Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If You Have A Chance !

Recently I saw three interesting movies. Not only I enjoyed all of them more or less but also I was happy to see new and exciting visual tricks, which changes narrating a classic story to a creative and enjoyable one. By this I don’t want to say classic stories are not enjoyable. Personally I like those but if one finds new ways to make story telling more interesting it is more exciting for me. So I recommend you to check them out if you have a chance.

Match Point directed by Woody Allen is a Romantic-Drama; it starts with a monologue voice-over in a tennis court: “there are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net and for a split second it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck it goes forward and you win…or maybe it doesn’t, and you lose” and this is a story of the man who prefers to be lucky than to be good. If you see the movie then it would be interesting to remember the opening monolog and then when a marriage ring doesn’t go forward he has lost. Match Point is not a comedy but you can find parts of Woody Allen’s comedy in it, which makes a drama’s effect stronger.

A History of Violence directed by David Cronenberg is a Thriller. As I mentioned in my last post the story is based on a graphic novel. The classic destiny - your past will hunt you no matter how far you go - hand in hand with a hopeful lessen - the potential to be violent is in everyone also is the power to choose and be different - plus the creative mind of Cronenberg make this movie unforgettable. To break apart and rebuild the perfect family and their relationship seems very easy when Cronenberg does it.

Caché (Hidden) directed by Michael Haneke is a Psychological-Drama. I never expected to enjoy this movie mostly because of the French film stereotype (confusing plots, wondering actors, unresolved endings). In fact Caché does not intend to be enjoyable. The aim is to shock the audience and make them think about the film and have endless discussions about it. The film forces your memory to review every single shot. I also tried to remember scenes and dialogues. Then I asked myself why Georges is so passive? Doesn’t he have any feelings beside being panicked and cold? Why in this movie (society) no one cares about others or even about themselves? Algerian Majid vs. French Georges; are these characters symbols called back from history? And then what does the last scene mean? Is it continuity of Georges’ dream or is it reality? I think there is a credit to a film in which actors such as Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche do such a good job to confuse you and in particular a credit to a director who lectures you by raising so many questions in your mind.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Brooklyn Battlefield

On Tuesday I went for the second registration battle to Brooklyn College. The victory came after 3 hours of waiting in corridors, going up the stairs to the fifth floor and down to the first floor again and again, talking, listening, running and talking again. I had the first combat a week earlier, which gain me some points: I renewed my student ID; I gave some documents to International student office and I got my mails from my mail box. But by no means was I successful in getting the approval letter.

This Tuesday happily after wining the approval letter, my husband and I went to spend some time in Manhattan. We decided to see a movie, have a dinner and walk after that to enjoy the good weather and company of each other of course. None of these would have happened if we couldn’t find a good parking space which we did.

Don’t worry there will be some bad news to make it feel real and add some excitement to it, but that night every thing was so great. After we found a parking lot we walked toward Cinema Village. In the way we bumped in to the Strand Book Store. We couldn’t help ourselves not entering the book store. It was really great, especially the rare-editions section. Two years ago I bought a book from Strand online but I didn’t have the feeling that it is this cool and this huge. A History of Violence directed by Cronenberg was an interesting and thoughtful 96 minute film based on a book by Vince Locke and John Wagner. In the way back home it started to rain while Mozart L’ egyptien (Egyptian Mozart), music by Hughes De Courson, was played on WNYC-FM. The rain, the music and the darkness of night helped us ignore the ugliness of Route-1 and made the trip more romantic

On Wednesday morning 11 am I went to Graduate Center with the approval letter to register to only find out that the course, which I wanted, got canceled at 10 am the same morning. This is the bad news which I promised for the sake of reality and excitement. To go back to the beautiful and nice life that one is supposed to have I started the third battle. And to make a long story short with the help of the Chairman of the Art Department at Brooklyn College who is one of the nicest, loveliest people on the earth and the Registrar Senior Faculty who is one of the most hardworking people that I know I could win the third battle.

There are some points one should be aware of before getting into any battlefield. First: everybody around you is a victim of the same system, from doorman to chairman. Second: you should be thankful if they bother to listen to you; be grateful if they bother to call somebody to help you out and you should adore them if they are coming with you form one office to another, up and down the stairs and I adore our Chairman who cares and helps everyone in our department. Third: try to enjoy your battle. Forth: never lose your hope for a better change, changing things that are not right.

One may ask who you are battling against. Well I am fighting against the system that was supposed to make students registrations easier but doesn’t, the system that has to be easy to use for every one in it old and young but isn’t. I am fighting against endless paperwork and senseless bureaucratic regulations. I am fighting against the stairs form the first floor to the fifth floor. I am fighting to make it easer next time.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tehran Film Festival

It is around that time of year again in Tehran. It is the beginning of another Fajr Festival. The film section of the Fajr festival is more interesting and the most popular one among Theater, Puppet performance, Music and other Festivals. This annual Festival creates the most exciting ten days of the year in Tehran. Everybody reacts one way or another to this major art event; usually people are happier, more laughter will reach your ears in the streets. The familiar scene of the city is the lined up people in front of movie theaters; young and old, everybody is out there.

What will happen to all of this excitement, to this happiness with the new set up limits in every layer of the society by the most conservative government in Iran after the revolution? Nobody knows what is going to be next. Economical changes and political limitations put the society under more pressure than before and of course political activists, journalists, intellectuals and artists are the important part of this society.

Tehran may lose its freedom, its happiness and its excitement; but if there is still an art festival held, Tehran shouldn’t lose its Hope for the better days.

Take a look at here and here for more information about the Fajr Film Festival.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Never Let Me Go

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. This Monday was Martin luther King’s day.

Then it was a Golden Globe Award festival and the exciting part for me was when Philip Hoffman won a Golden Globe for playing in Capote. I believe that he plays wonderfully on the edges; he doesn’t mimic Capote but he plays him.

Then two nights a go a novel by Ishiguro came to my attention at Barnes & Noble: Never Let Me Go. It is Kazuo Ishiguro's last novel. He wrote five before. Among those The Remains of the Day 1989 is the most successful one. There is also a movie based on this novel with the same name as the novel in which Anthony Hopkins plays the role of the Stevens the butler.
Ishiguro’s stories are floated between the past and the present. His fictions are based on memories of the characters. Memories that are narrated throughout the pages and above all they are Looking forward to the uncertain future. Ishiguro started his carrier with his first novel A Pale View of Hills (1982), and then he continually wrote An Artist of the Floating World (1986), The Remains of the Day (1989), The Unconsoled (1995), When We Were Orphans (2000), and Never Let Me Go (2005).

And tonight a TV series on Thirteen: The War That Made America. It was boring and slow which means it was educational. And because of it I missed CSI: NY. Instead I wrote this page.

This is a picture of Washington DC National Mall & Memorial Park that I took 2 weeks a go in a visit to D.C. It is an appropriate picture for this post because; first of all I like this photo, then Washington Monument is dedicated to George Washington who fought in French & Indian war when he was young and that is the war that made America and also In the same place at National Mall Martin Luther King Jr. had one of his famous speeches and who knows may be Kazuo Ishiguro visited this place once.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

After Holidays Menu

The new semester will begin in 10 days. I have to get myself some course books.
I usually buy them if they are not expensive which naturally they are.
Of course the best way is to borrow them from the library, but what usually happens is that they put at least one copy of the course books on reserve and there are usually 3 or 4 copy of that book; in case the book is known, if not well good luck finding it at all.
I am lucky that I have some links to libraries other than our own. Other wise I would be BOOK-LESS for more than half of the semester. Now that I am thinking about it, in last 2 years I almost didn’t borrow one single course book from any of CUNY libraries.This is pathetic or maybe I am pathetic ?

One day before the New Years, we had some Chinese food and my
fortune cookie advised me:

Love truth, but pardon error.

Lucky Numbers 49, 7, 22, 12, 31, 8
Learn Chinese: Hai-zi means Medical doctor.

Although I love the truth, I pardon myself for being pathetic.