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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Jolet op de viersprong, L. van der Meer-Prins

Dit boek verslond ik gretig, als veertienjarige. Het stond in de boekenkast van m’n moeder.

Jolet, oudste van vier kinderen thuis, en bijzonder goed in leren, komt in dit boek op een kruispunt (de viersprong) van haar leven te staan. Net geslaagd is ze, en nu? Studeren? Dat gaat nogal wat kosten. Dus moet ze aan het werk. En komt ze oude bekenden van school tegen, die hun eigen gang zijn gegaan. Moet ze ondertussen rekening houden met iedereen thuis, die zich voor haar inzetten, zodat zij goed terechtkomt.

Het is een oubollig boek qua insteek, uiteraard, gezien de tijd waarin het geschreven is, maar ik heb zelf met volle teugen genoten van het verhaal van Jolet. Het laat een blik in de tijd zien, van hoe het er toen aan toe ging. Waar je als jonger zusje blij mee mocht zijn, wat een progressief gezin destijds inhield, en wat het betekende, om goed onderwijs te hebben.

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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Dinner For Schmucks

The first ten minutes are alright, then just pretend it says ‘the end’, think ‘huh, I would’ve thought more of it’ and let that be that.

I don’t know why people keep thinking Steve Carell is funny. He isn’t, he never will be. The fact that de film greatly leans on him to be just that, means it’s a complete waste of time.

It reminds of The Cable Guy in a way, but less funny and with less storyline.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

With Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood and more.

How would it be, if we would be able to erase every trace of a relationship we just had, in order to basically not feel the heartbrake that comes along with it?

This film shows us the answer to that. Basically it’s messy, it is also intriuging as the employers of the bureau that makes such a kind of impossibility a possibility, are anything but decent and trustworthy.
They made a weird, but right choice to pick Jim Carrey for this part, because of the many stages of himself he goes through. There aren’t that many actors you can do that with, making it believeable. Kate Winslet does a great job being Clementine, the nonexistent core of logic in persona. She is also the one more or less guiding you through the not ‘what if’, but instead the ‘because…’. Unfortunately, you just have to learn from your mistakes, especially relationshipwise. There is no tougher one than that one. When you do break up, yes, it feels like your heart is being ripped out and smashed to pieces, every emotion comes out of nowhere.

I heard about this film a lot, had seen it, but not to the end, as I could no longer care for it. It’s science fiction in a Black Mirror kind of way, especially the last (shittier) season. It reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Truman Show, as this is also a more ‘serious’ role, but this one even more than the Truman Show. Because this life isn’t fake, especially build up for him, it’s quite the opposite.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in Films, Opinion

 

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Super 8

With Joel Courtney, Zach Mills, Riley Griffiths, Elle Fanning, Gabriel Basso, Ryan Lee and many others.

The story about a young group of friends who are having their amateuristical turn for film making, reminded me strongly of Stranger Things, in a way of The Blair Witch Project and E.T. Blair Witch Project actually only because this group tries to film their projects themselves. They are not bad at it, mind, it’s just that their acting isn’t all there yet.

You can see the similarities with Stranger Things, as the faces of the group of friends is so well cast and so well dressed to that period of time, that it becomes believeable to be set at that time immediately.
Joel Courtney tries his best at Joe Lambs, but the script fails him a bit, here and there. Unfortunately, because you can see how he could make it work better, at least a few times.

The story, as I said, about a group of friends who accidentally film something that is crucial to some govermental department, could hand out quite a story and invites to spectacular special effects and so on. It doesn’t in that sense. It remains on the group, giving them proper time to develop and show what a merry bunch they are.

The ending wasn’t what I was expecting. I myself was a wee bit disappointed, but that’s from my point of view, you need to see it yourself. It could be, for instance, that I missed something, somehow.

I was also, though only slightly, reminded of The Lovely Bones, that film with Saoirse Ronan. Only slightly, because that film too tried to be set in a different time, and didn’t succeed to convince me, while both Stranger Things and Super 8 did.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Changeling

With Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Frank Wood and many others.

Powerful portrait of a single mother, Christine Collins, in the late 20s, who comes home and finds her only kid Walter Collins missing. Aside the fact that this was in a time where it was far more usual to leave your kid(s) home alone while you were out for work or pleasure (show this film to parents now and they will go Madeline McCann on you).

I had seen this film before and somehow I didn’t catch the part where Christine Collins is put in the asylum due to try and convince the police that they hadn’t done their job yet, while they had actually forced her to pose with some boy they found somewhere, who had to act like her son.

Mostly the film deals with that. Abuse of power in the police department, as they acted stupid and have to make it look like either nothing happened, or it wasn’t their fault to begin with.
Christine Collins being trapped in that asylum with loads of other women in there with literally the same problem -they tried to go against the police – is dreadful. It also goes to show the weak position women had at the time. A time we’re about to go back to with current events.

The story is a nightmare for any parent in many ways. Thankfully they haven’t gone all that graphic, so it still is a film that’s quite watchable. A strong stomach is mostly required for the sense of powerlessness that becomes you, watching Christine Collins being accused of god knows what and being emotionally forced to agree with things she doesn’t back.

It’s a good watch, despite the nasty subject.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Films, Opinion

 

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I Kill Giants

In first perspective, this film seems odd at the very least. A young girl, struggling with finding her identity and, as it seems, on the verge of puberty, tries to deal with that aswell. She is depicted as an outcast in school.
During the film it reminds you somewhat of the antipole of Bridge to Terabithia. After all, that film is with a very light, cozy tone, with a girl that seems to find friends wherever she goes.

The drama is also sort of likewise, in the sense that it’s death. In I Kill Giants it becomes clear that Barbara (interestingly played by Madison Wolfe) is most certainly fighting something, as a result of not wanting to deal with her home situation. Because it keeps being mystified what’s going on exactly, the film appears quite slow for at least the first half hour to 45 minutes. Barbara gives big mouths, doesn’t even wánt to connect to anyone, doesn’t want to cooperate and so on.

In the end you get it’s a sort of OCD, something we all pick up at some time, even for buying such a thing as lotterly tickets, to have a ritual. To make sure everything will be alright.

You have to be in the mood for a bit of drama and you’re gonna have to deal being inside the mind of a young girl and her peers, but it is, in the end, a proper good watch.

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Het verhaal van het verloren kind, Elena Ferrante #FerranteFever /The story of the lost child

Dit laatste deel uit de reeks van de Napolitaanse romans beviel me eigenlijk het best. Natuurlijk, je hebt op z’n minst het eerste deel nodig om te begrijpen waar het over gaat, en het tweede en derde deel voor een groot deel ook, maar in dit laatste werk gebéurd eigenlijk het meest.

Hoewel ik nog steeds niet helemaal snap waar de #FerranteFever om te doen is -ik vind het vele politieke geneuzel en het ein-de-loze geratel van Lila over waar zij zich precies mee bezighoudt, niet boeiend genoeg om daar hele pagina’s over te kunnen lezen. Het zijn, net als de beslommeringen over hoe Elena meent het op zichzelf te kunnen betrekken- of juist niet- afleidingen van interessantere stukken verhaal. Hoe de dames onderling zich met elkaar gedragen, wat de liefde met hen doet -het verscheurd de ene vriendschap, lijmt de andere- en hoe Elena meent te weten wat het met haar vriendin Lila doet.
Sommige zaken vielen op hun plaats, andere niet. Uiteindelijk is het toch ook maar een verhaal.
Ik begreep dat men al 25 jaar niet weet wie de schrijfster is, dat er mensen zijn die zich niet kunnen voorstellen dat het door een man geschreven is. Dat vind ik beledigend. Alsof een man niet in staat zou zijn zo over vrouwen te schrijven? We kennen hier in Nederland Martin Bril, die toch ook de reeks Evelien heeft geschreven. Ik vind het helemaal niet zo ondenkbaar. Vooral ook juist omdat het over politiek gaat, en geleuter of schoenen, leer en computers met ponsplaatjes en rekenmachines. Het is tamelijk oppervlakkig. Er wordt gesproken over ‘ze vertelde me over die en die’, maar het gesprek zelf wordt niet weergegeven. En alles is, a la Tolstoj, als een soort brok op geschreven. Als er al conversatie is, is die niet noodzakelijkerwijs onder elkaar neergezet. Dus het argument dat het geen man kan zijn geweest die het schreef, houdt voor mij geen stand.

Maar dat ben ik.

Zeker het lezen waard. Dit laatste deel heeft een stuk meer actie dan ik in voorgaande delen ben tegengekomen. De vriendschap tussen Elena en Lila is me tot het einde een raadsel gebleven. Ik heb geen idee wat ze met elkaar deden. En dat hoeft ook niet. Dat is waar zowel een vriendschap als een relatie óók om draaien. De chemie tussen schepsels, die je niet kunt zien, en die zij zelf wél voelen.

This last part of the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante is by far the best one for me. Of course, you need the first part as an introduction and the second and the third part are good for background, but in this last part, most things actually occur. 

Even though I still do not fully understand the full strength of the #FerranteFever -I don’t care much about the many politically filled backgrounds, the thoughts that some have. It’s reflecting without reflecting. It’s not actually profound, it’s picking a ground and going with it, as none of these friends actually choose a lifestyle to go with that political stream they say they like. And the many rants of Lila who tells endlessly about leather, shoes, the many designs she plans, and later about computers, punch cards and so on: I couldn’t read any of that for pages. It goes on and on?! Just like the parts where Elena reflects all of it on herself, it quite slows down the story for me. How the ladies interact, how their actions have consequences for friendships and other relationships. One breach glues another together and so on. Elena keeps telling how she thinks things affect her friend Lila. 

Some things fell into place, others didn’t. It’s still just a story, after all. 

I’ve understood it’s not been completely clear who Elena Ferrante is, for 25 years. That people have also suggested it is written by a man, that others claim this is impossible. I think this to be an insult. Since when are men not able to write about women? They have done so for ages. I don’t think it unthinkable, because much of the written items are quite shallow, in my opinion. Especially because it’s talks about politics, shoes and endless rants about computers. It’s being written ‘she told me this and that’, but the conversation isn’t always fully written out. And like Tolstoy: it’s many ‘bricks’ of text, nearly no paragraphs, and not all of the conversations are neatly put down. So the argument that it can’t have been a man, for me it is simply not convincing. 

But that’s me. 

This book is worth reading. This book depicts a lot more action than the former parts. The friendship between Elena and Lila doesn’t make much sense to me, until the very end. I have no idea what ties the two together. It doesn’t matter. This is between the people in a friendship. There’s chemic to consider aswell, and this isn’t to be explained by words, usually. It’s just there, you have to accept it, and that’s all there is to it. 

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2018 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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