Sunday Mornings

It is Earth Day weekend and nothing like a heat wave in Los Angeles to remind you of climate change! E is away for a bachelor party and I’m enjoying some quality solo time. I decided to head west for the cool ocean air.

I found myself first near LAX, at a park watching planes take off and land. It is a weird quirk, but I am strangely fascinated by watching them. Then I explored Marina del Rey, finding a spot in a park to lay down under a tree and watch boats (err, yachts) come in and out of the harbor. After the past few months, I found a close kinship with a nearby sea lion (as shown above with a buddy), who only moved once… to sneeze.

Here’s a slice of internet fodder for you Sunday reading pleasure:

  • If you like analyzing photography, this is all kinds of intriguing: “Fairytale Prisoner by Choice: The Photographic Eye of Melania Trump
  • I need to get back to my Seinfeld evening routine.
  • I need suggestions for summer reading! I’m adding this one to my library list. What else should I add?
  • Did you listen to S-Town yet? I binged on the flight back to LA and then finished it off from the couch. What’d you think? (I loved it.) An interview with host/narrator/producer, Bryan Reed. (Also a nice reminder: make sure you have a will.)
  • I only got through about season 2 of Girls before moving on to other shows, so I have not watched the last episode or season obviously and read this article prepared for the spoilers. Valid points made and hitting home to me. I wonder how much of the ending was influenced by Apatow. Your thoughts?
  • I’ve been drinking a lot of lemonade lately as spring has sprung. This cucumber lemonade will be next.
  • Anything Men Can Do I Can Do Bleeding
  • Anna Faris live-tweeted Chris Pratt’s Hollywood Walk of Fame morning. I’m not one for celebrity following, but this was cute.
  • A little Earth Day weekend reading. Louisiana, my home away from home. This is nothing surprising to me, just a sad reminder that where I use to live will likely not exist for my grandkids to see.
  • Space Mountain is my favorite ride at Disneyland. They are dropping the Star Wars decor and going back to being just a ride in space… As long as they keep the song, I’m good.

I hope your day has a little sunshine and wildflowers in it today. Enjoy a little mother nature if you can!

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Arrival (2016)

Back at home briefly and catching up on life. Laundry (so much of it), pre-Thanksgiving errands, chores.

Part of my week’s to do list: seeing Arrival.

I’m not here to write a review per say. Part of my desire for this blog is to share the experience of screening films. So with that in mind….

Watching this film was one of the most enjoyable and thrilling experiences I’ve had in a theater in a while. The last time I felt this way was after seeing Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) or the TIFF premiere of Gravity (2013). Arrival was a film I became totally enveloped in.

The first frames instantly reminded me of something Malick-esque. Throughout the film I felt the same chills I had when watching Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) or Inception (2010) for the first time. While there are influences from other films on Arrival, this screening experience felt fresh and alive (perhaps, one part, because it is not another remake). This script is smart and thoughtful. A film about language: the depth of communicating and the true meaning of our words. With the wonderful cinematography and score, this film creates a world all its own. One you can sink into. (And oh, how I wish I could live in Dr. Banks’ house!)

And now here is your spoilers warning. If you have not seen Arrival yet, you may want to come back later.

The way this film plays with time is masterful and fun. The big moment when the story “clicks” and proves why scenes are placed where they are is a thrill. I’m ready for a second viewing to catch some of the links I missed the first time (and those I’m still thinking about today: the knocking on the window, the double meaning of the title with the telling of a birth story).

There are many things that make this film one of my favorites of the year, but one of the strongest reasons is this: it is a story from a woman’s perspective and ultimately the “weapon” could only be given to a woman. The aliens’ language is emotional. That is why it is given to Dr. Louise Banks and not Ian Donnelly (or another man). She will understand it and she will feel it. She will ensure peace. Yes, it is a generalization or stereotype on gender, but tell me how that is not a powerful statement? She’s not just “emotional”. She’s bold and clearly an intelligent leader given her career and status (for the government to come a’knockin’ in the first place). Arrival reminds us to trust and empower our female leaders. What better time to have that reminder than now.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this film and I’m eager to see it again. At the moment the only thing I can think to pair this with is a glass of red wine. Not only does Amy Adams’ character drink wine in the film, but I felt like having a glass myself after seeing Arrival. As the credits rolled, I wanted for the film to linger – like how the taste of a good wine stays on your tongue. The conversation this film created between E and I afterwards seemed to warrant a glass of something to sip, talk, and listen. If you do see it in a theater soon, I encourage you to plan a little time to think or discuss afterwards with whatever beverage you enjoy best.

Have you seen Arrival yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

And if you loved Arrival, check out my previous post on Denis Villeneuve’s short film Next Floor (2008).

arrival
Arrival (2016), Paramount Pictures