After seeing the film version of Memoirs of a Geisha, prior to reading the novel, I wasn’t convinced of the hype. I admit, I was a naive high schooler when this film came out and it was beyond my level of comprehension. In the years following, I heard from my mom, sister, co-workers, and seemingly everyone that Memoirs was a must read.
I finally caved after having this book on my to read list for over two years and I am so glad I did. Memoirs of a Geisha is a beautiful account of a geisha coming of age in the era of the Great Depression and follows her through her struggles during World War II, followed by the American occupation. Golden captures the female voice so perfectly that you would never know it was not written by Sayuri herself.
The geisha lifestyle is one that is often misunderstood. Many people assume they are prostitutes which is not entirely the case. Yes, sex can be a part of the job, but geisha are almost mythical creatures who spend years of dedication to become masters of their craft, all while maintaining a pristine reputation, and dressing in elaborate kimonos that are worth more than they are (according to the mother of their okiya). Even pouring tea, a seemingly mundane task to us Westerners, is to be done with such precision and provocation to warrant the attention of a potential danna, or patron, to support their lifestyle.
I would like to revisit the film after finally reading the book because I think it will take on a different meaning for me. If you are looking for an escape from your everyday to a foreign land full of grace, grandeur, and beautiful kimonos, Memoirs of a Geisha is a great read!
When Netflix recommended Sing Street to me, I nonchalantly added it to my cue to save for a rainy day. I watched it one nondescript Sunday afternoon thinking it would be mediocre at best, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at this little gem of a film. It is such a great storyline though its main plot line is hardly original — an underdog trying to get a girl that is out of his reach. Inspired by 80’s glam bands, this rag-tag team of green musicians try their hand at writing original music, filming epic videos to match their songs, and live performances.
Though it is centered around teenagers, Sing Street is a great reminder that there is no better time than the present to pursue your dreams. The thick Irish accents can be a little tough to decipher in the beginning, but stick with it. Once they start singing you won’t be able to get the catchy songs out of your head for days. And yes, they come with some awesome 80’s dancing. Watch Sing Street when you need a pick me up and a quirky movie is the answer!
If you’ve been within earshot of me in the past five years you’ve probably heard me casually drop “Childish Gambino” or “Donald Glover” into any conversation, relevant or not. To say I’m obsessed is putting it mildly. My monthly google search of Donald lead to me discover in late 2015 that he wrote a new pilot called “Atlanta”. Being a southerner and a stalker huge fan of Donald Glover, I was intrigued.
When Atlanta finally premiered this past fall it was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped. Donald captures the essence of the underdog trying to survive when the odds are stacked against you. This very real show is sprinkled with witty humor that is almost too quick to catch. Darius, Paper Boi’s sidekick, is a strange and hilarious character that you look forward to every episode. And Van, Earn’s ex/love interest, is endearing, wonderful, and effortlessly cool you can’t help but love her.
This 10 episode first season of Atlanta is raw, real, sharp, and humorous. It is no surprise that this show and Donald picked up a few Golden Globes and was picked up for a second season. You can knock it out in a day or two, but you won’t be able to get “paper boi, paper boi, all about that paper boi” out of your head until long after the last episode ends.
I’ve only been kept in suspense for two years since The xx announced they were working on their new studio album. After two years of incessant googling, stalking, and the like, The xx finally released that their third album, I See You, will be out January 13th. As a super fan, I subscribe to them on all social media platforms and was absolutely elated to have the announcement email waiting for me in my inbox. Their newest single “On Hold” is a good omen of what is to come. Listen to it and tell me you don’t find yourself dancing along (and putting it on repeat for the rest of the day):
And if this news wasn’t great enough, The xx also announced that they would be the musical guests on SNL with Kristen Wiig as the host. See their performance of “On Hold” below and mark your calendars for January 13th! 7 weeks and counting…
Like any avid reader, I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Harper Lee’s latest novel, Go Set A Watchman when it was released earlier this year. This book picks up from To Kill A Mockingbird, once Scout is a grown woman of 26. Still her rowdy self, she is struggling with coming to terms with domestication and settling down. (You know I love books about young women not ready to settle down, it makes me feel less alone).
Scout returns home to find her sleepy hometown turned upside down by the growing rift between races. To Kill A Mockingbird touches on similar themes, but with the heightened tension of the civil rights movement, things have shifted. Not quite ready to let go of her youth, she still uses Atticus as her moral compass. I don’t want to give away too much, but this book, though not as touching as her first, still has a great message. Just like its predecessor it reads quickly so be sure to add this one to your reading list if you haven’t already.
Iris Apfel has been a style icon of mine for years. Who doesn’t love a woman who can layer jewelry, wear oversized glasses, and mix prints like a boss? Netflix recently added Albert Maysles’ documentary of Iris and it seemed like a decent way to spend a Sunday afternoon. This film follows modern day Iris as she reminisces on her life and style evolution over the years.
Modern day fashion icons and moguls (most importantly, Jenna Lyons) are featured in the film and all have nothing but overwhelming respect and admiration for Iris. Her clothes and accessories have been featured in galleries such as the Met and Peabody Essex Museum, making her fashion accessible to the public. Her career started as an Interior Designer and she evolved her career to become one of the most iconic fashion figures in the modern world. So, basically she’s living out my ideal life…I can only hope, right?
Whether or not you are into fashion, this documentary is a fascinating look into the world of “everyday” fashion and its underlying message that how you carry yourself is more important than what is on the surface.
These days it is easy to binge watch tv, mostly because of HBO and Netflix, but it is hard to find something so compelling to watch that you literally cannot. stop. watching. I’d been told by several people that I had to watch The Jinx. It was that good. This mini-series can be found on HBO and is so crazy and addictive, it’s crazy addictive.
It is six episodes following Robert Durst who has been suspected in several murders, but never been convicted. Director Andrew Jarecki’s film, All Good Things, was inspired by the disappearance of Durst’s first wife. After seeing the movie in theaters, Durst contacted Jarecki for an interview, thus spurring the start of the documentary.
I don’t want to give away too much, but everything from the editing, the reenactments, the theme song, to the most insane ending I have ever seen will blow you away. Don’t believe me? Watch it and report back.
I love a good documentary. They are educational and entertaining, what’s not to love? I’ve been watching over the years and developed a pretty solid arsenal. I’ve compiled a list of my 5 favorite documentaries, but it was tough to pare it down!
Blackfish. God I love this one. It’s a grimy look into Seaworld and their actions after one of their trainers was killed by a whale. Who has now produced more whales. Do not support Seaworld, y’all.
Virunga. This documentary is a Netflix original and Oscar nominee. It is an eye opening look into the efforts of rangers trying to protect the gorillas in Africa’s national park.
Tig. Tig has been becoming more of a household name as of late since her honest stand up about having breast cancer. This Netflix documentary follows her since the groundbreaking set through her cancer, family plans, and career.
Kurt Cobain Montage Of Heck. This is an intimate look into Cobain’s life and his creative process. It is interesting to see how his mind worked and how incredibly talented he was.
I was given an opportunity to see My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks and while I’m not a huge fan of the band, I was so excited to hear that Sylvan Esso was the opener. Sylvan Esso has been on my radar for a while, but I hadn’t seen them live before this weekend. They are just two band members, the singer and the producer, but they have amazing stage presence. Amelia Meath’s voice is awesome and she has some serious dance moves. They are about to explode on the music scene so be sure to check them out.
My Morning Jacket was awesome live too, don’t get me wrong. All in all, it was another great concert at Red Rocks…2015’s concerts have been so good!
Summer’s impending doom is upon us, but the upside is the slew of movies that are released. These aren’t necessarily Oscar worthy, but they are way better than the horror movies and blockbusters that are released the first half of the year. Here’s my must see list for this year’s end of summer movies.
Holy shit, I’ve found my spirit animal. Amy Schumer GETS it. This is my kind of rom com that doesn’t seem too unrealistic. And tears were streaming down my face for the entire finale. (From laughing people, this isn’t a dog movie!)
2- Mistress America
Frances Ha blew me away and this is Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s follow up film. I hope it lives up to it’s predecessor, but the trailer looks like it will.
3- Digging for Fire
Confession, I love Jake Johnson. I would see him in anything (except Let’s Be Cops or whatever that was…seems like a momentary lapse in judgment on his part). I loved Drinking Buddies and this comes from the same writer, with help from Johnson, and contains a similar cast, aka Anna Kendrick.