Hi! Thank you for the ask!
I’d like to be a screenwriter/director.
I’ve started my blog quite a while ago, and the exact reason for it is hard to recall. I felt like I needed to. I really love writing and analyzing everything, and I wanted to share this with people. I also enjoy reading what other people write or think. I like tumblr, because of its artistic scene, and because so many bloggers are very open-minded. There are some wonderful pictures, stories and ideas; this completely sounds clichéd, but it is inspiring. Also, getting feedback, and opinions on my posts and interacting with like-minded people has just given me so many new perspectives. I know this all sounds horrible and everybody gives these reasons for starting a blog, but it is the truth. There is no magic in it, I just wanted some creative interaction.
It is so difficult for me to review this movie, as I’ve become so personally attached to it, and it took me about two months to write this review. It is definitely the best thing I have seen in quite a while.
The movie centers around a New York family whose eldest daughter, Sam, commits suicide, and the rest of the family are finding themselves unable to cope with their loss. The parents are so absorbed in their own grief, that they neglect their children, and give them “consent” to submerge in a world of drugs, abuse and sexual taboos.
Amanda, the younger sister, is tired and weary of being constantly neglected. The lack of emotions displayed towards her leads her into an abusive relationship and a hectic lifestyle, fueled with parties and drugs, because all she wants is to feel something, and to be cared about. And to have power. Being in a relationship with a guy who “everyone wants” makes her feel special, perhaps privileged for once. Being in an abusive relationship with a guy who “everyone wants” makes her feel in control, for once; control over someone else, control over herself.
The brother, Josh, responds to the loss of Sammy by refusing to acknowledge that she died. He talks to her, imagines conversations with her and constantly asks for her advice. Although Sam appears on screen, suggesting how she appears to Josh, I don’t think he is hallucinating. No, to me, Josh is simply imagining these conversations in his mind, thinking about “what Sammy would do”. Josh is detached from his family, from his friends, and in his loneliness he creates an idealized version of her sister, who probably doesn’t mirror the actual Sammy, just what Josh wants her to be like. Somebody he can talk to.
The only time, in fact, that we get an actual glimpse into what Sammy was really like, is when Josh asks what Sam would do, and Amanda replies that she would slit her wrists. Actually, the very fact that she has committed suicide suggests that not all was well with or around her, that she was probably far from being the bubbly blonde girl that Josh visualizes for himself. We also do not get much of a back-story for Sam - she is less of an actual character, and more of an cause and an excuse for the family to act the way they do. We sense her absence, but never got much of her presence, and that is why we might feel that the grief of the family is incomprehensible. Sammy is a ghost. An idea and an ideal.
In fact, I might even go as far as arguing that not all was rosy even before she died. Again, we do not get much detail on this, but we do get clues: Sam’s suicide, the tight bond between Josh and Sam, the absence of love from the parents’ side. In my opinion, it was not even her death, but the lack of care and love in the family that destroyed it.
I also enjoyed the delayed unveiling of Sam’s death. In the beginning, we do not know she is dead. She is there, lurking behind the family’s back on the way to her grave. She is there, laying with his brother and sister in the grass. Sam is still very much present in their lives - she follows them like a shadow, and I must say this is wonderfully executed in the opening sequence. She exists in the mind of the kids, they talk to her, laugh with her. Even we believe that she is alive, we see her, and later we all have to take a step back and say “Wait, what? She was alive and well just right now!”
Another thing I was delighted by was the relation between Seth and Josh. At first, I found their story line somewhat stereotypical, but I soon discovered that this was not the case. After all, the movie is not about Seth, but about Josh. How he deals with issues, and for a second there, he believes that even his best friend had betrayed him, lied to him. Deserted him. In reality Seth was just afraid. Their scene in the park is just, I am saying it, adorable. Seth, other than Amanda, is the only person left for Josh, and he realizes soon that he needs him. The scene in Seth’s bedroom is, in my opinion, way more powerful than that between Amanda and Josh, because like his sister, Josh wants to feel. And he wants to get emotions, reactions out of himself, he wants his desires released. Yet he also wants to get all this from a person he trusts, so, although not completely consciously, he turns to his best friend.
As on the love scene between Josh and Amanda, it is short yet revealing. Nobody ever paid any attention to Amanda, so it is understandable that she looks for incest. Either in the sense that she was never taught about what is ‘right’ or ‘acceptable’, mainly in society’s eyes, or in the sense that Josh was the only one who truly cares for her. She is literally bruised and broken, and she needs love, but she needs it from someone she trusts. And that is Josh. Josh gets overwhelmed by the moment. He also seeks love, and he loves Sam. Whether that love transgresses what is acceptable is left ambiguous, whether he feels something more for her idealized creation is left unspoken. He may have viewed Sammy in Amanda, and with Sammy, he could do anything, now that she’s dead.
The movie, however, is a real tragedy for Amanda. ‘Consent’ is partly driven by the underlying theme of getting away and getting out. Sam does so by suicide, Josh does so by going to film school, their father does so by having an affair, and their mother does so by drinking. Amanda, however, is left alone in the end. There is hope for her, she has friends, yet she is rejected by Josh, and is left with her alcoholic mother, in a house haunted with memories…
On a more mundane note, acting is brilliant. Peter Vack and Troian Bellisario are both amazing actors and amazing people, they also happened to go to USC together (along with Brian Jordan Alvarez who plays Seth), and are quite successful nowadays. Yet despite all that, it is easy to dissociate the characters from the actors, something that is not always the case when well-known people play them. They did a flawless job!
Also, unlike usually, this time I am not going to give a rating. ‘Consent’ is a work of art, and by rating it, I would degrade it to the level of a movie simply created for mass consumption. This is more than that.
I happened to be in a relationship with an actor. I happen to be friends with 15 actors. I happen to know 37 actors.
How many of them have you heard of by name? Probably one. The rest of them, you are not likely to recognize on the street, you are not likely to know the names of, nor are you likely to read about them in magazines. You might occasionally see them popping up on TV, but otherwise nothing.
Yet for some reason, being an actor is constantly associated with being famous. Which is honestly ridiculous. About 10 to 15% of all actors actually make it to the headlines; the rest, they peacefully exist in the world below that, whether or not that is what they want.
Now, this specific friend of mine has got a BFA in Acting and has been involved mainly in short and indie films. I had known him for approximately a year, when he, out of despair for not getting work, took a small guest starring role in a mainstream TV drama.
And then all of a sudden, bam! He’s on TV! He must be famous!
You don’t know his name, his age, anything about him in the world, all you know is that he’s been on telly once and now must be equated to Marlon Brando and that it’s impossible that him and me are in any way acquainted. Because, well, why would a movie star (who hasn’t in fact done one feature film) wish to even take a fleeting glance at me?
“Strangely though” I said to them, “you didn’t seem to be bothered by this when you hadn’t seen him on TV.”
Oh but no, I must have made it all up to make myself look popular. Popular among who? I had briefly mentioned him before, and whenever I brought his name up, they looked more absent-minded than during math finals.
So basically, unless you have seen him, you’re fine with everything, but once you catch a glimpse of this person on your television screen, he’s an A-List celebrity. Ignoring the fact that you don’t even know his name.
And that brings us to my main point: What are actors supposed to do if not act? They don’t sign up to be celebrities, and the decent ones aren’t, either.Yet just because you are an actor, doing your job, you are immediately degraded into the often derogatory term of ‘celebrity’, and you are not supposed to keep contact with your perhaps less-known friends? Is that what Hollywood and society and show business pressure you to do? Because if yes, then it’s as fucked up as it is.
Actors should be known for presenting other hypothetical people, so-called characters. They are not to be scrutinized themselves. You cannot pressure someone into a social position just like that. Actors are people on stage or on screen, pretending to be others. It’s their job. There is no need to elevate them into heavenly heights and degrade the ones around them as liars or freeloaders or profit-seekers. They are doing what they are supposed to do.
Actors are actors are actors.
Sorry that my tumblr feed got messed up like that, just I read through all my posts and I couldn’t not correct all the typos. And, of course, that fucked up the order of my posts. That’s why my book review from last summer came up. Again, sorry about that.
Day 26 - Favorite title
Out of all the books I’ve read, I think this one has the best title ever:
So what is it about? And why do I like the title? To be honest with you, I’ve only skim read this novel - my boyfriend was reading it on a trip to Prague, and he really liked it, and said I should read it too. I didn’t have time for detail & analyzing every single page, but I did get a pretty good overview of it.
First things first, this book is really morbid. It gets disgusting, it’s real black humor, you need nerve to read it. In a way, and this might sound controversial, it reminded me of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. It isn’t based on history, but it does reflect the desire for control and the complete brutality and ignorance of lives.
‘The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse’ tells the story of a boy called Jack, who sets off to discover life. Despite warnings, he goes to Toy City, where he becomes the sidekick of a private detective teddy bear, Eddie. If it isn’t absolutely crazy yet, there is a serial killer running around town and killing the “famous” characters of poems and children’s stories - the ones who were more acclaimed throughout the years. The only clues to figuring out who the murderer is, are chocolate bunnies left at the crime scene.
So that’s it about the plot. The writing is pretty basic, so if you’re looking for a lyrical flow, do not read it. It’s simple and repetitive. As I said, I didn’t read the book in much detail, and I think it was fine the way it was. There were some long and unnecessary elaborations that could have been omitted, and I think they were just included to make the novel longer. The use of rhymes, alliteration and (non-)similes are enjoyable, though; that is, with limits. They are certainly entertaining, and although being excessively used by the end, it is possible to laugh at them for the first 150-200 pages. They also fit the setting of the book, with the toys, and nursery rhyme characters, and at points they are delightfully anticlimactic Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
‘As real as,’ said Eddie.
‘As real as what?’ said Jack.
‘Wish I knew,’ said Eddie. ‘But I can’t do corroborative nouns. None of us are perfect, are we? I can get started. As big as, as obscene as, as foul as. But I can’t get any further. But that’s life for you again. As unfair as…’
So, moving on. Why did I like the title? Well, you probably think because it’s hilarious and original. Yes, that is true, but it’s more than that. We never get to know why the chocolate bunnies are left at the scenes of murder. That may be because the writer didn’t bother to answer, or because he didn’t want to. Leaving bunnies at crime scenes is pointless. And so is attempting to rule the world, and murdering (imaginary) nursery rhyme characters. It also has to be noted that the bunnies are hollow, they are empty. They look promising from the outside, yet there is nothing but thin air inside. And, as they say in the book, “that’s life for you again”. Nursery rhymes and toys, just like a possibility of total control, are not real. They seem promising, they bring you into the world of illusion, but they never actually fulfill your expectations and wishes. They are never real. Why do you attempt to rule the world?
You know the plot device MacGuffin (this name is actually entwined into the novel!) - well, it’s just like that. A MacGuffin motivates the protagonist/antagonist towards some goal, without doing any explanation of why reaching it is important. It’s an empty desire, just like the hollow chocolate bunnies. So, in my views, the “hollow chocolate bunnies of the apocalypse” represent pointless, often sick cravings of people, that could lead others, or even the world to destruction.
Have I ?! Oh, yes, I remember now, and I’ve actually more or less written it. It’s just that it takes a while to type it all in (I do most drafts on paper) & edit and I’m a bit busy right now, as I’m in the middle of my A-Levels (it’s like the high school diploma, just for British/international students) but as soon as I can, I’ll publish it. I’ve actually got some other almost-finished drafts, so I’ll post those too.
Yes, that said, TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS: Sorry for not publishing that much in the two months to come, but I’ve got exams & I’m studying A LOT. I will post some stuff, just maybe not as much. Thanks for understanding.
“To vanish into oblivion
Is easy to do”
~from Translations by Brian Friel
I am currently studying this Irish play and absolutely admire it. Its context is so unconventional and being set in 1833, I was struck by how its ideas and themes can still be applied nowadays.
I will do a review on it later, but briefly, Translation is about the small Irish village of Baile Beag and its community, when the British Royal Engineers arrive to anglicize place names. The play explores how with translating, some aspects of the language and culture are always lost, and how a society needs to renew itself in order to stay alive.
This quote may be a reference to Renaissance philosopher de Montaigne’s saying that “we need to interpret interpretations more than to interpret things”, meaning that interpretations of events are to be evaluated more than the events themselves. With this, Friel seems to advise people never to believe in and stick to existing interpretations completely, as points of view and ideas need to change and be relevant to the society of the time. If we are too obsessed with the past and set our own views in stone, we are unable to participate in the present, and thus cannot create a future.
Thank you so much for the beautiful words, I appreciate them a lot. Really, comments like this make me so happy and I’m really glad if I could inspire you. I always say that even if one person reads my blog and likes it, it’s already worth it.
Also, if you came from SL, you may see that this is a bit, well, different. I love SL, but at times it’s too…clean. Which of course it’s supposed to be, I’m just saying my content maybe inappropriate at times compared to it. Hence my commenting not too much there :)
Anyway, thank you so much for your ask/comment. It certainly made this day worth it! Hope I can inspire you more in the future!!
Interview by Christian Lund, the Louisiana Literature Festival, August 24, 2012, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art