I have moved blogs!!!

http://urbanoptimist.wordpress.com/ is where it is at!!

check it out please

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This is the way in which everyone should be introduced

film is something that no words can pronounce, something that defies any other attempt of expressing emotion – for me it is beyond truth because it has taken the plain cold truth and turned it into something extraordinary, beautiful, and believable. Film has got to be the most expressive art form.

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somewhere..

..anywhere.

Sofia Coppola is my idol.

Through her films, she always manages to capture some part of the way I feel that not even I can capture. The melancholy discontentment and confusion – isolation – not knowing how to put anything right. I can watch Lost in Translation over and over when I’m having ‘one of those days’ sat in the consolation that somebody else feels the way that I do, reveling in the beauty of sadness.

Her new film, Somewhere, seems to have a similar tone, also set in a hotel room, also stars a discontented bachelor who also, through a new found friendship, finds hope and happiness. I’m sure that with this will bring criticism, but the first time I watched the trailer I fell in love with it.

First, the music. Mesmerizing. I keep playing it on repeat and I can’t get enough:

Julian Casablancas – I’ll Try Anything Once

Second, Elle Fanning seems like she will be amazing – so natural and fits the tone of the film perfectly

Third, it’s sofia coppola! The shots and colour and script just are perfect, I love the way that she uses the setting of a hotel in her films – it is as if her characters are in transit – their outlook is in a place that is not home, a strange, familiar place, a distorted model of reality.

basically, just watch the trailer! I can’t actually wait to see the film although it probably wont be out until january here in england :(

View the trailer for Somewhere

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Today, I am confused.

Yesterday, I went to a life-coaching session. I found out a lot about myself that I didn’t know.

I thought I was free. I thought I was liberated. It turns out I’m pretty fucked-up.

I love having my own sense of identity, feeling like I should express myself in everything I own and everything I create. From what I wear, to what I say and write, what pen I use (a blue ink parker with joined up writing, as opposed to a biro). And I thought this was an expression of myself. But it made me wonder, is it an expression of who I want to be? Am I merely dissatisfied with who I am, so that I feel I should cover it with flowers and nice clothes? I don’t even know.

So today I am going to accept my confusion. Insetead of my Topshop ‘gone fishing’ nail varnish… au natural. Instead of a pretty outfit, jeans and a hoodie. I feel comfortable. I feel confused. But I feel I have a lot of cleansing to do.

I want to be free and I want peace of mind, but more than anything, I want to be understood.

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Shadows of Salford

Ok, you’ve heard of Manchester United, right? You know, as in David Beckham? Well in the city of Manchester, England, is a place called Salford. It is a lonely place, a place where streets of boarded up terraces keep each other company with memories of the past. It is where the working class factory workers lived, it is the place where my Grandparents live, my Dad was brought up, and I was born.

This is a picture I took when I visited my Grandparents at Christmas. It always makes me sad to see the town, I feel bad for all the children roaming the streets and the general emptiness of the place. Although it’s always beenpoor, I imagine that once upon a time it was a lively town with a sense ofcommunity. Now it seems like a cluster of empty houses trying to cling onto their memories.

The famous artist, L.S. Lowry, created many paintings of Salford, painting a gloomy picture of the factory town, with ‘match stick cats and dogs’:

So there’s this song, it’s called ‘Shadows of Salford’, and it’s written by The Doves’. I think it just captures the whole feel of the place, and I hope that when you hear it you’ll be able to imagine what it feels like to be there. I always feel almost discontented, like it could become so much more – like it is only half way through a film which will have a happy ending. But at this time, the happy ending seems hopeless, like a far-fetched dream.

Read the lyrics:

Listen to the song here

In shadows of Salford
You will walk again
The shadows of lovers
All will be quiet then

The roads that your mothers
They would follow down
In shadows of Salford
Let me walk again

The love that you left there
Spoke without a sound
A love was so haunting
Lost and never found

The roads that your mother
They would follow down
For in shadows of Salford
You will walk again

I think what’s amazing about the song is that the lyrics, although capturing Salford’s ghost town feel, (‘haunting’ and ‘shadows’) there is hope. The song is declaring that it will ‘walk again’. However, perhaps the tune of the song gives a different perception – it is so melancholy and reflective of the past. Perhaps it is merely false hope.

I hope that Salford will walk again, for the sake of those memories, for the sake of the ghosts, for the sake of those houses with no owners…

Listen to the song here

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Lost in Translation

‘Everybody wants to be found.’

I have just watched the film ‘Lost in Translation’, and continued onto ‘the making of’, bonus scenes, and interviews with the writer and director, Sophia Coppola. I am now listening to the soundtrack. To be honest, I just can’t get enough – perhaps because the emotions in the film are exactly what I’m feelingright now.

The film is about two ‘lost souls’ in Tokyo and the alienation that they feel. It is as though they both have lost all meaning and purpose in their lives, but through each other they find mutual understanding. It is not a romance, but a mature and meaningful friendship. Right now, I am more feeling the alienation side of things. Weekends stuck inside my dorm room with nothing but homework and my Macbook as a portal to the outside world. But I feel like no one speaks my language – I am in my home country in a familiar place, so how come it feels like I am speaking a foreign language? Are we all lost in translation or do we have the universal ability to cross boundaries? I can’t make up my mind. My best friend is from Hong Kong and speaks four different languages and is very outgoing, yet even sometimes she must feel alienation like me and so many others?

Perhaps it is not which language we speak but what we say and how we say it.

In the final scene in ‘Lost in Translation’, Charlotte and Bob say an emotional goodbye, where an inaudible whisper is exchanged, which is meant to be the ‘secret’ of the movie. I know that secrets should be kept that way, but the internet claims that Bob says to Charlotte ‘I love you. Always tell the truth.’ I have only just found this out and it made me cry, for I realized that perhaps ‘the truth’ is all anyone needs; perhaps alienation is created through people trying to live behind a lie or to disguise some part of their identity. If everyone was completely truthful, would there be any barriers or any need for translation at all?

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‘Don’t count on the camera that hangs round your neck, cause it will never remember what you choose to forget.’

And on the way home…

…I held your camera like a bible

Hoping so bad that it

Held some kind of truth.

‘Don’t count on the camera that hangs round your neck, cause it will never remember what you choose to forget.’

-Conor Oberst

His quotes are just so clever and emotive. This is one of my favorites because it contradicts the old saying that ‘the camera never lies’ – that may be still true in some respects, but at the end of the day we are selective in which truths we want to capture. Even if it is a bad memory, we have chosen to remember it. I guess I am talking literally about taking pictures and metaphorically in the way that we ‘capture memories’, too.

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