Two years ago during the Film Festival, we screened The Descendants and had a Q&A with the lead opposite George Clooney, Shailene Woodley. I remember sitting there thinking how well-spoken, down to earth and real she was while holding a mic and speaking to a room full of strangers. She had a command and presence that just pulled you in.
A trip. A movie premiere. Finishing a great book. A date. Seeing family and friends. A concert. Whatever it is, I find myself in a complete state of glee the eve of a day when something fun, stellar or amazing is about to go down. I lay in bed like it’s First Day of School Eve. Tossing and turning and smiling and unable to think about anything than that specific greatness awaiting.
Hell, even the promise of a sunny day from the Weather Channel gets me amped. Just the mere idea of what tomorrow holds doesn’t give me anxiety, it gives me excitedness and eagerness. And I find it hard to harness.
Needless to say, this is pretty much me all day, every day:
*Last night’s glee totally tied to the KC trip to see the Kansas family*
If you’re like me, you devoured The Hunger Games trilogy. And now, have to get your fill of that world in the movies (which are just as fantastic). But fret no more. I’ve been tipped of a series that’s similar in nature minus the arena. It’s called Divergent, by Veronica Roth (who’s 24, cue my jealousy). I was hesitant when Maggie first told me about this, because let’s be honest, nothing could ever compare to The Hunger Games.
Borrowed the first book from a co-werker (Divergent) and read it in three days. Got the second one (Insurgent) and missed my bus stop this morning from reading for too long.
I’m hooked. And if you have a gaping hole the size of Panem, this just might be something to tide you over until Catching Fire comes out. I should note, the third and final book of the Divergent series is not out. Which means you’ll have to sit around twiddling your thumbs, just like you did when you finished a Harry Potter book. The Divergent trilogy is slated for Hollywood, though I refuse to see a casting list until I finish the second book.
Also to note, this book takes place in Chicago in the very distant future. But Roth still makes current landmark Chicago references (every time I look at Millennium Park, I think of a scene from the book). And I love every minute of it.
Film Fest season has quickly arrived and taken control of my life. Though I must say, the 48th Chicago International Film Festival has provided lots of surprises, lots of guests and lots of fantastic films. Every day I’m there, at least three shows are sold out. And the films I’ve had the chance to see are simply magnificent, two in particular:
1.) Numbered— A documentary about Holocaust survivors today and what the number they received in camp means to them. Not nearly as depressing as I thought it would be, I often find myself drawn to any book or movie dealing with this topic. It was jarring, heart warming and saddening all at the same time. One of the directors is a still photographer and his images are so very poignant, they move the doc along without actually moving. Film clip here.
2.) The Sapphires–Mark my words, this film is going to do wonders when it’s released. Picked up by the Weinstein Company, it tells the tale of an Aboriginal girl group that plays for the US troops in Vietnam. Based off of a true story, I sat in my seat dancing and singing along to these tunes. You’ll surely tap your foot along. Chris O’Dowd (of Bridesmaids fame) is stellar delivering one-liners every where you look. No one left that theatre unhappy.
I also would recommend checking out Opening Night’s Stand Up Guys, Any Day Now, King Curling and Off White Lies. We’ve completed our first week and have one more to go with this weekend’s Junior Board event featuring Helen Hunt and her film The Sessions. It’s been exhausting, trying to keep up with Cardinals baseball has proved at times difficult, but so very worth it. Meeting various directors and other filmmakers is inspiring. They walk around the theatre wearing their passion for their film and industry right on their faces–everyone’s smiling and eager to talk. It’s very catching.
Come see the world…
Fellow Junior Board Member (and Volunteer) Marcella and I spreading the good word
Despite the fact I’ve never had any desire to visit Norway, this commercial makes me want to hop a plane to see this scenery, wear sweaters and hang with Grandpa Norm. And of course, fly on Widerøe Airlines.
Summer in Chicago is amazing. It’s what everyone cracks it up to be. It is the reason we all deal with the rest of the year. It’s simply and utterly fantastic. But I will say, since I’ve been here, they have been two things I’ve wanted to do: see the famous Air & Water show from a rooftop and see the famous Air & Water show from the water. Luckily, fate stepped in last week and delivered.
My friends Courtney and Jill recently just moved and have their own private rooftop (which is as highly coveted as having a yard or balcony). They had a day of grilling, Top Gun looping and good friends laughing. And then it seemed as if we had our own private fly overs from the Blue Angels. It was loud and it was a rush.
The next day, we were heading out on the boat for the show. I’ve seen this show a handful of times as we used to come up for it when we were younger (and those were the only times I caught the show on the beach). But by sea? The show is on a whole ‘nother playing field. As I sat on the back of the boat soaking up the sun with Barry (the yellow lab), a fighter jet came out of no where scaring the beejezus out of us both. Yet it was exhilarating, to sit there on a picture perfect day with your heart racing, your thoughts completely drowned out by the engines and being out on the water.
Yesterday, The Society of Professional Journalists recognized what so many journalism students from St. Louis have known for years: Mr. Eden is amazing. Mr. Mitch Eden (or E Dawg as I liked to call him) recently won the Society’s Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award and for one, am so happy for the guy. If it weren’t for Mr. Eden, I would not be where I am today. I am a writer because of him. A vivacious reader because of him. A continually curious specimen because of him. And someone who remembers to laugh on an hourly basis because of him. He instills much more than how to write a feature story (Make the O) and how to use the inverted pyramid.
And I’m so glad the rest of the nation can see the inspiration and class he brings to the profession and more importantly, to humanity.
“If you’re gonna do it, do it right. If you’re gonna hype it, hype it with the facts. I don’t mind what you did. I mind the way you did it.” –Bob Woodward, All the President’s Men
I for one, cannot remember the last time I have devoted the whole day to listening to a movie soundtrack. Granted, every St. Patrick’s Day, I find myself rocking Waking Ned Devine soundtrack, but that’s out of respect for the holiday.
The minute I saw this trailer for Brave, I knew, I would be counting down the days until its soundtrack released. The last song playing on this trailer just sends chills down my spine.
On the soundtrack, there are some lads from England: Mumford & Sons. Their song Learn Me Right, along with Birdy, is utterly fantastic and is sure to get you jazzed for their impending second album. You can listen to the full song over at their blog. Clearly I just cannot get enough of the celtic influence.
The film delivered in humor, cringe-worthy moments and just complete absurdity. But that’s not what kept me engaged, the script was superb. The way everything tied at the end with a nice little bow you just didn’t see coming and it all was because Jeff (Segel) watched Signsone day and decides when someone calls him as a wrong number, it’s a sign he’s supposed to do something great with his life.
For me, I completely believe in signs, though I’m sure it’s just my imagination making something more in order to make me feel better about my decisions. But I couldn’t help but take it as a sign that I need to finish editing my book and send off when upon exiting the theatre, we walked right by my writing idol, Roger Ebert.
Last month, a bunch of us bought the Groupon for the 3-Day Juice Cleanse from Peeled. Well, it’s finally time to cash in the Groupon and rid my body of its toxins. BLB and I are doing our cleanse starting tomorrow morning. Every two hours, we’ll have to drink 16 oz. of things like romaine lettuce, parsley and cashews. Yum?
Since we’re doing this, we’re holing ourselves up and away from society the next three days. That means the big KU/MU game tomorrow? We’ll be watching from home. In sweats. And we’ll find refuge in books and movies to keep ourselves sane this weekend.