Tuesday, August 9, 2011

10 directors that make my eyes happy.

Taking a cue from another blog I follow I've decided to make my own list of 10 movies that make my eyes happy. But after drafting a list, I realized it was the director's consistent style and aesthetics across all of their movies that inspire me, so I changed it up. These director's minds get my brain working on how to mimic their styles in my wardrobe, home, or life in general.
Some of the directors, I feel, it's almost cliche to go on about them because it's clear to anyone who's even mildly interested in film that they're aesthetic masters. But who cares, this is just my dopey little blog, I'll get as cliche as I want.

Here they are in no particular order.

1. Wes Anderson, clearly. Let's just get that out of the way. Seriously though, I wish I lived in one of his movies. Someday my home will have walnut paneling, hot pink walls and golden radiators. The 70's are clearly represented more than any other decade in his films and that's a-ok with me.

2. Quentin Tarantino. His movies lean into a 70's look a lot too, which despite my love for more feminine decades of fashion, I find the 70's influence my real-life home more than any other decade. Sometimes I get tired of it, but I just keep coming back.

3. Joel and Ethan Coen. They have this drive to just keep creating and creating that is beyond enviable. I particularly love Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou, and The Hudsucker Proxy. You know, for kids!

4. Paul Thomas Anderson. Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood. His movies are about the most important things in life (usually family, even Boogie Nights-- especially Boogie Nights!) His movies can be so sobering it nearly paralyzes me.

6. Michel Gondry. From Human Nature, to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind, his music videos, THIS MAN gets into my head and refuses to leave. And I love it.

7. Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Delicatessen has a special place in my heart, along with Dominique Pinon. Amelie is a classic. I even loved City of List Children even though it frightened me. Do me a favor and just forget he was ever involved with the Aliens franchise, okay?

8. Julie Taymor. So what, maybe her latest movie, The Tempest, started to resemble the work someone might put forth when getting a little crazy with photoshop filters... Still, she never fails to strike a spark in my chest and sets me wanting to paint or something. Or take up puppetry.

9. Martin Scorsese. I really can't go on, I'm not eloquent enough to describe the quality of his work. But I will say this. Sometimes I feel like it's a chore to force myself to watch his movies because maybe the plot didn't sound appealing or who knows. I'm fickle. But when I finally sit down and WATCH them, I'm awed. Everytime. Even the least profound Scorsese film is still wonderful.

10. Baz Luhrman. He's kind of the one who started it all for me, aesthetically speaking. I remember seeing the trailers for Moulin Rouge and thinking "pfff that looks obnoxious" and then seeing it and falling in love. I had to find his other work, and each movie I got my hands on became my new favorite. Romeo + Juliet, then Strictly Ballroom, the latter of which is one of my go-to movies for a pick-me-up. Admittedly, I've yet to sit through Australia in one sitting but I've mildly enjoyed what I've seen.


I wanted to list a couple runners-up. Were this a movie-only list, these might be on here.

+Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides. I wasn't actually a fan of Lost in Translation, but I liked parts. Really, it's The Virgin Suicides that puts me in its own special mood. And again, the 70's!

+Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice. This is my feminine-fantasy at its grandest. If there was a place I could vacation and pretend this was the era I lived in, I would be there every year.

+Tarsem Singh's The Fall. The fantasy world he creates in this movie resembles a lot of what I wished for in my childhood. All things exotic and magical. For me, it's the type of beauty that verges on terrifying.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Movies, yeah! They ...help your life?

Out of nowhere last weekend I was asked if I could attend a two-day shoot for a short film my friend was producing and take charge of makeup. Despite having exactly zero professional experience or training, I jumped on it. Perhaps I'm losing it.

But I had fun, and I think I was competent enough that I didn't absolutely ruin the film. The first night of shooting was the roughest. The actors were in a tiny set, an absolute sauna and the poor guys and girls were just dying. I patted sweat in between takes, caked on the powder to hide the shine. I'm sure they were all disgusted by the time they could get home and clean off their faces.

Even though it was pretty hot, gross, unpaid, and had long hours (a lot of the time of which I was usually just standing around, sitting on a stool or stealing a seat on a couch somewhere) it was a much needed change of environment.

I'm not trying to sound like a martyr or anything, not at all-- but I had been feeling like all I will do in my life is work and work and it will never stop. I work full time in an office, and some nights and most weekends I go and work with my family. I don't often travel, I don't get out as much as I'd like. I spend a lot of time stressing about the state of my house.

That last part, stressing out about my house, has been dominating me. I think about it all day at work, if I could just stay home for 1 day and whip it into shape. Then I get home at night and I feel like it could never be done, there's just too much stuff. I have this clear picture in my mind, a house with few objects, everything in its place, everything has a purpose. Then I get into it, and all the pieces break down into smaller pieces and I lose my vision. It's all just stuff but I can't seem to let it go.

Last weekend Spencer helped me go through maybe 3 small boxes of stuff that wasn't even mine. It was my mother's belongings that she left here. Most of it was rusted scrap metal, literal garbage or broken things that might have been useful once upon a time, but were so damaged now they couldn't even be donated.

We threw the junk out and I immediately shut down. I don't know what came over me. There was a sickness in my stomach and it crawled up my spine and into my mouth and my neck and all I could do was lie on the couch with my head hanging over the side. I tried to focus on breathing and not vomiting. I was irate and taciturn. I'm certain I won't be able to finish the house without help.

Despite this episode, I did actually purge a few things of my own too. I successfully got rid of: a few old rusty metal tables, a huge canning pot full of sticks, a few clothes, countertop appliances we never used, numerous decorative plates, bowls and vases, broken picture frames, and other random trash.

The hardest items for me to let go of are pieces of fabric and gardening things. I have quilt tops waiting to be made into a blanket, projects organized into kits, some mixed together over time, and plenty of supplies. I just haven't been able to organize my sewing room to completion yet. There's still so much stuff. I've have half-finished sewing projects from more than 5 years ago. I hate it.

And gardening, now that I have this wonderful old house and a yard that is literally like a blank slate, I just hold onto all the pots and containers I can, waiting for the patio to be poured, waiting to decorate. In the meantime, it all just piles up, empty and trashy looking, while plans for pouring a patio gets put on the back-burner over and over.

So I work to try and scrape funds together to do these things, and then I buy and accumulate little things that cut into those funds, or I decide I want to focus on the kitchen or the bedroom or the basement more, and then I need to try and work more to scrape funds together again. And the house piles up crap, and I fret and shut down, and I start feeling hopeless again.

It was cathartic to be on the movie set. I only had 1 job, no one else could do it, it was simple, extracted from my familiar world, like being in a backwards therapeutic bubble. Tiresome, unpaid, wonderful labor-therapy. I've been asked to do makeup again on future projects... and I think I'll try to take them.

I think I'm just destined to be poor and fussy. The least I can do is break up the monotony from time to time.