes me think of retro boudoirs and peignoirs and wearing heeled slippers around the house) but that is also/was originally an animal term (i.e. the marabou stork)

 

  • malin: cunning, clever, malignant
  • tournesol: sunflower
  • pépin: seed
  • néréides: fifty sea nymph daughters of Nereus, the old man of the sea, in Greek mythology. Also a jewelry brand. Also a family of clam worm. (Do not google image).
  • fourre-tout: catch-all
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Some Good French Films

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It’s been a weird weekend. And it’s only Saturday. Hopefully grocery shopping is uneventful tomorrow.  One minute you’re sitting on the train and the next you’re disembarking and for some reason your right hip isn’t letting you walk?
Weird stuff.
Pretty sure I’m too young for hip replacement.

SO I was talking to some friends yesterday and said I would send along a list of recommended French films. And SO I figured I would post it since it’s a list.

That said, full disclosure: I haven’t seen every French film ever so this is a superbly and spectacularly incomplete list.

Let’s Start with animated:

  • Ernest and Celestine: Bears and mice and based on a lovely children’s book series that I want to buy for my potential offspring.
  • Nocturna: Amazing world building. So much imagination. Cats.
  • The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart: I walked in on dad playing music from this. He’s never seen it.
  • A Monster in Paris: There’s a giant bug and it’s a beautiful heartwarming story. Also beautiful music.

Also kid-focused but not animated:

  • Le Petit Nicolas: This is what being a child is like. But kind of more so.

I’ struggling with categorizing all the rest so I’m just going to throw them at you in one big lump:

  • Belle de Jour: Catherine Deneuve is bored and fantasizes about BDSM so she decides to be a prostitute. Also her name is Severine, which is an excellent name.
  • La Vie en Rose: Marion Cotillard is Edith Piaf and it’s as amazing as it sounds.
  • Les Trois Couleurs: Three movies which you can kind of trace from the Nouvelle Vague style. Loosely connected, all individually perfect as stand-alones. I think Blue was my favorite.
  • La Double Vie de Veronique: For some reason this hangs out with Les Trois Couleurs in my mind. Some lovely music.
  • Huit Femmes: A Christmas musical murder mystery with a who’s who cast of great French actresses.
  • Les Choristes: A teacher positively affects students lives through music. But it’s actually a good film.
  • Bonjour, Tristesse: The book is better but this is nice and light and summery. Still not a huge Jean Seberg fan.
  • The Intouchables: I always confuse this with The Untouchables, a film about taking down Al Capone. This is great too.
  • Elle: Isabelle Huppert is bae and this Oscar nominee (did it win? I don’t remember) from last year is fantastic.
  • Tous Les Matins du Monde: Music again. But also period drama stuff and sex.
  • La Pianiste: Isabelle Huppert being sexy again. But this time even more mentally off-kilter.
  • La Piscine: Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin and Alain Delon are all fabulously attractive people.  And the film is suitably sexy.
  • Les Enfants du Paradis: A long film that flew by. It’s actually a work of art and quite possibly one of the best films I watched last year. It is inspiring me to fall in love with a mime.
  • Eyes Without a Face: French New Wave does Hitchcock. I am obviously a fan.
  • Diabolique: More Hitchcockian stuff. A wife and mistress conspire to kill the guy. Then come strange events.

Weird stuff that I’m not sure I can recommend:

  • Last Year at Marienbad: I will never forget the word ‘couloir’.
  • Triplets of Belleville: What…?

Friday Links: 1/26

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I turned 22.5 yesterday and today I have an exam that threatens to destroy all that I hold most dear. I’ve been studying since I woke up at 5:30 am. (Approximately five hours ago). There are about three hours left. It’s panic time.

Here’s what’s happening online:

Thoughts on the Oscar Noms

Thank you, Variety.com for the easy copy-paste job. I think I wrote these out by hand when I did this post last year and I remember it being kind of exasperating.
Also different from last year: This is only thought son the nominations, no predictions- yet.

Best Picture:
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Overwhelming emotion: excitement at seeing Get Out on this list. It’s really rare for horror/genre films to be recognized, and this film- a social criticism/horror by a black director and starring a black actor- is at once a daring departure from form for the academy but also the most Oscar-baity of horror films they could possibly choose (not a bad thing, just a recognition of the self-consciously politically charged /significant/ nature of the film and the symbolism-charged details).  I’m not one of those people who feels that other genre films (like The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, or Logan) should be on this list. The only film on this list that I haven’t seen at this point is Phantom Thread, but I’m really looking forward to that experience. Because fashion, Daniel Day-Lewis, and tense romance.  I don’t necessarily think Darkest Hour and The Post deserve their spots on here.  Both include some capital A Acting by academy favorites, so their you go.  Courtesy nominations, IMO.  The Post was serviceable. The Darkest Hour was kind of bland, excepting Gary Oldman’s athletic emoting and fat suit wearing channeling of Winston Churchill (did that sound snide? It was supposed to).  I don’t think there are any real snubs, but I’m surprised I, Tonya didn’t make it on. Given that the academy favors biopics, the interesting (and successful) choices re: fourth-wall breaking, and the recognition of the two main actresses in best actress and best supporting actress categories.  The Big Sick I guess could have been on here. I feel a bit take it or leave it though, so I wouldn’t call either of those a snub. Or you could throw in Mudbound.

Lead Actor:
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Same as last paragraph, I continue to have not seen Phantom Thread, but generally nominating DDL is a safe bet in my book (his success rate is higher for me than Meryl Streep’s) but I’ve also not seen Roman J. Israel, Esq. I don’t really plan to either. I’ve heard that it’s a not very good movie elevated by an excellent performance from Denzel Washington.  But given that DW (Haha, Arthur flashback) isn’t really my cup of tea, all the more reason to skip it.  Do I feel like James Franco was snubbed? Nah.

Lead Actress:
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
This is all pretty good with me, although yes, I do stand by Meryl Streep’s being either a courtesy nomination or further evidence for her deal with the devil. (No, I’m not a Trumpian who thinks she’s over-rated. She’s amazing. But The Post is over-serious. And I feel like the tide may be turning away from the self-aggrandizing film, the aggressively act-y actor, etc.

Supporting Actor:
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
I didn’t very much like The Florida Project, finding its naturalistic depiction of poverty and essential child neglect a little too close to home and also too boring. But Willem Dafoe did do good work in it, so there’s that. But I wouldn’t necessarily have him in here.  I would also take out Christopher Plummer for All the Money in the World (cup of salt, it’s a film I haven’t seen), but I guess it is a fair remuneration for his jumping in for a heavy shooting schedule to replace Kevin Spacey’s scenes in a very limited space of time. So go you CP (sorry for all the abbreviations, I’m guiltily taking a break from studying and feel like I should hurry). I don’t feel like Armie Hammer was snubbed for Call Me By Your Name. He was good but I also found his character to be an annoying, condescending, egotistical pedant who could have been remarkably well-played by any number of guys I knew at Yale.  It’s a shame Michael Stuhlbarg couldn’t have been nominated for any of the three impressive supporting roles he had this year (in The Shape of Water, The Post, and Call Me By Your Name).  None of them was a HUGE standout, but I feel like he deserves kind of recognition for all-around hard work in a Hufflepuff kind of way. Go you, MS! I would maybe have put in Michael Shannon for his work in The Shape of Water as the the villainous, sinister, and really creepy Richard Strickland. Free the Michaels.

Supporting Actress:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
YESSS, MJB, I see you! Mudbound was pretty good and her work in it was excellent. In a largely overlooked film, I’m glad she was one of the few aspects recognized. I didn’t manage to see Phantom Thread since I started writing this post, so let’s keep that in mind as we continue. We’ve got three mom figures of varying degrees of good mom-ness (None as good as my Mom, obviously), and I’d like to put into the running a third mom-figure, which I think may be the most significant snub of this year’s Oscar race. Holly Hunter in The Big Sick. Watch this scene and then if you disagree you can fight me. I’ve heard some say that Tiffany Haddish shook have been nominated for her role in Girls Trip. Can’t weigh in because I very much do not enjoy raunchy comedies.

Director:
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro
I find it kind of hard to believe that this is Christopher Nolan’s first nomination for Best Director (because honestly he should have gotten one for The Dark Knight but it’s a genre film so…). Excited to see Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig on here, both for their directorial debuts. And The Shape of Water may have had some troubling underlying issues, but I’m happy to see GdT on this list, as he continues to be a favorite of mine. Spielberg wasn’t nominated for The Post which is a (in my book welcome) surprise.

Animated Feature:
“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman
I’ll say the obvious, which is that this is Coco’s to lose.  I haven’t seen any of the others with the exception of Loving Vincent, which was gorgeous but also annoying, poorly thought out, and kind of induced some motion sickness. I’m debating whether I should watch Boss Baby. 1) It looks like it might be good in a terrible kind of way. 2) I feel like I should maybe see it high. 3) The title reminds me of Donald Trump.
I remember reading the Breadwinner/Parvana’s Journey in fifth grade, so that’s going on my ‘to watch’ list. I’m pissed that they took another of my favorite simple children’s books and turned it into an overloaded film (throwback to The Lorax), but can we also recognize that Kate McKinnon’s (unnecessary and additional) goat character actually… looks a whole lot like Kate McKinnon? This sin’t meant to offend. We all have a little goat in us and Kate McKinnon is all around a gorgeous and hysterical woman/person.
I wish Your Name was on here. Such a beautiful anime film, but it’s not included because, though it was released in the US in 2017, it’s actual release date was in 2016. Do check it out. It’s lovely and I cried and I don’t cry often. At films.

Other thoughts:

  • Big Sick I think should have been recognized more, in general. Even if I wasn’t the biggest fan. Maybe it will win for Best Original Screenplay, which I didn’t include on this list. But that’s also a pretty stacked category featuring other favorites of the year.  Maybe it will be recognized since it wasn’t anywhere else.
  • Phantom thread hasn’t been getting much awards buzz but it landed quite a few nominations regardless. I’ll be interested to see how it does.
  • Most importantly, the field of Oscar contenders is notably much more diverse than last year (Remember #OscarsSoWhite?). And much more diverse than the borderline (if not straight up) offensive Golden Globes nominations this year. (Natalie Portman is still my spirit animal).
  • Martin McDonagh, who directed Three Billboards, was left out as Best Director, despite all the buzz the film is getting and the recognition it’s receiving in the other important categories.
  • Should The Lego Batman Movie have gotten a nomination for Best Animated? Don’t know, haven’t seen.
  • Jordan Peele is the fifth African-American nominated for best director. Greta Gerwig is the fifth woman nominated for best director.
  • Timothee Chalamet, nominated for Best Actor in Call Me By Your Name, also had a fairy significant role in Lady Bird. You know who else was in Lady Bird? Lucas Hedges, who was the irritating teen boy in last year’s Manchester by the Sea.
  • Daniel Kaluuya is British. He has a British accent. He joins my list of stealth Brits.
  • Sufjan Stevens has been nominated for Best Original Song for “Mystery of Love” (he also contributed “Visions of Gideon”). He almost contributed a song to I, Tonya as well.
  • Mud bound’s Rachel Morrison is the first female cinematographer EVER to be nominated for an Oscar.
  • Christopher Plummer is the oldest nominee for acting ever, at 88. At 22, Timothee Chalamet is the youngest in about 80 years. I.e., since Christopher Plummer was 8.
  • Meryl Streep just broke her own record for most Oscar nominations.
  • Hostiles got essentially no nominations. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s very good, despite the lack of buzz.

What I’m Listening To: Funk

I can tell you now that, to my knowledge, only one good thing has come from Trump’s ‘shithole/shithouse’ comments- and that is my rediscovery of my love of funk (via having Brick House stuck in my head 24/7).

I can also confirm that the origins of my fondness for funk are almost certainly rooted in numerous childhood viewings of Muppets from Space.
Watch the sky.

As I write this it’s 7:39 in the morning and I’m actively jamming out to I Got You/I Feel Good by James Brown. With earbuds in, of course.

To specifics:

  • Brick House- Commodores
  • It’s Your Thing- Isley Brothers
  • Shining Star- Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • Thank You- Sly and The Family Stone
  • Get Up Offa That Thing- James Brown
  • September- Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • Get Down Tonight- KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Le Freak- CHIC
  • I Got You- James Brown
  • Stayin’ Alive- Bee Gees
  • Boogie Shoes- KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Shake Your Booty- KC and the Sunshine Band

My familiarity with Le Freak and Thank You owe less to the Muppets and more to 102 Dalmatians and Scooby Doo 2, respectively.

Wow, I feel old.

Se Soigner

There isn’t even a pun to excuse my French title.
I’m just a pretentious elitist who thinks the French language is beautiful and kind of encompasses what I want to get across? Except of course it doesn’t really get it across because the majority of my readers (hypothetically, if I had readers- really I know it’s mainly Mom and dad out there- hi guys, how you doin’?) speak English, given that this blog is in English.

But whatever.

Given a few weeks for my resolutions to marinate, I’ve come up with some more concrete steps to take to care for myself. And it’s really necessary, given that I seem to have developed a forte for a) burning myself (I mean, I guess. That looks like a burn) and b) falling up/down stairs (is it still a shiner if it’s on your knee?)

So let’s do this!

  • Start flossing again. You know how flossing is essentially the first thing to go when you’re tired and/or stressed. Given that I’m tired and/or stressed the majority of the time (sigh, modern life), it’s been a while since I’ve been solidly on the daily oral hygiene bandwagon. On the same note- mouthwash?
  • Get a lighter. I have a candle (a beautiful beeswax one that my dad made me for Christmas (again, hi Dad!)  and I need to light its fire, as it were.  Can you imagine the self-soothing happiness and love from a softly glowing beeswax smell that reminds you of the love of a parental unit?
  • Stay hydrated. The world is a broken record when it comes to staying hydrated, but do any of us really listen? I don’t.
  • Take care of my feet. Now that I’m not a *competitive dancer* my feet aren’t necessarily a lost cause. In fact, they might even be resuscitated (resuscitable?). The problem is that it’s a bit chilly to not be wearing socks or slippers 24/7 and my feet want to breathe. I’ve noticed that I have some proprioception issues, so even when my feet are warm enough, I don’t tend to notice (which reminds me to take off my slippers now).
  • Take my vitamins/supplements again. It’s been years since I took my vitamins regularly, which as a vegan is a bit of a no no. Time to get back on the B12.
  • Listen to more music. Now that I’ve confirmed that my 10 year old ipod has not in fact been lost to the winds of time, my horizon of musical possibilities has been reopened.
  • Stretch more. Especially during our class breaks. Sitting and smelling from 9-5 gets a bit exhausting for the body. I always feel so much better after I’ve moved a bit.
  • Don’t skimp. I have a tendency toward self abnegation, which is a lot less now that I’m not anorexic. But there are still a few things I do that I only really realized recently are related to how I value myself.  So I’m going to really use my products for their purposes (i.e. definitely adequate amounts of moisturizer, replacing my contact solution daily, those kinds of luxurious/very necessary things).
  • Replace my mascara and eyeliner. My mascara is almost empty and I’m hitting my pan on my MAC pot, which I’ve had since 9th grade anyway (for reference, I’m in 17th grade now). I shouldn’t have that stuff so close to my eyeballs.
  • Listen to ASMR before bed if I want.

Words: from capsicum to témoignage

It’s soooo rainy but guess what?
I have a pair of waterproof shoes now. I’m retiring my 10+ year old riding boots (I feel like they should be ritually cremated or something). It’s the end of an era.

milquetoast- I forget if I’ve included this already, but it can’t hurt to do it again. Does it have to do with milk and toast? I don’t know. But literally refers to a ‘meek, submissive character’.
mobius- mobius strips=science magic
capsicum- bell pepper
chilly
execrable- it’s the same word in French!
platititude- almost a platypus but not quite
bellicose
harridan- basically a harpy. Rude words you shouldn’t call people
louche- ‘disreputable or sordid in a rakish/appealing sort of way’

esclavage- slavery
témoignage- testimony
origan- oregano
soigné- neat/well cared for