Reviews for the Week: June 24th – July 1st

Holaaaaaaa. Summer Film ’17 kicks into gearrr.

So, the person that takes the tickets at the movie theater told me “nice to see you again” because I have been to the movies four times within the past few days. And two of those times were in the same day.

All Eyez On Me. Baby Driver. Cars 3. Wonder Woman.

Yeah, I’m late to the game on some of these but early on others. Let’s start with the Biopic!

All Eyez On Me

…. ūüė¶

Please watch this video to understand my sadness: 1:00-1:15

and look at this photograph:

well, actually nvm about the photograph. I could not find it, but it was of me dressed as Tupac for my school’s biography day freshmen year of high school.

Note: the video is from 2011. It is 2017. I’m about to be a senior in college, but I have been a fan of Tupac since seventh grade. As a die-hard fan of his music and him as a person, I was really heartbroken to admit that¬†All Eyez On Me was not a good movie. The only part that got me to feel an emotion was when Tupac died because it was a reminder that he is gone. And there’s obviously no coming back from that type of gone.

Anyway, on to why I did not like it.

It did not have a storyline. If I was someone who did not know Tupac at all, I doubt that I would have cared about all the events that they showed me. And that’s what they did. Event, after event, after event with some random scenery shots in the middle. A lot of fades. I have to give it to the editor though. From what was seen on screen, I don’t believe that Joel Cox had a lot to work with. There’s a quote from Walter Murdoch (I think) about how movies are actually made in the editing room. It might not have been from him tbh. It might have been someone else, so s/o to that someone else just in case. Anyway, the quote hints at how raw footage alone is not a movie. The story arises in the editing bay. But yo, if the screenplay and the resulting film footage isn’t telling you a movie, it’s definitely hard to make that story side with the end product.

The first half of the movie was full of intercuts between a prison interview and Tupac’s upbringing. After his release from prison, the intercut section was no more. The audience did not have enough time to get to know Tupac. I think it was assumed that they already did. And of course they do because it’s Tupac. Yet- this is a movie. There should have been time to really empathize with this character and get to know his dreams, his faults, and what hurts him. There should have been a way to really root for him and his success. It was basically like watching home movies and not being entirely interested in the outcome but hoping beyond hope that it was going to be something good. As is, this movie shouldn’t have been. It’s not even a movie that I would see again, and it’s one that I had been waiting for June 16th for because I wanted to see it so badly. And not really because I thought it looked good but solely because it was Tupac, and he may be dead and gone, but I still wanted to support his legacy. In fact, marketing-wise, I had never thought it looked good. From the first trailer I saw, I thought it looked cheap. I didn’t get the red cross. In the film, the audience also gets the sense that there was not a lot of money for this film, despite it having a 40 million dollar budget. Which I guess must have went towards licensing and re-creating fashion choices. Because it definitely wasn’t for marketing. Some of my friends who are very into hip-hop did not even know this film was coming out.

Anywayanyway, I want to concede. There are a lot of angles from which a Tupac story could have been told; a lot of different versions of the man to present. Personally, since I like poetry Tupac but understand the wildin’ out one, I would’ve probably wanted to see the poetry Tupac. But yes- since there are so many angles, it’s understandable that it would have been difficult to craft a story from what was available. Better luck next time.

My mom enjoyed it, however, and she was also a great fan of Tupac.

My brother didn’t, ¬†but he’s pretty cynical in regards to movies starring POC. He didn’t see Straight Outta Compton, and we all know that film was amaziiiing. And if you need to have the approval of a body, it won an Oscar for its screenwriting.

So grain of salt, ya know? Regardless, I don’t understand why Jada Pink Smith was so upset.

As a side-note, my uncle Jim didn’t want to see this film because he was afraid it would tarnish ‘Pac’s legacy in his eyes. I think it would. I did enjoy when he got into a relationship with Quincy Jones’ daughter though.

——— ¬†(I meant to make these reviews a paragraph since there are four of them but aye go figure)

Baby Driver

There was something very fresh about this movie. It did feel like something special. I watched it with my friend Jacob, and he gushed about it afterwards on his Facebook. It’s certified fresh so other people are gushing about it as well. I totally get that. It really did have a super cool feel to it, and I like how it’s an original story. However, the last 1/4th of the movie felt chaotic to me. As an action movie, I guess that it’s fine. Jacob liked how unpredictable it became. I feel that. I get it. Makes sense. But story is tantamount to me and the chaotic-ness of it made me feel as if the screenwriters didn’t know how to wrap up the story of the baby driver. It does work for what it is, and it’s actually probably a movie that I would watch again with someone at their house, chilling on the couch. Popcorn and friends.

Beyond that: people need to go beyond their butt shots and just having women be eye-candy. I didn’t think the relationships were believable, and I didn’t feel it fit baby’s character to go gun happy when he was so resigned to non-violence beforehand. I also remember seeing a piece from¬†Love Life of an Asian Guy¬†about how the black characters usually get killed first in horror movies (baby driver is action) and how that illustrates the unimportance of those characters in the movie and in real life. This actually resonated with me, and I felt as if the succession in which the people died went along with that. Asian guy, black guy, girl, white guy. I really wanted the Asian guy to last longer haha, I thought he was cool.

Regardless, I do get the case people are making for why they really loved this film. I did like it as well, but like I said, I had my issues. However, it did feel super fresh and as if there was something special about it. It was also cut together super well. Good stuff. I think I’ll read some other reviews to see if anyone else felt the way I did about the second half.

Maybe it felt so fresh because it isn’t a typical American movie as the director is British and apparently has a very distinct filmmaking style for his other films as well. (Edgar Wright)

Cars 3

I saw this with Kyleeee. It was v. cute. I liked it. I loved how Cruz ended up being Latina. And I thought the conclusion was wonderful with how McQueen is going to keep racing but he ended up training Cruz as well. They set the conclusion up well, as one could tell where it was going after he raced with her at the beach. At least, I could. Kyle couldn’t. I didn’t see Cars 2, so I’m unsure if there’s something I should have seen from that one, but I feel like I didn’t miss anything.

It almost felt as if this one was supposed to be speaking to an older audience, with all of the commentary about getting older and the new generation and all of that. I liked it though. Another movie that I would watch with friends on a couch.

Wonder Woman

We have made it to the end! yay! Also seen with Kyle.

My friend Yi Ning was the first person to gush to me about¬†Wonder Woman. I actually had no interest in it. I don’t remember who showed me the original trailer way back when (maybe my brother?), but I remember that as being the reason why I was uninterested.

Buuuut. I’ll give it to¬†Patty Jenkins. I really like her style of filmmaking. The blue and green colors that were present throughout gave it a nice feel and a cohesiveness to it. The large amount of clean close-ups was also an interesting choice that I really enjoyed. And the pacing too. It was different from the typical action/superhero movies. It took its time and moved along slowly.

Of course, in addition to the praise, I have also seen different criticisms of the film and of casting choices, and I actually do like reading over those and wondering about what they say as well. One thing that I think is important with any movie in regards to human relations outside of the movie is for people to ask themselves if they could see the white character as another race. Could Wonder Woman be Asian? Black? Latina? Sans comic aside, why not? I just think that’s important for people to ask themselves. It’s very easy to see white people in any role and to let them maintain their humanity, but POC don’t always have that going for them, and if we can’t picture POC in different roles, then I think we don’t see POC as fully human.

Anyway, mini diversion over.

My favorite part of the movie was simply the style of filmmaking. Yi Ning said that she thinks it’s great for the next generation growing up to see this and to feel empowered from it. And I agree. Gina Rodriguez just posted an Instagram of her acting like Wonder Woman, so hey. It is empowering. #RepresentationMatters and going off that, praise be that there were no butt shots. Yes. Thank you. And that’s probably because it was a woman director helming the seat. Not that woman can’t be equally as objectifying of other women as men (patriarchy runs deep), but overall, I think it makes a different. Women are three-dimensional and women like those in¬†Baby Driver or all of the women splayed out in¬†All Eyez On Me don’t get to showcase that. We smile all the time (which Wonder Woman did too, so it’s interesting to wonder if it would have resonated so deeply with people if she smiled less), we have any number of tropes you can name, but we don’t really get to be real people. So, that’s nice to see.

Kyle’s favorite part was when she was fighting the person she thought was Aries, and it ended up not being Aries. I enjoyed how there was actually an Aries after. Despite the other person telling her that there wasn’t one and thinking she was just kind of out there for that. I thought their relationship was unnecessary though. But it’s chill. I like romance. Would also re-watch on a couch with some snacks and a friend.

Peace out! Until later ‚̧

Paige P.


La Migra

by José Antonio Rodriguez


The grownups sat on their long chair called couch

And talked of the weather, the dew of the blossoms’ morning,

And what might happen to us, the children.

Mom said don’t leave the house, not without

Papers. Do I dare speak of the papers hoarded

In corners? How many more poems can you write

About a face spackled with fear before

It holds you? The reader aiming, too.

Let us find a charcoaled corner, you and I,

Where we will lay these words. Leave children

To sleep in windowless rooms. The mother

biting a prayer. The country weaving a tomb.

Short Film/Doc – Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico

Director: Ebony Bailey

Mitu did a write-up about this documentary:

If you want to skip the mini-article, here’s the video:¬† (there’s another one with Spanish subtitles)

Anyway! I really appreciated this documentary. It follows some recent Haitian immigrants and speaks about their stories, but it also has an interview with an immigrant from African named Amadou who arrived in the 1970s. It was cool to see the different perspectives among the black diaspora there and how they perceive their treatment in Mexico. Also, I didn’t know that Africa had had any influence in Mexican cuisine, but apparently it has had a bunch. Which would actually be a really cool thing for me to look up later. One of girls, who seemed more frustrated with how Mexico treats her, mentioned that the government covered up African contributions a lot. That reminded me of America and the contributions of every ethnic group that is not white.

I don’t have much I really want to say about the documentary, except that it introduced me to a new topic and inspired me to learn more. I mainly write these so I can remember how I feel about certain things that I’ve viewed.

Anyway, off to re-watch Get Out. Toodaloooo.


Summer Film ’17 – Kira’s Reason: A Love Story

Film Movement: Dogme 95


Director: Ole Christian Madsen (but per Dogme 95, his name doesn’t appear in the actual credits)

The first Dogme 95 movie that I watched was Breaking the Waves by Lars Von Trier. Because of that movie, I thought that I looooved Dogme 95. I guess I just loved the movie instead.

For this film, I really did not like it. The found footage technique is my least favorite camera technique in film- maybe because it’s been popularized so much recently. It probably wasn’t as prevalent back then, so maybe this film really stood out. Anyway, the found footage style of filming took me around twenty minutes to get into. ¬†Once I got over it, then I could pay attention to the story.

Here’s the story:

The wife of the film has just been released from a mental hospital. However, it is clear that she is still very, very depressed. She is not able to effectively face large groups of people without wanting to cry or feeling anxious about it. She also suspects her husband of cheating on her while she was away (which does end up being correct, despite his initial denial). For a while, it seems as if husband cares quite a bit for his wife. He seems patient, and when he says, “I love you”, it comes across as believable. During one of her episodes, the wife ends up cheating on the husband with a random man from a bar. In the morning, she even calls him to come and pick her up from the location that she is in. He does, but this represents a spiraling of their relationship. ¬†He hits her, for the first time that we see on screen. He also rapes her and admits that he cheated on her with her sister. Yet, they continue to try and be together. However, the sweet element from earlier is now removed thanks to the violence. The film ends with the wife having planned a business party for her husband and his colleagues. The party seemed to be going well, but no one wanted to dance with the wife. When the husband’s boss does dance with her, it is to tell her that she should leave the party before she spoils it. She does and goes to write a letter to her husband letting him know that she is leaving him. He comes back during the writing of the letter, and after listening to her read it to him, he kicks her out of the room and throws her belongings out into the hall. She calls her father to come and pick her up. Apparently, while she does that, her husband also calls the sister to come with the children. Both of them show up- but when the sister arrives, she sees that husband and wife have reconciled and she cries. The father consoles ¬†her, and the film ends.

I can recognize that there is a message to this film, maybe about how difficult it is for the wife to leave her abusive husband, especially in her current depressive state. Also, it explores how the wife’s depression really effects each aspect of her life and tends to make her unreliable to those around her. She can’t deal with other people and also deal with herself. Despite recognizing a message, I couldn’t stand how abusive the husband was. It was obvious when he was about to explode for the first time and hit her. There was just too much of it. It was actually one of my male professors who pointed out to me how much violence there is against women in films. It makes you wonder. So, anyway, the film also seemed to attempt to humanize the husband, but I despised that considering everything he had done beforehand, especially the rape.

What I did like about the film was the relationship between the wife and her father. It was very sweet, and it was clear that the father cares about her deeply as his daughter. Also, the actress is fantastic. Her facial expressions usually look quite reserved when she is trying to smile, and the audience gets the feeling that it would be a long journey for her smile to be able to reach her eyes.

I watched this on¬†FilmStruck as part of their Dogme 95 collection. Before it, there was an introduction to what that movement was, and it also talked about how sometimes, the manifesto did not always benefit the films. They came to the conclusion that this film is one that did happen to execute it correctly. I disagree. I hated it so much haha. I guess it’s just not my type of film.

But Breaking the Waves will always have my heart.

RT score: 67%.


When Someone Cheats On You


I was sitting at a Tri Delta event, messaging someone for information. When they responded with an absolute confirmation, I was rocked. I gasped out loud, which made the entire table look at me.

I guess they weren’t good at reading emotions because they thought I had received good news.

Far from it.

The guy I had spent the whole summer being friends with, the one who I thought there might be a chance of getting back together with, the one who I held up on a pedestal and praised for making me take a step back and re-evaluate my friendships- had cheated on me. Months ago.

When he broke up with me, he didn’t tell me that. He specifically told me, “I don’t like anyone else. I’m not dating anyone else.” At that time, that struck me as odd, because I hadn’t thought that at all. He told me he thought I was cheating on him.

So, here I am, feeling devastated about everything, as I think it’s all my fault. I think I was a terrible girlfriend, not to say I wasn’t. I blamed myself a lot for not making more time for this person. One of my friends from Underwings hated that when I told her after the break-up. She’s in a feminist oriented service org, and she was pissed that a man had a problem with me chasing my dreams. Which, I didn’t think was actually the problem.

I had an internship that I traveled to two days a week, which effectively took up both of those days.

I remember my friends praising how I balanced my relationship and my friends. I didn’t just say goodbye to them when I was in a relationship. And I thought I was balancing it well.

When we broke up though, I took the whole blame. I didn’t think I had done anything right. I thought I should have spoken to him more and spent more time with him, which was different from my initial attitude because I thought we were speaking enough.

But I saw this guy, and I just thought that I had hurt him so much. And to hurt someone who I thought was so beautiful- well, that hurt me. I couldn’t believe I had caused him so much pain. I would literally fall asleep crying thinking about how badly I handled the relationship. After the break-up and during the summer. Because this beautiful human being who I had met, I had caused him to go through two break-ups within the span of a year, and I knew how much his original one with his earlier girlfriend had hurt him. And I did it again. Two failed relationships. I was so sorry.

But then- the beginning of this year, I found out he had lied to me. And it hurt so much. I never would have found out if my friend hadn’t tried to look out for me and tell me. Beyond just finding out, it hurts that so many people- friends and acquaintances- of mine and his knew and didn’t bother to tell me. It’s not even so much the silence. It’s the being able to smile at me, have a conversation with me, and be friendly with all of that knowledge. It makes me feel stupid. Embarrassed. Like I was in the dark, and like everything has been fake and false. I guess that’s how it is with secrets.

I’ll continue this as it keeps going. It was nice to write again though.

—– That beginning part was 8 months ago. It’s May so that makes it September when I wrote that.

Although I have not returned to that particular post, I have been dealing with the aftermath of what I described. I have wanted to get my feelings out. I’ve wanted to write poems and entries and a film and posts. And I’ve done some of that.

The feelings I described are accurate. There are so many more though as well.

There’s how it turned into a really traumatic experience. For example, after not seeing this person for months, I ran into him unexpectedly. Afterwards, I couldn’t even talk. It affected me for the whole day.

There were other days, in the fall semester, when the wound was bleeding fresh, when I would lay on my bed and just cry. Not knowing how my life ended up like this. Having it feel all so surreal. And yeah- this sounds dramatic af. I know. But I’ve been trying to think of a pain to compare this whole experience too, and I have nothing.

However, I could look back on that girl who went to SPS each week, and the girl who cried bewildered tears and physically did not feel as if she could remove herself from her bed, and I know I’m much better.

I know that last semester, this occurrence took up my entire mind space. I let friendships go for various reasons but also because I didn’t know what to talk about anymore. I could only think about what had happened. How I didn’t know. Obsess over how it happened. Craft a timeline in my head. December 15th. A birthday. Talk about a celebration.

I could only look at the people who I had cherished so much and wonder how much they knew. I could only slit my eyes in suspicion. Mistrust.¬†Why didn’t you tell me? How could you, how could you, how could you.¬†

I thought about how I wanted to take him out for his birthday, and I didn’t because his roommate told me he was going home. Innocent enough. I wonder if he still has the Star Wars speakers that I got him.

But in light of new details, memories change. His roommate telling me that he’s going home morphs into something more sinister because of my lack of trust and my suspicions.¬†did he know?¬†did he help him plan it? did he encourage it?¬†Or did my person lie to him about what he was planning to do?

And I have gone over what happened so so many times. Couch make-out session? Sleep over in the bed? Watching a show? Making the first move. Even though, even though – “it’s not like I went for it.”¬†And why.

These are things that aren’t going to have answers. They exist of course. But I know that I don’t need to ask them.

There are other things that I should probably stop going over, but they pop up in my mind anyway. Wonderings about how that person I considered a friend could know that something had happened, could suspect that it was cheating because¬†something happened, she’s gonna hate me and still manage to give me a lecture on how I needed to make more time for him. should have talked to him more upon breaking up. how she really made it seem like it was all my fault, and¬†how I believed that. How I felt bad for spending time with one of my best friends because he told me he thought I was cheating on him with said person. How I was careful about inviting that friend to my sorority’s formal so that he would not be offended. how he responded weirdly to me telling him my twin was hella drunk at formal, and me wondering why. But that’s a tangent. Going back to the friend. I thought it was all my fault, with random spasms of knowing that it took two to talk to each other. What hurt about this one friend is how she did know or suspected it because he directly told her in vague language and with that knowledge, she managed to convince me that I should have stepped up, how I believed that. When I found out she knew as well, I was immediately in disbelief again. No way. Not you. Not another person. Did literally everyone know and just manage to think we were still friends by not telling me? I got over her involvement in this whole thing. Or maybe I really just suppressed it. Because as the semester went on, I came to resent her more and more. I still can’t understand, regardless of how we were all friends with each other, how she could know that he cheated on me but still act like there was something to save when he broke up with me and act like I was the one who needed to do the saving. What’s gone is gone.

I took her chastisement to heart. Over that summer, referring back to those paragraphs from eight months ago, I felt like I messed up a part of someone’s life. Two failed relationships, I thought. Hurting someone who seemed so beautiful to me, who taught me that you didn’t need to be religious to see the world with beauty. I had nights where I cried myself to sleep, thinking about all the harm I thought I caused and all of the things I did wrong and could have done right.

And when I found out that there was nothing to be done? Damn. I felt like I really wasted a whole summer. Crying. But also talking to him nearly every day.

Guess what?

On June 2nd, I don’t know what brought this on. But on June 2nd, I had the thought “wait, why am I still upset?” and just asking myself that question brought me clarity. If I get lost in the details, I’m sure that I can find myself agonizing over things again. But just having that question pop into my head has brought so much relief. I don’t need to be upset anymore. It really isn’t worth my time.

These past few days have been great. I’ve spent a lot of time with friends (Yi Ning, Darlin) and met random people when I ventured outside (John, Luke). It’s a nice reminder that there’s more to life that what I’ve spent the past few months preoccupied with.

I also got to be proud of myself. This has been a really long, really frustrating journey. It’s been full of blaming myself, trying to forgive people, deciding that forgiveness is not something they’ll get from me, distancing myself from people, and just being really shocked. Yeah, I guess shocked sums up everything.

But if I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be enjoying these few weeks I have here in Los Angeles for the summer. I wouldn’t have gotten to realize what being present feel likes again.

I think being surrounded by my friends, loving my internship, and experiencing new things helped. It’s so easy to be distracted by the negatives, the losses. It’s hard to make decisions that’ll be good for you and that will let you grow. But my friends, yoo. I’m so glad I have them. Because yeah, I might sometimes make the mistake of thinking some people are my friends and then they turn out not to be. But when I get it right- when someone who I think is my friend is so so so my friend. Then man, is that the best thing ever.

The question of “why am I still upset” just so randomly popped into my head that I think God, or whoever, got tired of seeing me upset and was like ya know, she’s in a good place, I think she’ll get it this time. I do.

I’m also proud of myself. It didn’t take me a whole year to get over it. Just 10 months haha.

I also just saw this on Facebook:

“Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you were the one who carried you through the heartache. You are the one who sits with the cold body on the shower floor, and picks it up. You are the one who feeds it, who clothes it, who tucks it into bed, and you should be proud of that…”

I’m good right now. Sure, sometimes, during the semesters, I took Tiffany’s secret shower tips and skipped a day. I mostly ate out because I only bought groceries twice over the course of the whole school year. I came and went and hardly talked to my roommates, though they seemed to like me anyway. I managed to skip enough classes that I got dropped a full letter grade (tbh I still think this is mistake and that I only missed two but my teacher accidentally counted me absent 4 times but aye it’s alright,¬†Life Goes On s/o Tupac). I stopped caring about a lot of things.

But yooo. I picked myself up (with the help of my friends but also with ¬†my own help). Now, I buy groceries. Now, I cook for myself. I have a routine for my face everyday. I’m still lazy af with my hair, but baby steps, baby steps. I’m doing my best at my internship, and I’m actually interested in it. I get to places mostly on time. I’m able to hold conversations with people and remember what they say.

There were a lot of things I had to question about myself during the year.

Hair. Face. Body. Personality.

But now, I sing in the car. Very loudly to Whitney Houston tunes. While in traffic. While people can see me- which isn’t totally okay with me. It’s kind of enough to make me stop singing, but I’m telling myself to sing anyway.

I sit in parks by myself and meet cool people along the way. I look content enough that cashiers tell me, “you look happy.”

Last year, I had my hair straightened for Tri Delta formal. It was weird. Straight hair didn’t look like me anymore.

Today, I got it straightened. I wanted to see how long it was, and I also missed the ponytail that I wore for so many years. Whoa. It looked like me. Yet, I also missed my curls and the bun I had been wearing on my head all summer (though I don’t miss how matted it was oh geez). Both are me. Both are Paige. I love having something to flip off my shoulder, something to tie up and shake. And I also love fixing all of my curls to sit upright on my head or having an afro full of them. I like that it’s on my terms.

I like that I don’t feel like I need permission from anyone to be myself anymore, and I love that I have friends that encourage that (even when they sometimes enable it hahaha, much love).

Sure- If I bother to worry myself about trying to figure out all the details again, then I might get saddened once more. But these past few days of not caring about the details, about wondering why I did care so much, ahh they’ve been so good. So much more alive. So, forget the details. I’ve done enough wondering about each little thing I can wonder about. Time to get back to actuality. Time to see my smile look like my smile.

Last year, my grandma had to tell me to “be strong”.

Today, I called her and she told me, “you sound good.”

I am.

** This is not meant to a calling out post. I don’t mention names of people involved. This is because words are my thing. Writing helps me think, and this is an experience I’ve thought about over and over again but had trouble writing about. There has been so much to say that I just let myself not say anything. I didn’t know what to say. I have entries in my personal journal that explore some of my feelings in more depth. I have other posts on this blog that touch upon what was in my mind.

Other Posts (after and before finding out- yo some of these I forgot about) –¬† – September 2016 РNovember 2016 РDecember 2016 РJanuary 2017 – February 2017 РApril 2016 (last year) 

It’d be really hard to say how I felt about all of this in this one post, so it’s kind of jumpy. It begins after I found out because I immediately turned to writing (September). I didn’t pick up this particular post again for the aforementioned reasons until May because I now had to time to write again, and I wanted to get this whole saga finished. I was planning to carry this out through the summer, taking my time to write out different instances that brought about different emotions. I figured I would publish it at the end of the summer because writing about all of it would probably help me finally close this chapter. However, closing it came about earlier than I thought, and I don’t feel the need to continue this anymore. Which is a great thing. So, for your clarity, this post moves in terms of¬†September,¬†May, and¬†June. June 2nd was a glorious day. Thanks for reading. <3**¬†


Trust after SPS

December 8th, 2016 6:37 AM

“One must be fond of others and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.” – ¬†E.M. Forster

Trusting people immediately is something I used to pride myself on. I have never made anyone earn my trust, and usually, when people have broken it, I’ve let them have it back. This semester was a little different from how I normally approach trust, and I can’t fully explain how frustrated, depressed, and prone to lie down in my bed and sob it made me.

For the first time, I was someone jaded who questioned everyone around me and is still doing that. It’s annoying because I have never wanted to be that person, and I prefer to just trust and trust away.

But- this semester, I was floored. I found out multiple friends of my mine kept information about something someone who was really important to me did for months. Guess what it is if you want. In addition to that, friends of the person also knew. I was an acquaintance of these friends.

And it just hurts. To think everything is one way and to have it be entirely flipped. To remember gushing conversations but to now know behind those gushing conversations lurked deceptive information. Man, it just hurts.

To have to question close friends about their role just because I’m suspicious now.

To have to stare at people around me with connections to each of us and wonder who else knew or who else did what with who.

It breaks me down because I’m a trusting person who can’t do that right now.

Initially, I focused my anger and my hurt on the two people at the center of it all. And they still receive a lot of it, but it’s also shifted. Because while one of the people was someone I was planning to be in touch with years and years down these life roads, I can’t believe so many of my friends kept the information from me too.

And it’s a tug because there’s a pull between being forgiving and my lack of trust and interest in continuing a relationship where I was lied to in multiple ways.

It just hurts.

But the point of this is that: it takes up a lot of room in my mind. I haven’t fully dealt with all of the emotions because there’s so many facets and so many directions to take everything.

I started going to SPS on a day where I found myself sobbing and numb and unable to get up for class. I laid on my bed in disbelief that the life I was living was mine. Everything seemed one way, and it wasn’t. When I first went, I described that to my therapist- that everything seemed so surreal.

The other point of this:

If I haven’t seemed like me, I’m not to myself either. I don’t have the energy to always participate in events or conversation. Because if I’m participating in one conversation, there’s at least four more things I’m thinking about. Usually connected to the semi-described thing above. I don’t always have time to be a good film major and watch movies because what’s the point when I can’t even concentrate on them or take them in? What’s the point of going and trying to have fun when I won’t remember the jokes said or when so and so laughed at this point and how alive they looked? I don’t even have the mental strength to pass people walking and say hello to them with an actual smile.

Last point:

I’m getting there. I’ll be fine, and things always work out.

But be patient with me, and I’ll try and do the same.

And per SPS advice, I’ll try and sit with my emotions as they happen and fully deal with them, so I can maybe start being as present as I want/need to be.

Can’t wait. ‚̧

Summer Film ’17: The Best Intentions (1992)

Directed by: Bille August

Written by: Ingmar Bergman

Watched on: FilmStruck, part of the Palm D’or winners series

Summary: HENRIK and ANNA are from two separate class positions. Anna is a wealthy girl, and Henrik is studying to be a pastor and has seen much misery in his life. He is currently engaged to a woman, but it does not seem that he loves her as much as he should. He promises her that they will get married, but even she does not seem to believe this anymore. Henrik is friends with Anna’s brother, Ernst, and he comes to visit them at their home. There is a spark between Henrik and Anna. They enter into a relationship. Anna, however, is unaware that Henrik has another person in his life. This is until Anna declares that Henrik and her are engaged. Henrik has to go quickly, and that is when Anna knows that there is someone else in his life.

Henrik and Anna reconcile, and all seems to be well. However, Anna’s mother is wholly disapproving of the relationship. She believes it is a match not to be made. Instead of petty trifles however, one reason that Anna’s mother does not believe that Henrik and Anna are a good match for one another is that Henrik is still living with and engaged to a woman. Anna does not know this. Henrik is sent away by her mother, and Anna does not wish to see him either.

However, after Frida (Henrik’s other woman) asks Anna to take him back, she eventually does. They enter into a whirlwind relationship and do get married, after having a few squabbles about how and where. They move up north, and Henrik takes on a position as a pastor of a small chapel. All is well until it is not.


There is more to the story/summary, but I would rather just say my response to the movie now.

It can be found on FilmStruck or purchased on iTunes or other services.

First off, it’s wonderful that Ingmar Bergman wrote this story about his parent’s courtship. This film won the award for Cannes’ Palm D’or, and one reason is probably because when you write things that you know, they ring with more truth.

I chose the picture of the father from the film because I enjoyed him the most as a character. He was caring for his daughter, and when he passed away, his wife and Anna were both very distraught. It is actually one of my favorite scenes when the mother is having racking sobs over the loss of her husband. ¬†Up until then, she’s been more reserved with her emotions towards others. There are parts where it is very easy to feel for her as a person. She reaches out to Anna in her own way, but Anna is usually distant from her. Understandably so in parts.

But- even though I appreciate the existence of this movie and the color palette of it, I did not really like it.

This story would have resonated with me more that there not been that element of cheating. It resulted in me being more interested in Frida’s aftermath story. How she was to deal with the loss of someone she cared about, was engaged to. How she could face the person he cheated with and pass him off. Her monologue was great and that too rang very true. So, yeah, for most of the film, I cared about Frida, and she was not even on the screen for that much time.

I did not empathize with Henrik. He was a jerk, really. He got to act however he pleased and still managed to win in various instances throughout the film. I really did not enjoy him.

I did not enjoy Anna that much either. However, I appreciated how strong she was as a person.

Both actors were fabulous though. Each actor in this movie brought their A-game to the role that they were playing. They all really complemented the pace of the movie. Even though I wasn’t enjoying it, I still wanted to watch it and see where it went.

So, yes, maybe if the cheating did not bother me, I could have really been invested in Henrik and Anna as a relationship and a story, but it did bother me, and so I could not.

I felt similar to Anna’s mother and to Henrik’s aunt/mother. They both did not believe that Henrik and Anna should be together. With Henrik’s temper, I thought the same thing. He was controlling and hot-headed.

There are scenes that I really enjoyed however.

  1. The scene with Papa and Henrik, talking about the inevitable.
  2. The scene where Mama breaks down in Anna’s arms.
  3. The scene with Papa and Mama going to sleep together “good night, my dear.”
  4. The sequences where Anna wants to send Petrus away, Petrus hears her, and tries to kill Dag. That was all so interesting.
  5. The ending Christmas scene where its apparent that Mama still has grief over the loss of her husband and admits that there were times that she felt like crying.
  6. And as well, the scene between Anna and Frida.

And all of these scenes belie how I don’t care too much about Anna and Henrik as a couple.

However, there is something about this movie that makes me feel as if I would return to it someday. In the meantime though, I’d prefer to watch romance movies that don’t begin with cheating.

Despite that, technically, this movie is great. I love the pacing. I love the colors. I loved how much of the time Henrik was centered on screen with no one else in frame (which goes with him claiming to be a loner in the final scenes). I liked the musical motif. And I really liked the dad. If I had a favorite character, it would be him. Also- even though I care not about Henrik&Anna, I did appreciate how August/Bergman chose to represent the flaws of both characters and the flaws in the relationship. It was nice that it wasn’t just romanticized.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it 100%.