Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tonight.

After days spent silently missing you, stubbornly refusing to swallow this wretched pride inside me: I finally got the courage to call you.

And it felt right. Really, it did.

I wanted to say sorry, to say I’m wrong…but all I managed was this small “Hi!” that almost sounded like a squeak.

Too many things happened within those numbered days…and I just want to recount every single thing.

But you stopped.

Said you’re busy.

And that I must call back.

I wanted to say I’m afraid.

I wanted to say so badly that I’m terrified for tomorrow.

I’m having one of my greatest fears realized, and I can’t hold on to something but my hand.

"I have to face that wretched fear…"

I can’t count how many times I repeated that in order for it sink in.

I know my mind would go haywire.

And I know that if I can’t hold it in, I would explode in myself.

I wanted to scream…but the other line’s dead now.

 It took that long beep to realize that I am all alone in this — again.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Top 3 Musical Numbers in a Movie

This idea goes way back. I don't even know why I just posted it now. I was supposed to title this "Top 3 Most Heartbreaking Musical Scenes/Numbers From a Movie", but thought twice. >.< Before anyone ever condemn me for not including any Les Mis number in here, I just decided against it.

Anyways, these sequences were merely chosen according to my preference. Of course, I haven't seen all films with musical sequences in them... but out of all the ones I've seen, these are the ones that tugged my heartstrings successfully -- and never stopped. :)

#3. And I Am Telling You by Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, 2006)

The first 20 second acapella part says it all. Yes. This is Jennifer Hudson's acting debut, and she immediately brought home an Oscar (which would later become a AI bragging right). She was so flawless in this sequence - the singing is impeccable as always, and the surprising acting. She just sunk right through Effie. One of the pivotal moments of Dreamgirls, Jennifer shone so bright here that freakin' Jamie Foxx looked like a lost puppy next to her. This deserved all the hype and fame, and Jennifer (more than anybody) deserved this moment. And right when it reached the 4:10 mark.... everything just went from awesome, to downright perfect. Ugh.

#2. The Winner Takes It All by Meryl Streep (Mama Mia!, 2008)

An ABBA song. Meryl Streep. And freakin' Pierce Brosnan -- all over the screen. What else can you ask for? THIS. This will forever be my favorite scene in this movie. I grew up listening to this song, and I admit that this is one of my favorite ABBA songs ever. This rendition is not perfect, but this scene almost is. There were some awkward moments in there, I know. But it was how Meryl interpreted the song that mattered most here. how she caressed every line, every lyric as if it were a script written to be spoken like a simple sentence -- exactly how a song should be delivered and played. She clearly brought the meaning up. how she would occasionally choke, how she smiled with her voice, all the pauses. That "building me a home // thinking i'd be strong there" part of the song. Ugh, I don't think anyone could've done it better. It was how she looked at Pierce, and how she smiled -- reminiscing, but knowing that those memories cannot be brought back anymore. The delivery. I can't gush about it much more. Plus, you've got Pierce Brosnan standing there all throughout --  looking perfect, and expressing regret and affection towards Meryl JUST BY HIS EYES. So. Much. Feels.


#1. Lies by Glen Hansard (Once, 2007)

From one of the most loved indie film ever. Words cannot express how this song brings out emotion from me like it's the most natural thing in the world. I know that this movie is relatively known, with Falling Slowly winning as Best Original Song at the 2007 Oscar's...and people may argue that FS is the best things that came from its OST, but I disagree (opinion only!). For me, it has always been and always will be "Lies". You know how there would always be that one person that will bring out something from us -- that one person that will always inspire a certain emotion from us (most of the time, a hollow thud, or a dull ache in the chest) no matter how much we kept it hidden, even after all those years. Glen Hansard isn't even a professional actor -- but this sequence is so heartbreaking, I've been re watching it over and over ever since the first time I laid eyes on this film. This freakin' perfection of a song: the melody, the brilliant lyrics, Glen's voice. How he sung it, with that voice projecting every inch of emotion that this piece deserved. The fact that he's watching footages of his former flame in order to inspire him to write the song. Just seeing her face brings out the pain. Remembering the happy memories contrasts so much to what his world has become, that he needed to let it out. I may be looking at it a little over my head, but this heartbreaking song + the flashback of happy memories make up to a really depressing sequence. Painful, but beautiful.

BONUS:
The Moon Song by Scarlett Johansson ft. Joaquin Phoenix (Her, 2013)


This is not the exact scene, but it was most of it. Ugh, the perfection that is Her. This is probably one of the best films I've seen in years. This song was simply beautiful, plus Scarlett Johansson's stunning voice and Joaquin Phoenix's acting. This song was downright gorgeous it makes you remember each warm memory that you enjoyed but in turn makes you feel sad for some reason -- all at the same time. Haven't watched "Her" yet? Well, you should! You're missing out a lot. :)
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Again: personal preference, people! I know that you guys have a lot of ideas going on right now. If ever you want to add something or suggest another scene for me, PLEASE DO! I'll gladly look over it. Do you think I should add more? Comment up, and let's talk. :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Continue being out of my reach.

I beg you, continue being out of my reach.

Continue being hard to grasp, hiding behind your wonderwall.

Continue ignoring the silent pleading in my eyes —

For you to see, to notice, to turn my way.

I fear that if you let it crumble, I’ll adore you even more.

I fear that if you’ll see, you’ll eventually turn away.

Continue being out of my reach,

So that I won’t be afraid anymore.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Betwixt these walls.

And I’m not even sure if I’m doing the right thing.

I’m in this constant struggle of holding back, and letting go.

The wall is too high up now —

And I’m not sure if you can climb all the way to the top,

Or if you’re even willing to.

And if I’m going to tear it down,

I’m afraid all the things that I kept bottled up

Would spill the way water seeps through holes.

Can’t you see?

I’m not ready to crack myself open, but I want to let you in.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

That One Line #4

This meme from last year is too good to just be forgotten. My last "That One Line Entry" was what? Somehwere almost 10 months ago. Well anyway, as a refresher:

Welcome back to That One Line! :)

"That One Line is an online meme in which you'll feature a certain sentence or paragraph from a book you read which struck you or left a deep impression on you. According to Goldie: "It should be from a book although quotes related to reading are also welcome." 

Anyways, I am currently reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and as expected (as I've mentioned in my 2014 Reading List), this is taking "relateable" to a whole new level. Haha. It feels like my whole person was translated to words and I'm reading it from the outside. Cath was one of the characters that I feel really similar and connected to. In any case, I am almost halfway in the book and one quote caught me in particular, that made me realize that I seriously need to start a book diary this year for all the feels I've been getting from every single book I've read and will soon read this year onwards. Neat, right? One day I'll let you get a peak. :D

Well, here's the line:

"Reading was too quiet -- she needed to write"

THIS. There were times when your mind is shouting and you try to drown the voices by reading and listening to someone else's. But it's not working. Because -- as if they have a mind of their own -- they are all struggling to come out; and it feels like if you won't let them, they will eat you alive. You need to put them into paper. Let them materialize. Turn them into something concrete. That's how bad it is, sometimes. YOU JUST HAVE TO LET THEM OUT.

See what I mean by relateable? It just exactly is.
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Check out my other TOL posts:
That One Line #1
That One Line #2
That One Line #3

"I'm a complete disaster."

"I already told you," Reagan said, "he's not my boyfriend."
"It's not just that." Cath turned her face toward the wall of windows, then back at Reagan, earnestly. "It was one thing when I had a crush on him and he was totally unattainable. But I don't think I could actually be with someone like Levi. It would be like inter species dating."
Reagan let her spoon drop sloppily into her cereal. "What's wrong with Levi?"
"Nothing," Cath said. "He's just...not like me."
"You mean, smart?"
"Levi's really smart," Cath said defensively.
"I know," Reagan said, just as defensively.
"He's different," Cath said. "He's older. He smokes. And he drinks. And he's probably had sex. I mean, he looks like he has."
Reagan raised her eyebrows like Cath was talking crazy. And Cath thought -- not for the first time, but for the first time since last night -- that Levi had probably had sex with Reagan.
"And he likes to be outside," Cath said, just to change the subject. "And likes animals. We don't have anything in common."
"You're making him sound like he's some rowdy mountain man who, like, smokes cigars and has sex with prostitutes."
Cath laughed, despite herself. "Like a dangerous French fur trapper."
"He's just a guy," Reagan said. "Of course he's different from you. You're never going to find a guy who's exactly like you -- first of all, because that guy never leaves his dorm room..."
"Guys like Levi don't date girls like me."
"Again -- the girl kind?"
Guys like Levi date girls like you."
"And what does that mean?" Reagan asked, tilting her head.
"Normal," Cath said. "Pretty."
reagan rolled her eyes.
"No," Cath said, "seriously. Look at you. You've got your shit together, you're not scared of anything. I'm scared of everything. And I'm crazy. Like maybe you think I'm a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I'm a complete disaster."
Reagan rolled her eyes again. Cath made a mental note to stop rolling her eyes at people.
"What would we do together?" Cath asked. "He'd want to go to the bar, and I'd want to stay at home and write fanfiction."
"I'm not going to talk you into this," Reagan said, "especially if you're going to be stupid. But I will say this: You're being stupid. He really likes you. He even like your creepy fanfiction, he won't stop talking about it. Levi's just a guy. A really, really good -- maybe even the best -- guy, and nobody's saying you have to marry him. So stop making everything so hard, Cath. You kissed him, right? The only question is, do you want to kiss him again?"
~ Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell 

This excerpt right there made me realize how fucked up my perspective in life is. God knows how much I can relate to Cath right now. >.<

Thursday, February 13, 2014

You make me feel less.

There were moments when I wonder if I ever found someone closer to my dreams than you are. I used to think that imagining THAT one person would be pretty superficial…. but when I look at you, all I see are these little things —  these little details, building up into something that I think I’d never get tired adoring.

I pale in comparison. And my light is getting dimmer still.

Even so, I ask,

"If I write about you, would you care?"

"Would you even notice?"

Well, maybe not. And for the first time in a very long time, I don’t even care. I won’t be hurt. I won’t be discouraged. I would remain as the moon to the sun that you are: living in the shadows, but sustained by your light.

You make me feel less…but at the same time, you make me want to be more.
"I love you like certain dark things are to be loved: in secret, between the shadow and the soul." 
~ Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Saudade

Typewriter Series #658 by Tyler Knott Gregson
I dreamt of her again and I wonder when she started becoming my nightmare.

I wonder when the sight of her face, the memory of her voice, the flash of her smile -- all started sending dull aches in my chest.

It wasn't always like this. I used to yearn for that memory, that fading ember of how it used to be. I would close my eyes and try to remember her -- alive, as she once been. But those moments were long gone now. And sometimes reaching for them felt like shouting in an empty well:  voicing it all out only to find that every word you utter just kept coming back.

The hollowness kills me. It’s a punch in the gut, a twisting of the insides. She was supposed to be a happy memory. It was never meant to be like this.

~R

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

On the top of my Murakami Reading List this year is "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle". After 3 weeks of contemplating meanings, of being weirded out, and just marveling at my favorite author's prose, I'm glad that I finally closed the book and finished it. Though this is not the first book that I finished reading this 2014, I am publishing my thoughts right away...because I know that if I put this off even for just a little while, I won't be able to write anything about it anymore -- and I can't afford that. A Murakami ALWAYS deserves a space in this blog. Things were still a little messed up and jumbled in my mind right now, but I'll try what I can to make a coherent post. Bear with me, please. :3

source
Plot:
Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.
Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.
Three books in one volume: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet, The Birdcatcher. This translation by Jay Rubin is in collaboration with the author.
(via Goodreads)
Because of work and stuff, I really had a hard time squeezing this in my daily routine. I tried to find time, though: right after I woke up and just before I go to sleep. So you could only imagine: when I was reading Wind-Up, I was either half-awake, or half-asleep -- and it worked. It truly worked. There were moments when I unconsciously drift off to sleep holding it in my hands, and somehow when I wake up I have these vague moments of recognition when I thought I dreamt about it: the mysterious scenes and all.

The imagery was so vivid and done in the most breathtaking way... that when I close my eyes, I can clearly see the scenes as if I'm witnessing them first hand. Murakami is a master of words...and I can't even put into writing how much that means to me as a reader.

"Everybody's born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up." ~ May Kasahara //source

Though I generally liked (even loved!) this book, I must admit that there were moments when the narrative fell flat. Well, not literally, but almost. There were moments when the narrative failed to get my attention, failed to make me feel things. Lietunent Mamiya's (a notable character in the book) story lines were especially dragging, I must say. But these are pivotal to the book as a whole so the time spent would still be worth it. There were moments when it felt like the story is repeating, or going no where... but you can't stop. You just can't stop because you know that at some point or another, something would come up. At one point or another, it would all makes sense.

It all felt so disjointed and related all at the same time. The best moments of this book are those instances when you feel so lost then you suddenly encounter something that raises the possibility of a connection, however remote. Murakami was a genius, letting his readers think, bugging their minds all the time that they have no choice but to read on just to know if everything makes perfect sense or just some joke that someone plays over another. The last chapters were gripping. I was half-awake when I started reading them, and by the end of it, I am pretty caught up and so immersed in it that I can't put it down even if I need to prep up and go somewhere.

I was really in awe at how Murakami was able to weave such intricate tangle of web, and make into a masterful labyrinth to where his readers could get lost in. It was such a bizarre, surreal experience -- as most his books were. But out of all the books I've read from him, this in itself sets the benchmark for all Murakami books that I would encounter. This book proved that he's a master of brilliant magical surrealism that would stretch the reader's imagination because of its twists and turns.
"Well, finally, the events I've been through have been tremendously complicated. All kinds of characters have come on the scene, and strange things have happened one after another, to the point where, if I try to think about them in order, I lose track. Viewed at more of a distance, though, the thread running through them is perfectly clear." ~ Toru Okada.
This quote perfectly sums up the whole book for me. Sure there were a lot of questions that was left in mind, even after I read the book. And I guess some (or most, if I must say) of it is, again, left for the readers to think for themselves. But it was an overall awesome read. It was a wee bit long, but it was so worth it. This took "Murakami weirdness" to a whole new level -- executed with exquisite and perfect imagery and prose. It may take some time for me to wrap my mind around everything that transpired in this monster of a book before I could really manage to form a coherent opinion about it. (And there may be follow up posts, I'm sure of it.) But that's the thing with a Murakami, right? It never leaves you.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
"When you don't have anything to do, your thoughts get really, really far out - so far out you can't follow them all the way to the end." ~ May Kasahara 
"It is possible, finally, for one human being to achieve a perfect understanding of another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close are we able to come to that person's essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?" 
"Curiosity can bring guts out of hiding at times, maybe even get them going. But curiosity usually evaporates. Guts have to go for the long haul. Curiosity's like a fun friend you can't really trust. It turns you on and then it leaves you to make it on your own -- with whatever guts you can muster." ~ Toru Okada 
"Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade." ~ Lieutenant Mamiya 
"Hatred is like a long, dark shadow. Not even the person it falls upon knows where it comes from, in most cases. It is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person, you cut yourself. The more violently you hack at the other person, the more violently you hack at yourself. It can often be fatal. But it is not easy to dispose of. Please be careful, Mr. Okada. It is very dangerous. Once it has taken root in your heart, hatred is the most difficult thing in the world to shake off." ~ Creta Kano 
"Spending plenty of time on something can be the most sophisticated form of revenge." ~ Toru's Uncle 
"People change for all sorts of reasons..." ~ Kumiko Okada

Fast Facts: 
This was the novel that made Murakami a recipient of a Yomuiri Literary Award which was (ironically) awarded to him by his former harshest critic, Kenzaburō Ōe. "Two chapters were originally published in The New Yorker under the titles "The Zoo Attack" on July 31, 1995, and "Another Way to Die" on January 20, 1997" [via Wikipedia]. Also, there were two chapters and missing parts that were somehow lost when it was translated to English (which I am trying desperately to find now >.<). The only official English translation of Wind-Up was by Jay Rubin.
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Btw, check out my Wind-Up Bird Coordinate in my (own) meme: #DressUp.

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