Road trippin’, Red Hot Chili Peppers

As we are studying the writers of the Beat Generation, I’ve thought to this band.
Road Trippin’ is a song on their famous album « Californication » (in 1999). It deals with adventure, friendship, sadness, freedom…A lot of topics beloved by these authors. There’s a great feeling of melancholy in this album in general but this song represents very well this state-of-mind.
I find this song very poetical, the text as the music.

This is the text:
« Road trippin’ with my two favourite allies(friends)
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies (food and drugs)
It’s time to leave the town
It’s time to steal away (turn away)
Let’s go get lost
Anywhere in the USA
Let’s go get lost

Blue you sit so pretty
West of the one
Sparkles(shining) light with yellow icing
Just a mirror for the sun
Just a mirror for the sun
Just a mirror for the sun
These Smiling eyes are just a mirror for

So much as come before those battles lost and
won
This life is shining more forever in the sun
Now let us check our heads
And let us check the surf
Staying high and dry’s
More trouble than it’s worth
In the sun

Just a mirror for the sun

These Smiling eyes are just a mirror for

In Big Sur we take some time to linger on ( to stay here)
We three hunky dory’s got our snakefinger on
Now let us drink the stars
It’s time to steal away
Let’s go get lost
Right here in the U.S.A

These smiling eyes are just a mirror for »

The Coral Island, Ballantyne

We talked about this book in class when we studied « Lord of the flies ».
It was published in 1858. It’s quite important because it’s the first book of this type of story: the children’s literature. It’s the first using children as main characters leading to its success: we has never stopped to print it. It’s also a dystopian novel. Ballantyne is a Scottish author, his story is a « Robinsonade », a story inspired by Robinson Crusoe published in 1719.

The story takes place on a South Pacific island. Three boys are alone, the first part of the book concerns the way they manage to survive (how they find food, how they build a shelter…). In the second part, there is more action, there is the arrival of British pirates and they find Polynesians. They want to convince these men to become Christians, the painting of this culture is very violent, they talk about rape and cannibalism, I don’t know the real story of the Polynesian culture but I think it’s not so ugly the author shows….This book seems to be controversy today.
There’s also a reference to darwinism. His book: « The structure and distribution of Coral reefs » was published the year before. In « the Coral Island », Ballantyne supports the theory of evolution.

In 1861, the boys became adults in another book  » The Gorilla hunters ».

A Work In Progress by Connor FRANTA

Connor FRANTA is a 22 years old American YouTube vlogger well known as an Internet personality. Franta wrote for over a year his first book, A Work in Progress, which talks about moments from his life since birth and personal stories so I thought, that’s what a modern memoire is ! In this book, Connor reflected about his life from his youth as a small town kid trying to figure out his place in the big wide world, to his Los Angeles life. He tell basic topics like his childhood, upbringing, family and go a little bit deeper and talk about more serious things like body image, social media’s depression like FOMO (Fear Of Missing OUT) which consist in a phobia of missing from social media content. An interesting aspect of this book is that, he explain his up and down journey to find himself and accepting his person as a gay teenage boy, his struggles with identity.

Exploring his past humorously, his present humanly, and his future with hope, the goal of this young writer is not to tell the story of his life but to help you, us, to find the real person we are inside us. His words will resonate with anyone born in the digital era, but it’s also a timeless message for people of all age : don’t be afraid to be yourself and to run after what you really want.

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Losing Our Identity, my movie project !

Seven months ago I found on a website an amazing article, it was called « Losing Our Identity » and written by Nicole EDDY. I immediately search more information about this South African blogger. I’ve contact her thanks to her e-mail adresse and established a real relationship with her. She was so kind and accepted to let me use her article and adapt it into a movie for my exam. The movie project began. This movie deal with new technologies and how they consume our daily basis. This subject touch me deeply and there was no U turn. I was obliged to realize it. First, the step of translation and real adaptation was important. Here is the original article :

«  When was the last time that you woke up and said ‘Wow, it’s good to be me’? How many times today have you looked at an Instagram picture, a Tumblr post, a Facebook or a tweet and thought, ‘Damn son, if only I could be her, if only I had his money, her looks, his muscles, her body, his life.’? I do it. I do it almost everyday. As a generation who have witnessed first-hand the rapid transformation of technology changing our lives on a daily basis, remembering the excitement of creating a Facebook account after it had just been launched and checking every day after school of which of my friends had posted on my wall despite the fact that I had just seen them, to witnessing social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram being introduced for the first time and watching how they quickly consumed our lives, became an important aspect for businesses and were soon incorporated into our hourly schedules. Checking our phones and news feed every hour for more updates and refreshing pages for more perfect pictures that often results in severe FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), we are so quick to wish ourselves out of our own shoes and jump straight into someones else’s.

Social media is a great and scary thing. It is a place where businesses thrive and have the power of connecting people from the furthest ends of the world. It is a way of uniting people together who once had nothing in common, it allows us to perve over our heroes, celebrities, sportsmen and women. The down side is that social media often leads to a loss of identity. We lose our uniqueness to try and fit the ‘perfect’ mould when actually, a ‘perfect’ mould does and has never existed. We, us, society have created these standards of beauty, making it acceptable for 13 year old’s to think that they should find love before the age of 20 or else face dying alone with their dog Alfie.

The sad part, is that this has all taken place before I have even got out of bed in the morning or looked outside to check if the world has not been destroyed. This is how I, and I’m sure the vast majority of you reading this, wake up. Open eyes, check phone, start day.

This morning was different and here is why. I got up before the sun rose as I couldn’t sleep due to excitement of a new travel. We pack our bags, check the house and leave. We drove straight to the airport, pass security, flew away, flew to a new place, a new culture. I got up went through to the loung, sat and drunk coffee with my dad. I sat with my coffee in hand, and just watched and listened how Istanbul began to come back to life.

And with that, I completely forgot about my phone, my social life, social media or who did what while I was asleep. I ran down to the shopping street, open eyes check around me, start an amazing day. I was so content with just being me. There was no-one else that I would rather be, nowhere else that I would rather be and no-one else that I would have been with.

I guess my message is that we are so quick to judge ourselves and those around us. People don’t get lucky, they create their own ‘lucky’ circumstances through hard work, sheer determination and real life sweat. Instead of  wishing that you could become your idol in a the click of a finger, rather look up to them, be inspired and learn from them, but don’t become them. That’s boring. Rather put your phone down or laptop off and go and create your own luck. Or at least, for the love of Zeus, take time out of your day to find a little contentment and snatch a special moment, put it in your pocket and thrive off of it until you notice the next one.

WHY are you still reading this?? Turn it off. Turn it all off. Be free. !

(let me know what you think of it in the comments !)

 

I’ve waited a year so far to let this information to be official. Here is the final edit of this adaptation :

The Diary of a Young Girl

As we studied the « I and eye of the author », I decided to talk about one of the most famous book in the world : Anne Frank’s diary.

Even if you have never read this book, you must know who is Anne Frank. She’s a very famous figure of the World War II, because of the diary she wrote when she was hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands. The Diary Of a Young Girl is a testimony of a young Jew : she wrote all of her feelings, how she felt about this war, her lack of affection from her parents, her first « love », how she felt by living isolated from the world.. More generaly, through her diary, we see her grow up in this terrible atmosphere.

Anne Frank was born on the 12 june 1929 in Germany, and died at the age of 15 in the Bergen Belsen’s concentration camp. She gained international fame posthumously after her father, Otto Frank (the only member of the family that survived) discovered her diary when he returned to the Annex and decided to published it.

This book is really interesting because it shows what the youth, at that time, had to deal with. Moreover, I was really surprised of the high degree of maturity Anne had. This diary has nothing to do with history books (which, sometimes, can be annoying), here, we have all of the feelings of this young girl and her thoughts. Some passages are really « beautiful » and moving, because she wrote about her dream of becoming a famous writer and her hopes about the end of this war.

In some parts of the diary, she wrote her worries about one of her closest friend, Hanneli Goslar : she thought that her friend was dying in a concentration camp. And the fact is that Hannah Goslar survived to the Holocaust, and wrote with a journalist a book called Memories Of Anne Frank : Reflections of a Girlhood friend which I had read too. The most moving passage in this book is when Hannah finds Anne in Bergen Belsen (the testimony of Hannah Goslar about her reunion with Anne in Bergen Belsen)
To conclude, both books are really interesting, and you have to read them ! The Diary Of a Young Girl deals more with all the feelings Anne had to go through when she was hiding in the Annex, as Memories Of Anne Frank : Reflections of a Girlhood friend deals more with all the treatments that Jewish people had to undergo.

 

Predestination

Predestination is an Australian film directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig. It released in 2014. It’s a science fiction movie but also a thriller. It is the adaptation of the novel You zombies (All You Zombies) by Robert A. Heinlein published in 1959.

A temporal agent specialized in the fight against crime is caught in a series of time travel, intended to perpetuate forever his action as representative of the law. During his last mission, he must recruit a younger version of himself to replace to ensure continuity for all time in his career. For his ultimate mission, the agent must address the only criminal who has always eluded him.

But this movie is more complicated than this… But I can not say anything more, we must look this film to discover ALL the story. For me, the story is really well built and very original. Many endings that suprise, we do not expect anything and we are very attentive to the film from beginning to end. That’s one of my favorite since I watched it. This is not a common kind of movie to others, there is something special in it that makes a great result. The duo between Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook is very very convincing. I highly recommend watching this movie, it really surprised me and I liked it very much. A film, which, once completed, we do ask us about this paradox that is the past, present and future.

Saving Mr.Banks

Saving Mr.Banks is a fim directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith.

The story takes place in California at the begining of 60s. Pamel L. Travers the noveler of Mary Poppins is going to meet the famous producer Walt Disney. He wants to get the rights of film adaptation of Mary Poppins. Thus, the studio begins the adaptation of the novel. The team of the scriptwriter is confronted by Pamela’s requirements that are more and more difficult. But this work recalls to Pamela memories of her childhood.

 

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife is a English TV serie inspired by the book of Jennifer Worth (1935-2011) which contains the tell of her memories.

The serie has been created in 2012 by Heidi Thomas, an English director, on BBC One. It tells the story of a young woman named Jenny Lee, a midwife in London during the 50’s.

It has received great criticisms and a nomination to the British Academy Television Award in 2013.

Big fish

Big Fish is an American fantasy film by Tim Burton, extract of John August‘s novel, and released in 2003.
Angry against his father, Edward since three years, Will Bloom went to his bedside when he falls ill. The young man took the opportunity to reconcile with him, but also to try to separate the facts of fiction in the stories that his father always told him. Indeed, Edward tells his life as if it were a series of incredible adventures in which he would meet a witch, a giant, siamese twins, a werewolf circus’  manager and many other crazy characters. But Will, believe that it’s just stories invented by his father to flees reality. Yet, even when he’s confronted with death, Edward continues to remember his life as magical events.

I saw this movie in english class during my first year in high school, and I liked it. This is a great mix between the magical worl of adventure that I love, and the realistic world. Thumbs up!

Big eyes

Big Eyes is an American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton, in 2014.         The film had received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Amy Adams and was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance. The film was also nominated for two other Golden Globe Awards for Waltz‘s performance and the film’s song.

It’s the story about the artist Margaret Keane draws portraits of children with large eyes. Her husband, Walter Keane sells them as his own work. The couple become rich thanks to the portraits. The paintings become phenomenally successful, and earn a fortune. After a long time, she blends into his lies. Walter becomes drunk and abusive, and she decided to divorce him. Margaret reveals that she had been drawing the portraits, not Walter. The judge asks each of them, to demonstrate that they can draw a large-eye portrait.

 

Anecdot about this movie: Margaret keane (true artist) offered at Tim Burton, who is an absolute fan of Margaret, two paintings. One of them representing Helena Bonham Carter and the other representing her chihuahua.

Maus, Art Spiegelman

Today, I decided to present you a famous American graphic novel. It’s Maus, written and drawn by Art Spiegelman, published between 1970 and 1980. It was the first graphic novel to receive the Pullitzer Prize. Spiegelman deals with the palce of the Polish Jews during World War 2. Exactly, Spiegelman presents us his father’s story, as a Holocaust survivor. Spiegelman stages himself in the story, he is nicknamed Artie.

The particularity of the story is the representation of characters as animals. Nazist people are cats, Polish jews are mice (hence the title « maus » which means mice in German), and Polish non-jews are pigs. Spiegelman shows this story with embedded narrative : it’s Vladek who tells his story to Artie, now he’s in the USA. He is talking about his situation as a Jew, his passage in Auschwitz, face to Gestapo..

You should read this book, it’s awesome, and very interresting. The black and white drawings emphasizes the dark time that is the World War 2, with the genocide. Reality of this period is well-despicted.

 

Bel Ami

Bel-Ami is a film directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod and released in 2012. It is the ninth adaptation of the novel by Guy de Maupassant "Bel Ami"

Georges Duroy, ambitious young man and seductive, arrives in Paris driven by the desire to become a wealthy and influential personality. He will climb the social ladder as fast as his journalism career takes off. But how far is he willing to go to increase its ascent?

More than a century after the publication of the novel, the themes of Bel-Ami written by Maupassant are always a hot topic. For me the adaptation is too respectful ! However, Robert Pattinson offers us a very convincing as Georges Duroy because he is attractive! Too bad that the film has failed to show the great modernity of the novel.

« Orange Is the New Black : My year in a Women’s Prison »

In the last article I published I wrote about the series « Orange Is the New Black ». This series has inspired by the autobiographical book « Orange Is The New Black : My year in a Women’s Prison »  by Piper Kerman.

Piper Kerman is an American memoraliste. This autobiography tells her 15 months in a women’s prison. Moreover she tells about her love affair with Nora Jansen. Nora Jansen was a traficante drugs and she involved Piper Kerman in her trafic.

The series is very well and I think the book too. I find this book matches perfectly with the concept of autobiography.

 

The Lord of the Ring

« The Lord of the Ring» is a english novel by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien between 1954 and 1955.

This novel is the suite of The Hobbit, another roman of J.R.R Tolkien where the action takes place average 100 years before the Lord of the Ring.

In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (and not Bilbon Sacquet ) find a ring what gives him the power of invisibility.

But, in the Lord of the Ring, we discovered that this ring is linked with a dark power, and was forged by Sauron, a dark Lord who want to rule all the Middle Earth.

In this ring we can read :« Ash Nazg Durbatulûk, Ash Nazg gimbatul, Ash Nazg Trakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul », that mean in the Dark language of Mordor « One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them »

So 100 years after the adventures of his uncle Frodo Baggins , an young hobbit is charged to bring the ring in the Mordor and throw it in the volcano, where the ring was forged, to destroy it and then destroy Sauron.

Frodo is follow by three other habbits Samsagace Gamegie the brave, Peringin Touque, Meriadoc Brandebouc but by Aragorn from the Gondor, Legolas the elve, Gimli the dwarf, Boromir from the Gondor, Gandalf The Grey the wizard.

And together they all constitute the Followship of the Ring.

Finally succed in their quest, after many battle, joice and crys, death and resurection and defeated Sauron the dark.

Karoo by Steve Tesich

Karoo is the last book written by Steve Tesich, ended a few days before his death on 1996. And that’s a best seller.

The story talks about Saul Karoo who work on cinema. He is separated of his wife and they have an adopted child. And he is a big liar.

One day he discovered he never can’t be drunk so when he go on party he is farseeing of what happens. But he can’t says he can’t be drunk because it will break social balance of society he is on. He has an image to preserve: it would be difficult for him to assume what he is in real

On his work one day someone ask him to check a movie made by a genius and this movie is a work of art. But when he starts to work on this movie he is faced of the mother of his adopted son because she is an actress in this movie. So he decides to meet her and then, he falls in love with her.

I really like this book because it is gentle, cynical, infantile, modest and shifted in writing at the same time.

The book thief

The book : Written by Markus Zusak and published in 2005, it is a historical novel.

filmic adaptation : The director is Brian percival.

The main characters are : Sophie Nélisse and Emily watson.

The film was released in 2013 and it is a dramatic film. It is also a German American Film

Everything takes place during the Second World War. A little girl named Liesel has the hobby to steal books. Before starting to steal, she is adopted by a family in Munich. Later his family hide a jew in their home.

This is a very touching story, is very well describes the conditions of life and their way of life during the Second World War. show also the personality cult to Hitler during this period.

Bridget Jones diary’s, film directed by Sharon Maguire

Bridget Jones diary’s is based on the book by Helen Fielding.                                        It’s a British romantic comedy film, released in 2001, stars with famous actors like Renée Zellweger as Bridget, Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as Marc Darcy.                                                                                                                                   This film is one of my favorite romantic comedy because of the excellent dramatic performances and the plot pleased me.                                                           What also pleased me is that Bridget is an awkward and frustated character, where the spectators can identify and compare themselves as Bridget’s attitude.                   She illustrates the lifestyle of an early thirties woman, both love and career, where she has to make decision which will have consequences on her life and her state of mind where she will learn of her errors and will restore a well-being.

And you ? What are your feelings about this film ?

The time of dreams

I have chosen to speak about a book that I would like to read: The time of dreams by Spinrad. This is a science-fiction novel about a society where the dream is controlled. Dreams are became an object like the other: every people can make their dreams with a machine called “DreamMaster”.
According to some reviews, Spinrad is a writer who likes to deal with the power relation of the world. He’s a real committed writer who shows all the danger of the world wher the consummation reigned and where all is under control.

How I live now

How I Live Now is a 2013 film directed by Kevin Macdonald based on the novel of Meg Rosoff. Usually, Kevin Macdonald directs political movies as The Last King of Scotland.  This is not only a teenmovie but also a voyage and return story and a futuristic melodrama. Then, the director succeeds in mixing these genres.

Daisy is an american teenager who discovers the british countryside to see her cousins but it is during the World War III.
The atmosphere is very oppressive. She has difficulties to adapt herself and there is bomb attack. There are alone, without any adult. A soldier separate them : girls with girls, boys with boys - who help soldiers.
Whereas Daisy and Eddie - her cousin - fall in love, they cope to meet themselves...

These children live through World War and we see the loss of the unconsciousness and the innocence. Daisy has felt the sadness and the confusion, she is traumatized.

Even if there are moments of agonies of teenagers, bloody war scenes, natural hymn which is the source of regeneration and mortal threats, loving carefreeness, I am a bit disappointed because of the happy end.

Have you ever seen this movie?

Safe Haven

It is an american movie directed by Lasse Hallström and based on the book written by my favorite author who is Nicholas Sparks.

The arrival of Kate changes the life of Alex who lives in Southport, a peaceful village. She moves in Southport, a small town by the sea and meets Alex who lost his wife. He has two childrens. Kate and Alex fall in love but the mysterious past of the woman brings her back to reality : she is wanted by a policeman, the same policeman that she sees in her flashbacks. He is determined to find her.

Throughout the movie, we see flashbacks in the same time she sees it, but we don't understand who is the people in her flashbacks, what they are doing, why they are doing it,... Gradually, we discover the past of Kate.

I really like this movie. Have you ever seen it?

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is a novel written by Stephen King and published in 1982, far from The Shinning, closer to The Green Mile.

Andy Dufresne is arrested for the double murder of his wife and her lover. He is sent to Shawshank Prison for life. In this establishment, Andy meets Red, a prisoner who is specialized in procuring items from the outside world. Andy will undergo difficult trials during his imprisonment. The prison director, Samuel Norton, needs him to care for his shady business. But when Andy sees taking shape the opportunity to become free from the testimony of a new prisoner, Norton causes the assassination of the young man because he fears to see his fraud come to light when « his banker » is released. Thus, Andy will be discreet to better prepare his escape.

There is an adaptation of this novel directed in 1994 by Frank Darabont with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. But the film was a commercial failure because of a topic not very attractive and no head liners. Yet, it was included in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies 10th Anniversary Edition. James Whitmore is upsetting in the role of Brooks, an old prisoner accustomed to this universe and living badly his rehabilitation in society. Must be seen !

You can see the trailer here for more details on this film:

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM by Hubert Selby

For my dance exam, I chose  the music created for the film « Requiem for a dream » and so I wanted to know more about this story.  I started this book, and I found interesting to tell you about!
Requiem for a Dream is a novel by Hubert Selby, published in 1978 that features characters from the American popular classes is gradually sinking into drug addiction.

The novel follows two main characters in parallel: Harry and his mother Sara, who both will sink into addiction to drugs.
we see the characters more and more addicted, we see the sinking more and more into the adiction and perceive the effects of drugs on the characters more and more present. Reactions vary, the characters move away from quotidient they become unsociable, they are in a vicious circle from which it is very dificult to get out.

Hubert Selby Jr wrote a novel about a subject he masters well. Former drug addict, he knows the world of drugs and knows what it means addiction. In this novel, it deals with two aspects of this kind of product, the well-being and sense of happiness, and power it generates from and pushes consumers to take more and more.
But first effect has the consequence that has been increasingly need the product which is less and less effect and you lose all sense of dignity.

I highly recommend this book, it is harrowing, touching, and really interesting.

The Oval Portrait

I’m going to talk about The Oval Portrait we studied in class. It’s a full short story by Allan Edgar Poe in 1842. There are two characters : the narrator and his valet. They have decided to stop for a night in an abandonned castle. The room where is the narrator is isolated and it’s a particular architecture, the decorations are antique and old. The narrator is reading a book and he moves the candelabrum to have more light, and he see a painting that he had not noticed before. It’s very strange because he is sure that there was nothing before, and because he thought that the girl who is painting was alive. Then there is a decription of the woman who is very beautiful and lovely, and we learn that the painter is passionate by his art. I find this short story very interesting because there is a strange link between art and death with the painter who seems to paint his wife while she gradually dies. And you what do you think about it ?

Short stories – Oscar Wilde

Hi !

I just found a book at home which might be there for a long time… It’s a little book called « Short stories » written by Oscar Wilde.

I was curious to discover this book because inside there are the english texts and the translations in french, and I began to read two of the trhee short stories which are in this book : The Canterville Ghost, The Model Millionaire, The Happy Prince.

These short stories are very british and I find it very pleasant, it’s very easy to read, even in English !

If you want to try to began to read in English, I advice you this book !

« Just take my heart » , Mary Higgins Clark

If you have read some of my previous articles . You probably already know that I really enjoy thrillers and that my favorite thriller writer is Mary Higgins Clark. So today, I’m sharing with you another book she wrote and that I’ve read which is (as you probably can guess from the title of the article) « Just take my heart ».
Honestly, I didn’t feel like reading it at first because I’m the kind of person who decides to pick a book from the shelf firstly by its title and this one sounded at first like a love story kind of book but since it’s Mary Higgins Clark I thought better and decided to give it a shot and I definitely don’t regret it.
As far as the story is concerned this what I can tell you. Emily Wallace, assistant prosecutor gets the biggest case she’s ever had to face. Natalie Raines a young Brodway star is found dead in her apartment, and immediatly her husband which she was divorcing is suspected. But as we all know there are more than meets the eye, moreover Emily starts to get strange feelings troughout the investigation. Could it be because of her recent heart transplant or a is it just a side effect due to exhaustion ? That only reading the book can give you the answer.
I think like I’m repeating myself if I say that I loved the story but  I still really advise you to try to read this book. Now do you feel like reading it ? Or would you suggest me reading any of her other books because recommendations are gladly taken.

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon: The Awakening is an american TV movie directed by Jake Newsome and Mikael Salomon.

When Emma and Dean, who are two students, go at a party in a boat, Emma falls accidentally in the sea. Dean saves her. They are both in the lifeboat but Dean and Emma are lost because the boat already left. When there is a storm, they run aground in a desert island.

The story is oppressive because we can’t suppose how they can survive.. and if they’ll survive. They are lost, alone, a long way from their loved ones, in an unknown island.

Emma and Dean get to know each other and fall in love.

Are they stay alive? Will they find their loved ones? And after this shipwreck, how are they live?

Have you ever seen this movie?

Walter Moers children’s books

Walter Moers is a german writer, comics creator and illustrator. We nearly know nothing about him as he is a very secret man and avoid all kind of mediatization. He especially wrote fantasy children’s books that he illustrate by himself.

I read two of them when I was younger and they remain a part of my favorites books as they are full of humour, fantasy and wrote with an incredible dose of imagination: The City of Dreaming Books and Capt’n Bluebear. 

Even if they are rather thick, they are really easy to read and the illustrations are wonderful.

My favorite one is probably The City of Dreaming Books. It tells the story of Hildegunst Taillemythes, a young dragon, apprentice poet and writer. Just before he die, his master give him a strange manuscript with no known author. When he read it, Hildegunst is so spellbind by the quality of the writing that he decide to go searching for the author of this « perfect » manuscript. His quest will lead him until Bouquinbourg, a city where books are alive, can think but also be dangerous for the one who read them, the city of the dreaming books.

There is so much poetryas much on the writing than in the draws that perfectly fits that what you see as a simple children’s book totaly turn you upside down and transports you.

I’ve always like children’s books as they often could be read on two level. Walter Moers ones are a perfect exemple of this fact as even if the basic story completely fits with a children mind, an adult could find in the complete book a certain kind of beauty without finding it complicate to read. We should not denigrate children’s literature that could be a great one if you get rid of all the preconceptions you got.

The sun is coming back, take one of them and get out to read in a great moment of relaxation!

« I Killed My Mother »

I would like to speak about a great movie, entitled « I Killed My Mother ».

I Killed My Mother is a Quebec autobiographical film (a biopic) written and directed by Xavier Dolan, and released in 2009. Xavier Dolan is a young actor, director, screenwriter and Canadian producer and I Killed My Mother is his first movie. Through this film, Xavier Dolan expresses the conflicting relationship he had with his mother. The film is autobiographical in the sense that the young Quebec uses the cinema, so a fiction, to address a malaise that he really lived and felt in his youth. Indeed, in this film, Hubert Minel (played by Xavier Dolan himself), a young teenager, lives alone with his mother Chantal, and throughout the film, he shows us the degradation of their relationship. This film is a testimony to the relationships that can exist between a mother and her son, and Xavier Dolan is trying to convey a message to his mother. In fact, he tries to express his desire to reconnect with her, resolve conflicts between them. During the film, we realize that this is unfortunately impossible since there is a real gap between them, they are too different. Several shots show Hubert shooting himself and expressing the hatred he feels for his mother and she finds the video and realizes the large amount of conflicting feelings her son can feel for her. We can suggest that the purpose of the film is the same: to show to his mother all he could feel as teenager. This film is very interesting since the director clearly gives his personal vision of the relationship he had with his mother and he told us about his personal experiences during his adolescence (boarding school, homosexuality, etc).

I think this film corresponds to the notion studied because one can say that Xavier Dolan uses the movie theater as a tribune to convey ideas and a retrospective of his life. Through this film, he gives us a part of his private life (as it could have done in a diary). Enjoy !

John Keats, a talented English poet

 

Keats’s portrait

http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n5/n27339.jpg

    I would like to talk about John Keats an English poet that I like. I don’t know if you know him. John Keats was an English Romantic poet. He was born near to London in 1795 and died in 1821 in Roma. He is considered as one of the main figure of the second generation of Romantic poets in England whose takes part also Lord Byron Percy Bysshe Shelley who became his friend. However, during his life, his works were not well perceived by critics, even despised. Indeed, his works were published only four years before his death. He is perceived as a cursed poet because he died too early, suffering of tuberculosis, knowing the glory really only after his death. Tom Keats, his brother also died of tuberculosis. It’s at that time that he started to have symptoms. At that time, he met Fanny Brawne, a 18 years-old girl with which he fall deeply in love. In 1819, they get engaged but they couldn’t get married: the poet died before. In order to have an idea of his talent, I can quote one of his poems :

The Human Seasons

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;

     There are four seasons in the mind of man:

He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear

     Takes in all beauty with an easy span:

He has his Summer, when luxuriously

     Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves

To ruminate, and by such dreaming high

     Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves

His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings

     He furleth close; contented so to look

On mists in idleness—to let fair things

    Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.

He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,

Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

 

                                                               John Keats, 13th March 1918.

Jane Campion, film director, directed Bright Star in 2009 which pays tribute to Keats’s lives and his relationship with Fanny Brawne. Jane Campion is above all known for her film The Piano, released in 1993 which won the Golden Palm during the Cannes Film Festival. I really advice you to see Bright Star. I think it’s really good tribute to the poet. It’s really moving and gripping. It’s a really poetic film. What I really like, it’s that Jane Campion choose to quote some of Keats’s poems during the generic. The film title refers to a sonnet written by Keats when he was with Brawne:

Bright Star 

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art—

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night

And watching, with eternal lids apart,

Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,

The moving waters at their priestlike task

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—

 No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,

Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

 Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,

And so live ever–or else swoon to death

Keats

Well, I really advice you to read some of Keats’s poems and to see the film of Jane Campion. If you like Pride and Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright, you may like this film. 

Bright Stars’s trailer : 

Tristessa by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac  (1922-1969) is an American writter and poet. Today he is considered as one of the most important writter of the 20th century. During his life, he travelled across the United-Sate, Mexico and in Europe too. He was against armed conflicts and he stood for love (more sexual passion which he said it’s « the door of Paradie »). He seek for liberty (espacially of social conventions) and a meaning of life through drugs and alcohol but too through religon and spirituality (Buddhism). His writting style is rythmic, dynamic and spontaneous. It was very criticized at his time still thus he found the Beat Generation. The Beats hence their criticism of materialism, and want freedom through a personal achievement. Their style of writting wants to convey the immediacy of experience with a no academic-way: put down their thoughts and their feelings whitout any organization. Finally Kerouac influenced many artists like Bob Dylan and kinds like the Road Movie and movements like the Hippies.

Tristessa is a novel published in 1960 but written in 1955/1956. During a trip in Mexico, Kerouac met a prostitude called Esperanza but nicknamed Tristessa. In this book Kerouac has a reflexion on love because he loved the woman but if he makes it physicall, he denatures it; on the death: Tristessa is a junkie who suffered of her life, the drug must kill her, it gnaws her ; on the time: toxicomen forget their remenbrances, they loose notion of time and there is a link with death: more the time is spent more we are close to death; on  loneliness: Kerouac is with many people but he feels alone. This novel is quiet short but so poetic… The style of Kerouac can appear strange with his long sentences, his digressions, his sense of detail,… I don’t know how to describe my impressions but it’s a very good novel, we are immersed in a special world nevertheless a real world, wretched. May be it’s like a lesson of life for us… I think we learn on life with this work.

Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Temple Grandin

Emergence: Labeled Autistic is the Temple Grandin’s autobiography released in 1986.

Temple Grandin was diagnosed autistic at 4 years old, she has the Asperger’s syndrome. This story relate his journey, from the first steps where she must be accepted by others who don’t understand her, to her study in university and her first invention, the hug machine.

Temple Grandin is a very interesting character for she had succeed at create a very affecting book, which can help everybody to more understand this illness and fight against prejudice. With this autobiography, we no longer see autist like stupids, because they are often more intelligent than normal people, but they have only a disorder to express herself and understand feelings. Now she is an American teacher an animal sciences, because she, with is illness, can understand animals, and their pain.

This book is very interesting and I recommends to reading it to understand the difficulties to live with autism and the fighting of Temple Grandin to be accepted.

The Book Thief

Hello !

I think I will present the theme « voyage and return stories » and I chose a novel for my third document: This novel is The Book Thief, written by an Australian author, Markus Zusak. It was published in 2005. I chose this novel because the story is unusual; for example, the main character’s life is narrated by Death, so details show more the dangers of the life. The scene takes place in Germany during the World War II. Liesel Meminger, (the main character) is sent in a family she doesn’t know because her mother can’t take care of her. Liesel discovers her new life with her new family, who loves her, even if Rosa Hubermann (her « new » mother) seems to be more distant. One day a man asks them to help him; he’s a Jewish (the story takes places in Nazi Germany) and his father was a friend of Liesel’s « new » father. So the family decides to hide him; he was staying at home every day so Liesel explains him what is the situation, and they become friends. But soon bombardments become more numerous and the family is not sure that Max can survive alone. So he decides to go out… I could say what happen after that but if you don’t know the story I prefer saying anything !

I think this story can be a good example for the notion, because Liesel discovers and understands what is the life during the war and she is not the same girl before and after Sam (his Jewish friend)… Are you agree or do you think I have to change my document?

There is also a film about this story, this is the trailer: