Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bob Dylan and Adele Make Us Feel

I think an introduction is due. I'm already familiar with the song even before Adele popularized it. Make You Feel My Love is a Sunday staple in radio stations at home with Bob Dylan's cowboy rendition.

The importance of this song lies on M. and I's conflicting interpretations of it. What we came up with is so polarized! M. said he felt blue after hearing it while I felt positive energy coursing through me.

What made him so sad is the idea that although the love talked about in the song is pure and naive, it's one-sided (credited probably to the way Adele's music video was made and the song's tempo). Whereas I, thought that it's a very sweet song to offer to someone I really love, I even went on to say that a mom could sing that to her newborn (is this going too far?).

I think the song is beautiful that way for it to have multiple interpretations.

I initially imagined it as a song for the beloved especially with the lines;

When the evening shadows
And the stars appear
And there is no - one there
To dry your tears
I could hold you
For a million years
To make you feel my love

For anyone who lacks practice in making words taste like honey, the song could easily convey what the lover feels. Hitting the play button with the right ambiance will do its magic. It can be sang if the lover is confident enough to sing the song even (the song is actually easy to sing as it can be half-sung, half-spoken with some characteristic rockstar slur/swag).

I tried the stripped off version (without the lyrics) and the melody works just as fine. I can honestly imagine a mother here humming this song to her child who came home crying because some playmate destroyed the sand castle he built. 

Here comes the power of visuals now. How it can provide context to a song and give it some sort of story, as demonstrated in Adele's music video is very much a reflection of Roland Barthes' argument pertaining to the Author. Barthes' assertion in the Death of the Author that "the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author". With this, he concurs with Mallarme's belief that it is the language which speaks, not the author...that point where only language acts, 'performs' and not 'me'. In this case, the person/people who conceptualized the music video featured a woman (played by Adele) alone in her hotel room, thinking about someone, then sending him/her a SMS as she sings. It can tell of despair; wanting to be able to share the love she has but can't because of whatever the situation they have that stops her from doing so (beloved may not feel the same way or he/she is too impassive to feel anything).

To give the song a new life by making it ironic through its visuals is an interesting way to rouse discussion. While irony is common, I particularly liked how my construction of the song's meaning was challenged when I watched the music video. 

Earlier, I was so dead-set on the idea that the song is filled with all the naivete common among kids. Confronted with the music video, I had to think again and contemplate on how such a sweet song could taste so bitter as a woman alone in her hotel room is shown with the light in her room the only one turned on. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Pettyfer Marathon

I am not sure if this Alex Pettyfer has appeared in other films. I've seen two of his most raved about by fangirls movie - Beastly and I Am Number Four.

The title is suggestive of the film's quality. I didn't derive any enjoyment from watching the film. I must have been so bored to sit through the whole film. The supposed "Beauty" (Hudgens) had a spunky personality while "Beast" (Pettyfer) was arrogant because he's handsome and because he has daddy issues too. Nothing much happens. They're isolated in a house a la Big Brother and they fall in love. The only redeeming factor about the film is of Pettyfer's tattoo that goes with the season. If only there's a technology that would make it possible to create a season-sensitive tattoo.

The season-sensitive tattoo*

Hudgens's voice matured a bit (compared to the screechy one she had to put us through in HSM). Pettyfer's transformation wasn't as pitiful to see. The arrogant handsome prince to hopeless "Prison Break" look wasn't that touching. NPH who's supposed to be blind in the film wasn't convincingly blind. Olsen's the fashionista witch. I don't get how she's supposed to be ugly and unacceptable in the film's world since she looks ok. But maybe looking ok is ugly.

Rating: Tolerable for passing the time.

I Am Number Four
Six is breathtaking. Pettyfer was topless in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Agron was the typical damsel in distress. I was really hoping she'll get kidnapped in the film just to see her perfectly groomed hair be a bit messy. The Flipped main actor (McAuliffe) was adorably geeky. The best actor for the film goes to Bernie Kosar the beagle/chimaera who faithfully follows Four (Pettyfer) around. I'm honestly looking forward for the next installment if only to watch Six focused.

Screen shot of Bernie's defining moment (after the fight)

The mid-part of the film can get a bit dragging but the action sequence towards the end is fun to watch especially when they die and automatically cremates themselves.

Rating: Good to watch with the family especially if you have younger siblings.

Addressing the love posts

A good friend from high school asked me if my cheesy posts involved an assortment of people. Just to clarify, the posts are directed only to one person.

There really isn't much to write about that love since it's in the past tense now. That particular chapter is over.

So let's move on to better things, shall we?

Murakami's Cabbages

Lately, I've been reading some of Haruki Murakami's shorts. In one of his essays, he said that in order to be a writer, we need to live first. He went on to talk about how he only started writing again at 29.

According to him, he needed the seven year gap after college to just "live actually". He said that back in his college days there was so much he wanted to write but when he sits down, he can't put his ideas together. 

For so long now, I've been struggling with the same thing. I watch by the sidelines envious of the works of people my age or younger. I started writing poetry when I was about eight. I think it had something to do with the national flag. I also kept a notebook of my poems from when I was 10 to 16. 

When I went to college, there was so much to learn. I met a lot of inspiring people from my creative writing class. They stimulated... no... they challenged me to work harder. So when I was 17, I was able to write a handful of poems that aren't that bad. 

Things changed in second year. I've found it increasingly harder to write. It is a frustrating thing to wage a staring war with a blank sheet of paper. Just when I think that there's something good to write about, the whole thing escapes me when I sit down and try to write. 

I really can't figure out what's wrong with me. But hopefully, I'd have that baseball field moment Murakami had when he was 29 so I too could finally sit down and write again. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kani sa para gamay ra ang makasabot (conclusion)

February this year, I wrote about a very personal story that I had to write it in a language I use most often when speaking (Bisaya). So here we go again.

Last na gyud ni.

Di na gyud tingali ni dapat dugayon pa. Human na. Pagkahuman sa hapit tulo ka tuig nga atras-abante, nahuman ra gyud mi. Dili ni happy ending in a sense nga wa nagdayon si Prince Charming ug si Fiona.

It can be recalled nga sa akong other entry nag-ingon ko nga wala na gyud, and that was about nine months ago. Daghan ug nahitabo in between, tug-of-war ang drama.Well, mao na jud ni ang ending. Ug sure na ko ani. Tung una man gud, mag-emote emote ko kada hormonal ko (that time of the month nga sobra ka lisod sabton ang mga babae) ug akong ginahimo kay ginapangita siya dayon maghilak hilak. Crayola collection.

Giunsa ba nako pagkahibalo nga wala na gyud? Simple lang. Pag pangotan-on ko sa akong mga amiga kung abri pa ba ang door (charrot) para kang *bleep* kung sa very very unlikely chance nga mubalik siya para nako or something dawaton pa ba nako siya. Sa pagkakaron ug sa akong pagkaila sa akong kaugalingon, dili na. Wala ko kabalo kung unsa ang in store for the future pero dili man nako makit-an na nga naa pa siya sa akong kinabuhi in the future as leading man. Lol.

Kadto. It ended well. Wala may drama kaayo. I thought naay sparks or mukalit ug linog pag marealize nako nga humana among pelikula, pero wala man. Time and gravity did its magic.

Unsa na ang naa karon?

1. Wala na nako giputol ang communication between us. There's no need, actually.
Medyo na proud ko ani sa akong sarili. Kaya na nako mag coexist mi.

2. Friends pa gihapon mi.
At least nasalvage pa namo ang among friendship. We're good together as friends, sure gyud ko ana. Restored na pud ang among pagiging friends sa social networking sites. So yeah. Offline and online selves kay at peace na.

3. Freedom baby.
Sa kadugay nga bug-at akong gibati (dili lang tungod sa akong fats, k?), karon kay nigaan na gyud. I like to stay this way. Or isavor sa nako ang kani nga feeling karon. Liberating kaayo to know nga nalipay ko, in my own terms ug dili tungod sa kung kinsa pa. Period.

Mao na ni. Di na nako tas-on pa kaayo.

PARA SA TAMAD MAGBASA: Listen to John Mayer's Slow Dancing in a Burning room for this entry's summary.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What is it about haircuts?

A girl's life is told through her hair. One look at a long time girl pal's hair will tell you what she is going through. An extension of a girl's feelings is her hair, so to speak. To be able to maintain a long hair despite of bespeaks of strength, religious dictum, or economic limitations. No girl can keep a long hair or a short hair long enough without doing something to it. A few highlights here and there. An unnoticeable trim around it. There's gotta be something.

Glee's Quinn Fabray post-Finn 

Judy Ann Santos after weight loss (or when she was trying to lose weight)

Former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo post-Edsa 2 oath-taking

The more drastic a change in hairstyle, the more radical the shift is in her life.

Like now. I decided to chop off my locks I took two years to grow. I told myself to resist cutting it off no matter what happens. But then again, I'm done with the graduation picture (and more) so nothing's stopping me. Not even my mother's tempting promise of a nice hair treat when I go back home.

I kept my word for two years. But somehow, I feel that I have to write new stories with a different hair. Take new pictures of my last semester in the university with a significantly shorter hair. I've been so vain about my hair for the past couple of years. I want to keep it simple this time.

What does cutting signify? Ribbon cutting ceremonies represent an opening of something new. Cutting the losses mean letting go of something not worth keeping anymore. Merging the two meanings make up what getting a haircut entails.

Entering the salon to have a haircut is the first step towards the ceremony. It's not easy to let go of long locks of hair that took years to grow (and a lot of cash on hair products). Some girls take months and months collecting hair pictures and deciding which one would suit her best. Other girls go to salons right before (or after) making a huge decision.

With every inch cut, there's always that hope of something new (not necessarily better, but here's to hoping that things go for the better) growing out from the now short hair. All the hair now on the floor become memories of that distant past where the hair probably had ugly split ends or where the hair was stroked by a hand a girl don't want to be reminded of.

Cheers to brand new beginnings!