Catching Fire: a wardrobe guide

I tend to keep track of things that are worn in films. It’s not an obsession, but I’m consistently interested in seeing what costume designers and wardrobe teams want to dress people in.

Over the past several months, I’ve been slowly compiling a list of what Katniss wears in Catching Fire. Sometimes it’s something that I’ve seen somewhere and I go, hmm… this designer’s style seems familiar to me, and then I find out after some research why, or it’s from following the Capitol tumblr. (If you’re not on tumblr and you’re a fan of, well anything, you should be.)

This is by no means comprehensive, it’s just sort of what I’ve run across.

We’ll start with the training uniforms. Easy enough to find out about with a little research.

Lucas Hugh. I mean, if you can afford to be dropping about $1000 on one set of workout clothes, this is your brand. (£320 for the jacket, £110 for the tank, £85 for the sports bra, £165 for the capris. Or the whole look for £550, which google says exchanges to just under $900.) Although, some part of me thinks that if you can afford to spend that much on workout clothes, you’re probably not the kind of person who is going to be buying workout clothes for actually working out.

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And yeah, they’re gorgeous. Get them here, if you have the money. Or be like me and think, oh, I’ll just make my own.

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From my POV, having worked in production design and with wardrobe, what the tributes wear in their training says a lot about Panem, even more if you know who designed the clothes and how much they cost. It all plays in to the Capitol seeming so frivolous that they’re like sure we’ll dress them up in designer workout gear.

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I can’t name most of the things featured here, but I know about those boots. I ran across an ad in Vogue’s september issue and immediately recognized the designer’s styling. Sorel. Get your Katniss boots here for only $220. And note that in the film, these boots only show up with the costume that Katniss wears here for about 2 minutes. I mean, it’s a powerful scene especilly for Effie’s character and her arc, and also Effie’s costume is way more exciting here than what Katniss wears or the boots she’s in.

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The outfit Katniss wears here was designed by Barbara Bui, using a design from her Spring 2012 Ready To Wear collection. However, this fabric never shows up in the collection, and neither does the skirt. So basically this is a custom piece that was done for the film.

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Moving on to this lovely jacket shown when Gale gets whipped half to death by a Peacekeeper, it can be yours for only $550. If this were pure leather, I’d tell you it’s a steal for it also being a designer piece. But, if you know how designer pieces are priced when it comes to leather, you know that this isn’t just leather. It’s a little less than half leather, the rest being twill. Nicholas K designed it, and on the website, it even advertises that this was worn by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. The cowl/scarf shown here is a Maria Dora piece, I think.

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I haven’t been able to figure out where this sweater is from, and sadly, it doesn’t show up in the final cut of the film. It would have been just a blip from the Victory Tour anyway. I’d guess it’s a Maria Dora piece, since she seems to be the knitwear designer of choice for the film. Also because it looks like her work. I do love that it has a little bit of a Helmut Lang vibe to it though.

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And then comes the pièce de résistance, the cowl that everyone wants, designed by Maria Dora. I found an excellent pattern for it online. However, that pattern doesn’t follow the actual design completely. Mostly because we didn’t see the back of the cowl until later trailers and into the film. It’s still a great pattern and I have the supplies for it sitting next to my desk waiting for me to begin.

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Not the best photo, but it gives you a good idea of how the back works. So it’s really all one big piece that’s been wrapped around and attached neatly.

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And for the arena wetsuit? These were obviously custom made for each person. There are costume and replica versions out there, but all the ones that I’ve seen come off as cheap and mass produced. That’s not something that anything coming out of the Capitol could be described as. Something to note, if you’re going to make your own: the arms are separate pieces from the wetsuit itself. If you’re looking for a good place to start, here’s a good pattern. You’ll have to switch the zipper to the back and make some creative modifications, but you do what you must. For the patterned fabric parts, I’d actually recommend screen printing yourself. It’s a basic geometric pattern, one that wouldn’t be too hard to do.

And for a bonus….

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I can’t recall who he’s wearing, but if you’re a girl and looking for a more feminine version of this aran sweater, how about this lovely Elizabeth and James one? It’s only $450. What a steal, right? …..not really.

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At some point I’ll post a review of the film. I saw it opening night and was blown away by it. It’s rare that a film adaptation can be this close to the book and be this amazing.

misfit monday: fiber fair, a video summary

Footage I shot at the Fiber Fair held at Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm on September 21, 2013. It’s an annual gathering of local fiber/yarn artisans and wool farmers. The public can come, buy just about anything related to yarn and wool, and learn about the process, including spinning yarn, the animals involved, and the process of creating finished pieces using these fibers. My favorite part was meeting the Pangora goats. They’re a crossbreed between Pigmy and Angora goats, so they’re small and soft.

I’m not an editor or color corrector by any means, but I guess this looks alright. And in case you’re wondering, it was shot using  Canon T4i, and edited using Adobe Premiere Pro and color corrected in Adobe After Effects.

Heidi shows up in it, and at one point I do too!! With a Llama.

Follow my Tumblr: juliethehummingbird.tumblr.com

Brought to you by Hummingbird Productions. (hey, that’s me!)

misfit monday: mortal instrument madness

As a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, I was incredibly excited for the film adaptation. I did a digital painting of Clary from one of trailers, and then I decided to start in on another one in hopes of completing it before the release of the film. Life kind of got in the way and a long series of complicated and traumatic events delayed finishing it until recently.

I thought that you might enjoy seeing a progression of the piece and hearing some talk about my process.

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Clary2 WIP 2-1First of all, I set up a grid and then worked on getting a really clean outline. This is one of the most important parts. From there, I set up a few more layers, did a background gradient, added red bits that I’d eventually have show through, and then began a color layer on top of that, which you can see a few pieces of here. I started filling in her skin and smoothing it out bit by bit. The colors didn’t look quite right so I started veering towards a more lavender skin tone.

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I eventually went though and changed almost all of the skin tones, erasing a lot and starting over. This looked better, and was an important lesson in color and light and the relation between light color changing skin color and what we perceive to be right being not at all what we’d think. A lot of her skintones are lavenders. Not at all what I’d expected to use. I started working on her hair, and by this point, using blues and purples instead of browns and reds didn’t surprise me at all.

Continuing on with the skin, I kept having to change to bluer and bluer tones.

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I spent a ton of time working on trying to get her mouth right, and at this point I was annoyed enough that I moved on to working on more in the background and then her hair and jacket. A ton of purples, but it was reading right, and that was the important part. Kept working on her hair. Some of the reds I initially expected to use were slightly used here. Went back to working on her face and added her eyebrows and tweaked her mouth.

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I got annoyed and didn’t want to work on Clary for a while, so I went and worked in the background and the light grid. This is normal, where I get annoyed with one part of the drawing so I have to work on another.

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I finished up her hair, then went back to working on the background, and at this point I’ve finished the entire background, although I haven’t finished the light grid or her eyes. I kept putting off her eyes because my reference photo was small and blurry and her eyes were completely lacking any kind of detail.

I spent hours working on those eyes, tweaking them, repainting them because they weren’t right, tweaking more, then tweaking more, then repainting then tweaking another few times before I was finally satisfied enough. I also spent more time tweaking her mouth. Every artist has a perfectionist inside screaming at them when things aren’t right, and sometimes we’ve stared at the image for so long we know it’s wrong, but we can’t see why. It takes stepping away or getting another set of eyes to explain it. Mt sister did some of that when I was working on the eyes.

So overall I learned a lot about color and perception. The individual colors, if I saw only those, wouldn’t look right, but within the environment and with the lighting as it is and all the other things within the frame lining up with that, it looks right. I’ve continued using what I’ve learned thus far with digital paintings, especially with making skin have texture and definition in the light areas, not so much in the dark. I constantly have a hand hovering over the keyboard to either press ALT for color pickup to help blend (I don’t use a blending tool) or Command Z, which is the oh shoot I didn’t want to do that, and often Command S so I can save everything I’ve done in case photoshop crashes. It’s only done that a few times, but saving often is major, even if I have autosave set up on small intervals.

Stay tuned for the final version! I finished it, but it’ll get its own post.

a long time coming

I worked a seasonal job, and the big thing I saved up to get was CS6 and Lightroom. Now that I have it, I’m slowly figuring out the whole digital painting thing. I’ve always been bad at it. Like, really bad. I had Corel Painter for a few years before I even learned how to make custom brushes, and it was because my sister walked me through the brush creator.

So here I am, determined not to be terrible in Photoshop, trying to learn the painting side of it. I learned how to use it in college, but I didn’t do much with it, especially since I’ve never been much for digital painting. I hit my stride with the Oekaki BBS system, and was good at that. I understood how it worked because it had like 4 functions. Simple.

This is the kind of stuff I was doing. As a high schooler.

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While not the best, it’s pretty good. I’m still impressed by most of it. And then, just compare these to the following, which were done in Corel Painter during college and even after college.

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Just terrible, right? Just terrible. Cringe worthy, really.

Well, I’ve been trying to get used to PS and what better way than to practice coloring on some sketches of mine? If you read my last post, you will have seen them at the end. Not bad. Each one I did I felt like I improved from the last. That’s a good sign.

And then I thought, well, why not try to do what you’ve never been able to do, and that is a successful piece of digital art that reflected what you were capable of as an artist?

And this was the first evening of work:

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Just atrocious. I thought for sure at this point that digital art was beyond me and that I’d forever be a traditional media girl. There’s nothing wrong with that, except oh wait we live in the digital age and people expect artists to be able to do EVERY medium, not just…. oil paints, graphic pencils, color pencils, watercolors, and ink. Well, and acrylic, but I don’t like acrylic for the same reason that most people do: the drying time. The next day I woke up and said, I wonder if  I can fix this.

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Yes, yes I can. I mean, it’s not completely fixed yet and her hand is a trainwreck, but it’s better, for sure. And actually looks like the actress and not like the horrific attempt from the night before that just looked…. sad. Like a blurry little sad mess. But this–this I could work with. So I kept going….

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Uh, what? I might be good at this? STAHP. Let me tell you the parts I am most proud of:

  • the bracelet and the cast shadow from it
  • that mug. Look at that mug.
  • how I managed to cut out 2 people from the background of this.
  • that shadow from the hair on her face.
  • did I mention the mug? The bracelet?

Stay tuned for the final version later…….

I’m going to talk about what I’ve been learning in PS now, from just this piece.

  1. The smudge tool is NOT your friend. Just don’t even go there. The blur tool? That’s okay if you just need to make a line not sharp, like the background stuff.
  2. CS6 is supposed to have increased pressure sensitivity, so even my bamboo tablet suddenly becomes amazing. Corel Painter has sensitivity, but it’s an entirely different program.
  3. Keeping one finger over the ALT key is awesome. Why? Because when you’re using the brush tool, holding ALT gives you the eyedropper, so you can get a color in between the colors for shading purposes. Works wonders.
  4. The dodge and burn tools are really good in PS. Not in Corel Painter, because it’s meant to be a painting program, not a photo editing program.
  5. PS/CS6 comes with some really nice brushes already loaded in. And for the casual/hobbiest/sometimes freelancer artist like myself, I don’t really need much else. But finding the ones you like and resonate with is important, and will vary from piece to piece and on stylistic choices. And then you can just go in and edit them easy peasy anyway.
  6. Understanding coloring, lighting, shading, and so forth is important, and if you know it in traditional art, it will eventually transfer over. It may just take a little push. Or reading an artbook that talks about them in relation to digital media. Thanks to my sister, whose artbook is in the editing stage right now.
  7. Sometimes you need to deviate from the original image you’re using as a reference, if you are, that is. Colors may need to change, shading may need to be deepened, and artistic choices will need to be made throughout. As the artist, you control where the eye goes, more than you think.
  8. Keep track of your layers. I painted something on the wrong layer at least a dozen times, and one was so much that I ended up merging the layers because of it.

And lastly, have the trailer.

Film Review: Chasing Mavericks

This one was more of a film I wanted to see because it looked fun. Also because I can’t always go see intense movies like Cloud Atlas.

It’s the story of Jay Moriarty, a NorCal kid who surfs, and finds out about these huge waves called Mavericks, thus deciding he wants to surf them just like the man he looks up to: Frosty. Frosty then agrees to train Jay to survive the waves. So the plot of this one is, all in all, very simple.

Throughout the film, you see both the main characters being forced to deal with their worst fears. Jay’s father left them when he was a kid, and Jay has an unopened letter from him that he’s afraid to open. Frosty has never been much of a family man, even though he has a family, and doesn’t really know how to be a dad. The relationship that develops between them is very much a father-son relationship, and you watch both characters grow through this, a side effect of Frosty and Jay training.

From a storytelling aspect, this film was very classic in delivery. Jay, the protagonist, has a physical goal and then there is  mental/emotional goal; he wants to surf the Mavericks and he has a limited time frame in which to train for it, but he also has to over come his fears relating to his father. There is a mentor figure, a love interest, contagonists (because they’re not actually antagonists); there are success and setbacks. There is loss and hope. And in the end, overcoming what seems to be insurmountable odds.

I really don’t have a whole ton to say on this film. It’s a well done, family friendly film with awesome surfing. Very enjoyable.

Film Review: Cloud Atlas

That was a metaphorical and philosophical bullet to the brain, as is the style of the Wachowskis. It does, however, boil down very simply. It’s the journey of souls, one in particular as marked by a comet-shaped birthmark.

Going about describing this film is like trying to describe a mix of the reincarnation and love from The Fountain, the intertwining story element of Babel, the psychological aspect of Black Swan, an emotional and theological chunk from Atonement, and a little bit of The Matrix philosophical and theological elements to top things off. When I say bullet to the brain I mean that the film keeps going and you’re sitting there wondering what you’re looking at in six different timelines that cross paths here and there in the most unique ways.

I’ll try to separate the plots out for you, since in the movie they are all interwoven in a beautiful and cinematic way that makes the whole film so much more complex, but at the same time so much more beautiful and simplistic.

Storyline 1: A lawyer, Adam, has sailed across the Pacific to obtain a contract for his father-in-law for slavery rights of some kind in 1846 (I think). There he gets infected with a worm, and a doctor goes with him on his return journey to San Francisco to help him. As does a slave who says he can earn his own passage. And he does. The doctor (Tom Hanks), however, is trying to rob Adam, and is also poisoning him slowly so that he can get the contract and the gold in the case the contract is in. The now former slave saves him, in repayment for Adam getting the captain of the ship to allow him to earn his passage on the voyage (in turn basically granting him his freedom). Once back in SF, Adam burns the contract in front of his father-in-law, and he and his wife (the daughter) announce that they are moving east to be part of the abolitionist movement. When told that they will be nothing but drops in the ocean, Adam says what is an ocean but a multitude of drops? Adam narrates part of this, and this story connects to the next in the fact that he wrote his story down, and the book is one that is read by the main character in the chronologically next story.

Storyline 2: England, 1930’s. We meet a gay couple, one of whom studied to be a composer and manages to worm his way into the household of an ailing composer of note in the day to help him transcribe the rest of his music. Whilst there, under constant barrage from his employer, the young man, Robert, is finally able to write his own music, which the old composer claims is rightfully his, and threatens to ruin Robert’s, reputation. (Outing him would have ruined him in that era.) So Robert goes to leave and the old man continues to threaten him, wherein an accident happens when the two struggle with a gun, and it goes off and shoots the old man, but doesn’t kill him. The old man is out for blood after this, while Robert finishes his symphony, The Cloud Atlas Sextet, before killing himself minutes before his one true love rushes in the door. The letters Robert wrote to Sixsmith (his lover) through this narrate the story, and are part of the continuation within the next story.

Storyline 3: San Francisco 1970’s. A journalist (Halle Berry) meets Sixsmith as an old man by chance in an elevator. The power goes out and they have a long time to talk. Sixsmith eventually decides he wants to trust Louisa with his secret, but before he can tell her, he’s killed. She finds his body, and the letters Robert wrote to him, and then decides to start investigating the whole thing. Louisa goes to the nuclear power plant that is soon to be up and running, and meets Tom Hanks’ character there, and the two instantly connect, and he says some poetic things about suddenly believing in past lives and fate and such. His plane is blown up, and a contract killer runs her off a bridge. She survives, and eventually gets the story out, via a copy of the report of the faulty nuclear plant Sixsmith sent to his niece. Louisa gives her the letters and Megan says that Sixsmith believed in love, even though he was a scientist. Also, Louisa goes to a record shop to buy Robert’s Cloud Atlas Sextet in here, and says she knows it, even though there are only a handful of copies of it in existence.

Storyline 4: Present day. I Somehow missed how this one connected to the last storyline. Whoops. A publisher, Timothy, is at a party with the author of a book he wrote, Dermot. The book got a terrible review and Dermot, at the party, throws the reviewer off the balcony, killing him. (At this point, Tom Hanks has played a killer twice). The book suddenly becomes a success, and then thugs come and demand money from Timothy, who goes to his brother for help. The brother sends him to a mental institution for the elderly to get rid of him, and there, Timothy and three others plan an elaborate escape. The escape empowers Timothy to reunite with the woman he had loved in his youth. At the end, he decides to write down his story, and it becomes a film that shows up in the next story

Storyline 5: New Seoul, 2144. In storyline 2, the old composer says he had a dream about a strange cafe where all the waitresses had the same face. Turns out, that’s the beginning of this story. One of the girls shows another the lost and found, and Sonmi 451 becomes entranced with a little movie player. Yoona (the other one) acts out against a customer who sexually assaults her and then tries to escape. She is killed instantly. Hae-Joo comes and breaks Sonmi out, and shows her the resistance, as well as the truth: the genetically grown workforce that serves people are killed after a certain amount of time, and their bodies broken down and fed to the current workforce. The whole thing reveals a fairly emotionally despicable situation. So Sonmi agrees to do a broadcast across the world and colonies on other worlds. While this is happening, the resistance is destroyed, and Hae-Joo is killed. Sonmi, once captured and asked to tell her side of the story for the archives (which narrates this whole bit), is asked if she was in love with him, and she says she still is. When this causes some confusion, she says that death is like a door. When the door on this life closes, another opens. The soul continues. Her broadcast eventually ends her up as a sort of deity in human culture.

Storyline 6: Way into the future, on a colony. Zachry’s brother-in-law, Adam (a connection to the first storyline) and nephew are killed by cannibal warriors while Zachry hides nearby. Halle’s character comes to the island their village is on to climb ontop of the mountain the locals believe is the devil’s lair. The devil in this case is called old Georgie and is Hugo Weaving (who has played a villain in every storyline he shows up in except one, and he’s barely in that one). Zachry agrees to help Meronym (Halle), and finds out that Sonmi was a human who lived a very short life, and he sees part of the broadcast she made all that time ago. The tribe is all wiped out by the cannibals, and Zachry kills one, which causes a battle in while he and Meronym kill the whole cannibal tribe (to save each other and to save Zachry’s niece, the lone survivor of the raid). They go somewhere else, and the last scene is of Zachry telling this story to his grandchildren, pointing out Earth to one of them, then going inside with Meronym.

One interesting tie from the last story to the first is that in the first, Tom Hanks plays a doctor trying to kill someone, and he takes a jeweled/glass button from Adam’s coat. In the last story, Zachry (Tom Hanks) wears a necklace with that same jeweled/glass button, and when he turns from being selfish to being a hero, that necklace is ripped off. Also, the doctor talked about cannibals in one scene, when he first meets Adam, and then cannibals appear in the last story.

Now, if this was hard to follow, I’ve actually given you the easy format. The stories all intertwine in a very unique way, and sorting out what’s happening in each story takes some time. In the intertwined format it’s much more eloquent than I’ve made this seem.

The image carried over through the whole thing is a comet-shaped birthmark. First on Adam, then Robert, then Louisa, then Timothy, then Sonmi, and lastly Zachry. It’s the story of souls through time, and the lives around that soul. The story always centers on the one who bears the birthmark. From killer to hero, as the description says. But it’s more than that. It’s the story of love found and lost throughout time, of life lost and life saved. The comet represents the journey of the soul, and in some way how that soul crosses paths with someone who had seen this mark before, been involved with the life of that person.

In the sense that it carries over, like reincarnation, it is very reminiscent of The Fountain. I happen to love that movie, but Cloud Atlas far surpasses it. Instead of just two people passing through time, always to be together, it’s multiple people, but the same pairs are always there. It uses the same actors to play many roles, allowing us to follow the journey of the soul and how it relates to the past and future, rather than confusing us by casting a bunch of different people. I’ve heard some flack about how they should have cast different ethnicities rather than doing makeup on them. The point is for the audience to understand who these characters are, and why it’s so important that they would be drawn to each other.

The way that all these stories are interwoven makes the reveals happen at just the right time, showing us one character and then introducing them to another in a different timeline, which eventually causes us to be introduced to them in the first timeline and so on. Hard to explain well, but cinematically it’s so beautiful and works perfectly.

It made me cry. I was sitting between total strangers in a packed theater and I was so moved that I cried. But the sadness was coupled with happiness from other storylines, giving the whole film this incredible bittersweet feeling. Storyline 5 was the saddest, I thought. It represented an incredible amount of hope that ends in death because it cannot end any other way. I think also that Doona Bae and Jim Sturgess in combination offer this incredibly potent mix of heart, soul, and sincerity.

Each storyline shows us that there are two paths we could follow (if you look closely). Good or evil. Doing the right thing or being self-serving and doing the wrong thing. Life is about the choices we make, and the lives we cross paths with, and how the choices we make impact those lives.

In a metaphorical and philosophical way, I think I understood this film. Someone actually turned to me during the credits and asked if I understood it, and then afterwards in the bathroom I heard a bunch of girls complaining that they didn’t get it and the plot was really simple and they didn’t seem to like it. I was absolutely 100% judging them in that moment. Because the plot wasn’t actually that simple. Any of the stories could have been it’s own film, but then the overarching storyline of the soul, the comet birthmark, going on, was both simple in idea and incredibly complex in execution. The film is more of a character-driven story rather than a plot-driven story (Inception would be plot-driven).

As for other things about the film, the music was incredible. The Cloud Atlas Sextet we hear played throughout is hauntingly beautiful. The makeup in the film was phenomenal, especially since the actors were changing ethnicities for most of the different storylines. That’s hard to do, let alone do well. The cinematography was beautiful. It was never showy (unlike The Matrix), and I liked that. The acting was amazing. Top-notch actors were brought on for this, and they carried each and every story with care and fineness. Hugo Weaving is  terrifying villain, but for very different reasons, so is Tom Hanks. Jim Sturgess always has this incredible amount of heart in his acting, and watching him in this film made me realize why I love him so much; I can’t not love that much heart and sincerity. Doona Bae is incredibly moving. How she acts seems so simple, but I have no doubt it is anything but, as the complexity of each feeling came through. Halle Berry brings her cool, confident, capable self to screen. Ben Wishaw (Robert) blew my mind. He had a powerful storyline, and he played it so well. Everyone in the cast was wonderful, and it was clear why they are renowned actors. The special effects were nice, and I love how they did New Seoul and the futuristic timelines. Everything seemed a logical advance from where we are.

The one thing that brought me out of the film a bit was in the last timeline, they have this sort of future-speak that is basically butchered english, and sometimes I had to spend a little time deciphering what was said.

It’s magnificent.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, film review

I’m at a loss of words on this one.

There’s  line in the film, “how can you be so happy and so sad all at once?” (I may be off on a few words, but that’s the line) that sums up almost the entire film, and how it makes you feel while watching it. The absolute beauty of everything, both the good and the bad, leaves you feeling both emotions quite fully. I wanted to cry for most of the film, and I was never sure if it would have been out of sadness or joy.

This is a coming of age film, where the people are the stars, not the story. Character-driven, as some former profs would define it. I think the most beautiful part of the film is that the people are all so hurt, with secrets, with pasts that forever impact our present.

The acting is amazing, and I was especially impressed with Logan Lerman’s acting. The way he handled things, the way you could watch him try to forget the bad things in life while they were in the midst of happening, pretend everything was okay when really nothing was… from someone with a mental illness, he captured it well. The moments where he just breaks down, the way all that was written and the way he brought that to life, is what it feels like.

Now, while most people will relate alright with the character of Charlie (Logan Lerman), I think very few will fully identify with him. Where I am in life, however, being in his shoes was as easy as breathing, and that may be why I’m having a hard time actually reviewing the film rather than being like “just go see it because you need to see this film.” That is exactly how I feel. Just go see it.

Now, are some of the characters exceptionally odd in an almost cliche way? Yeah. It’s like in the group of misfits, they wanted to have every kind of misfit. From a social perspective, that really doesn’t happen often. However, most of the main cast had fully developed characters and backgrounds. They made sense in a psychological way.

I really don’t even know what to say other than it’s such a beautiful film full of truths about us as humans. Full of pain and joy and broken people that in their brokenness are at their most beautiful.
Just go see it.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

misfit monday: what a weekend

Sometimes I do exciting things, like appear on national daytime tv. Other times, I do slightly less exciting things like sit around applying for jobs and sewing while watching old tv shows.

True story. No really, the tv thing? It happened. Not an extra. As in front and center speaking role. For 20 minutes. I was trying not to freak out or cry. Although the crying part would have worked with the acting.

I have the most random life, and a lot of the stories I tell probably sound like they can’t have all happened to the same person. That either means I tell great stories about kleptomaniac ex-roommates and psychotic pregnant homeless people, or ….. maybe I kind of got the leftovers on other people’s lives. That sounds weird. Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you have four people, but between them, they only order 3 dishes. Three of these people only eat one particular thing each. Say, one eats fish, another eats chicken, and the other eats beef. But these three people get full and there’s still a little of each dish left over, all of which gets passed on to person 4. So person 4 doesn’t have a whole meal of any kind, just these jumbled bits of leftovers. I kind of feel like that’s my life. Jumbled bits of leftovers. On a psychological level, this kind of explains some stuff about me. I’m watching everyone else with whole lives, and I’m sitting here with scraps and tidbits wondering why I didn’t get a whole life, why everyone else is so much more special than me. On the outside looking in. This is my life.

Okay, well, that was depressing. Let’s move on. (I really wish you would all read this in Xander Harris’ voice. It makes it sound much more fun.)

A theater near me (actually the closest movie theater) has $5 wednesdays, so I went and saw a late night movie. By myself. Because I don’t have friends. This is my life. Well, I saw Pitch Perfect because I thought it looked funny. Anna Kendrick is beautiful and talented. On a deeper note that probably very few people in the theater would have picked up on, it touched on a psychological thing that I understand. The whole shutting people out because it’s easier. Because deep down you just don’t want to let anyone hurt you, and you just sort of expect that they will. There was a fitting tribute to The Breakfast Club in there, and I love that movie.


The last bit of that trailer… add that to the list of things I want to say.

Worked on sewing some other things now that my coat is done. I have this pattern for some 1940’s clothes, and I had enough fabric left over from an old project to work with, and that became the shirt. Now to start in on a pair of high waist grey pants. Three pieces. Pretty straight forward. Except the zipper part. Zippers are my downfall. Also, I had to sharpen a pair of scissors, and it was all going fine until I sharpened them right into my finger. Painful and just deep enough for it to bleed rather well.

Saturday was a big day.

First, I auditioned for a tv pilot being shot here. Don’t know where it’s going or anything like that, but hey whatever, I auditioned. Am I likely to get a part? Well normally I would have said no, but they happened to really like me. They said I had a lot of talent and I should really try to get into the acting thing more. First time I’ve heard that. I should hear about callbacks in a week.

Second, my little brother had a marching band competition at The Ohio State University. In the horseshoe. That was cool. Like really cool. But, I don’t understand the old-school marching band thing, with the drum major who is a baton twirler, the lack of color guard, the whole high-stepping thing…. makes no sense to me. The southwest area of Ohio is all about competition marching bands, versus I guess Cleveland is stuck in the “we’re here to put on a halftime show for the football team” thing. Ew. Add that to the list of reasons I will never go close to that town. Anyway, my alma matter did great. They’ve made massive improvements to the show since I last saw it, added more visuals, the guard (which has 3 vets and the rest are rookies) has made huge strides. They should have placed 2nd behind Lakota West (who incidentally have an awesome show featuring music by Edward Elgar and my all-time favorite Dmitri Shostakovich).

I’m employed! Finally. It’s at a department store as seasonal, but that’s a start, right? Better underemployed than unemployed. I have orientation this thursday, and I’m a little nervous for everything, but I always get that way. Last night I had this weird dream that my grandma came over and was asking me all sorts of questions about my new job that I didn’t have answers to and then when I woke up she was actually here. O_o

Oh, and thursday night I watched the VP debate. It was at Center College in Kentucky. And then I realized that I’d performed on the same stage they had the debate on. Woah. A couple years ago, Asbury, Center, Translyvania and maybe one more I don’t remember, performed the full Brahms Requiem at Transy and Center (that’s like an hour straight of singing). And…. yeah. Won’t go into politics. Oh, but Paul Ryan looks like the guy who plays Will Schuster on Glee. Anyone else notice that?

Here’s part of the Requiem. My favorite part.

Ooooh…. secret talent reveal time: the first time I ever joined a choir was in university. In the best choir there. I’m a mezzo-soprano who sings alto 1. What you don’t know is that I’m actually a French Horn player.

This video shows the sopranos and tenors mostly, with the altos and basses on the same side as the camera. So you can’t actually see me, but yes I’m there. In Gloucester Cathedral (they filmed chunks of Harry Potter there). In England.

I told you I had a random life.