Thursday Movie Picks: Movies by Female Directors

As we’ve established by now, I am doing the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today’s theme is movies directed by female directors! In general, I adore that as an idea, because why not celebrate the women who make amazing content? I was just struggling to decide whether to give in to the idea that women make great romance movies (cause they do) or to focus on other genres as well. I hope I made a decent mix of things, but also … I like certain genres more and watch more along the lines of romance, comedy or family drama. And, I really focused on recent releases, because I like new things.

The Broken Hearts Gallery – Natalie Krinsky

There’s so many bad romantic comedies every year that I cherish the good ones like nothing else. This may have replaced Set It Up as my favourite RomCom and that means a lot!

The Half of It – Alice Wu

This movie was so good! The cinematography is top notch and the meaning behind the imagery and its symbolism is worthy of an entire thesis if you ask me.

Late Night/The High Note – Nisha Ganatra

You get a two for one here! Both of these movies focus on strong women in their respective fields of work. It’s about lifting up a future generation and has sweet romance notes without being the focus at all. I enjoyed them both a lot.

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

I just love this movie. I will always love this movie. I know I only mentioned it a couple posts ago, but I could probably find a way to mention Little Women in every single post if I tried.

The Party’s Just Beginning – Karen Gillan

This was Karen Gillan’s first feature length directing effort and a very personal story set in Scotland. It’s definitely to be watched with caution, because it leaves you in a very sad state of mind. Trigger warnings for suicide and depression are necessary, but it was still an amazing movie.

The Old Guard – Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gine Prince-Bythewood is not new to the scene, having directed gems such as Love & Basketball or Beyond the Lights (which I can also 100% recommend). But it’s still more on the rare side that women get to direct action movies, so, I wanted to mention The Old Guard. While I will agree that it’s a character-driven movie on the slow-paced side, which also feels a bit like a prequel set-up for a franchise, I really, really enjoyed it.


Yeah … I couldn’t hold back today. I hope you won’t mind that there are a couple more film picks this week! What are some of your favourite movies directed by women?

The End of the Year Book Tag – 2020

Can you believe we are at the stage of the year where tags like this make sense? I saw the End of the Year Book Tag over at Sofii’s A Book. A Thought. blog and she was happy to let me steal it. I know I am nowhere near my reading numbers from a couple years ago, but I am actually pretty content with what I managed to get to in 2020. Let’s see what the questions hold!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Beartown (Beartown, #1)     This Is How You Lose the Time War

I am currently reading Beartown (which I started in October but got busy and wanted to give more attention to) and This Is How You Lose the Time War (which is utterly confusing). Realistically, I think I can finish both of them, I just have to be willing to make the time now.

Do you have an autumnal (Spring) book to transition into the end of the year?

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2)

I have to say that I don’t really plan ahead my reading like that, or go for certain seasonal themes. I could see how people would like something more colourful for winter or so on, but I can’t say I’ve been looking into that. However, I still have Take a Hint, Dani Brown ready on my kindle, which is sure to warm my heart!

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Admission

First of all, I am not super aware of when books release these days. Secondly, I think most of the books I was curious about already released. For example Admission by Julie Buxbaum. I quite enjoyed that one and it got published at the beginning of the month!

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

This Is Not a Ghost Story Soulswift Normal People: The Scripts

Aside from the ones I mentioned above, I am not sure how much I will actually be able to manage. I mean … there’s like two weeks left of the year and I don’t think I have it in me to read five books in total. However, IF I miraculously make it, the ones mentioned above are on my priority list.
This is Not a Ghost Story was recommended to people who enjoyed the Haunting of Bly Manor and I don’t know in what aspect it will be like the show, but I was too curious not to check it out. Also, it has a stunning cover, isn’t too long and ties into me wanting to get out of my reading comfort zone more.
Soulswift is along the lines of theological-esque fantasy and I am very much into that.
Normal People: The Scripts is like the Fleabag scripts aka it is a hardcover copy of all the scripts from the show. I love-hated the regular book in a weird way, but I am still 100% obsessed with it, so, I figured it would be a great addition to my library.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite of the year?

There’s obviously no way to know for sure, but Beartown ticks all the boxes to become a favourite! It’s sports-related, has a tight-knit small town community, drama, beautiful beautiful quotes. I swear I have put so many sticky notes into that book already.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Ace of Spades

I don’t really make reading plans as much. I do intend to up my Goodreads Challenge from 30 (which I managed well this year) to 35 books. But I also saw the tweet below and the illustration and comparison to Dair and I am really into the idea of reading Ace of Spades next year!


I hope you enjoyed this! I have found myself liking tags that aren’t too long as of late, so I hope you liked reading it too. Let me know some of your thoughts on the tag or feel free to steal it yourself!

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies for Seniors/The Elderly

As I have announced last week, I am now going to take part in the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today I am going to present to you some movies for seniors/the elderly! What exactly does that mean? I think it’s pretty much up to you. It does not mean that the actors/actresses in the movies have to be old … because what is old? It can just be about a decade elderly people might want to reminisce about. There’s a lot of ways to interpret this theme and I hope you enjoy the movie picks I have chosen for you!

It’s Complicated

This is one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time and I would never say that any of the cast members are old, because look at their vitality and screen presence, but you also have to admit that they are older than the average main character in that genre. I am in favour of finding love at all stages of life though!

Water for Elephants

Maybe I am still transfixed by the book, but I adored the changing POV between the present and past. I am also sure that the 30s weren’t always easy to live through, but something about that aesthetic just makes my heart sing.

Rebecca

I tried to throw in a classic, but I wanted it to be a new interpretation. I am sure many seniors know the Hitchcock version, but I would love to hear their take on this new one. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking in any shape or form, but my rose colored heart was not opposed to the more happily ever after ending they included here. Also … the cinematography is beautiful.

Kodachrome

When I think of films that might appeal to the elderly, I think of generational dramas that involve old media. Kodachrome has all that.

The Photograph

I know that there is a revival of photography on actual film rather than digitally, but similarly to the previous movie, I enjoyed the generational discourse as well as the medium a lot here. I don’t know if it’s too modern, but I also refuse to believe that the elderly will only watch movies that were made in the 50s.


What did you think of the movies I chose for this feature? Would you watch any of them with your grandparents or an elderly friend? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #48

I really watched all over the place in these past days, but seemed to have especially found some kind of nostalgic streak with reboots and the era things were set in. Let’s check it all out!

The Hardy Boys (Season 1)

I have never read a Hardy Boys book (or Nancy Drew book for that matter) in my whole life. When I asked my parents, neither of them had every even heard of them. I do know they mean a lot to people, but my country just did not have them and focused on local groups of book-kid-detectives instead. I’m telling you all this so you know that I have no nostalgia for the books (or even previous TV shows/movies) when it comes to the Hardy Boys. I just like watching them the way I like watching Nancy Drew adaptations.

When I first saw the trailer, I expected this to be hulu’s response to CW’s Nancy Drew, which I like very much despite it being far more supernatural than I expected. It has a darker look, but The Hardy Boys are still squarely set in the 80s. I think it’s funny how you really need to take a hard look these days, because so many shows have established an 80s/90s aesthetic without being set in that decade. I like those vibes coming back, but I was also intrigued by it actually being set at the time.

I really enjoyed myself throughout the entire season even if I wasn’t exactly surprised by any of the twists. It is nicely paced and I was really impressed by the acting even from the younger cast. I think they would do well in continuing this show!

For fans of: The Hardy Boys nostalgia

Saved by the Bell (Reboot – Season 1)

Just like above, I have never watched a Saved by the Bell episode in my life. I went into this out of boredom and then watched the entire season in one sitting. I have to say, and again, I have no reference point for comparison, this show is A LOT. Like, if you want authentic teens, this is not it. It’s so overacted and weird sometimes, but after a while these characters grow on you anyway. I can’t give it any points for nostalgia due to obvious reasons, but I had fun.

For fans of: Saved by the Bell???

Fierce

This is a movie made in Poland about a girl whose father is a big time musician and never wanted to have anything to do with her, so, she makes it onto the music competition show he is a judge on as a sort of revenge? The plot says it all? Kinda?

I think this wasn’t the best possible iteration of a story we’ve all seen in some shape or form before, but I liked it well enough. It was a good vied on fame and sticking to your true self, even though it got VERY dramatic sometimes.

On a side note, I know the English dubbing is bad … I watched it with German dubbing, which was better. But I’d also recommend just checking out the subtitles?

For fans of: music competition shows + family drama

Godmothered

Do you remember the movie Enchanted? This totally gave me similar vibes. We have a character from an actual magic world placed in our much harsher reality, but instead of them needing to find true love, they want to help others. And that, does not look the typical fairytale way, so don’t worry about it being too cliché.

It’s a really heartwarming and funny tale, one that works for the whole family. Maybe the humour won’t always hit home 100%, but I think in general it’s a sweet movie and even very fitting for the Christmas time! I definitely came out of it utterly enchanted.

For fans of: sweet fairytale style fun that’s for the whole family

Uncle Frank

This movie. I loved it so freaking much!

Don’t get me wrong, you need to go into it with the right mindset and be prepared for the trauma involved, because this is both a happy and incredibly sad coming out story at the same time. From the trailer and premise it does not look as deeply sad as it is sometimes, but then again, it also does have these amazing moments of humour.

This movie is so many things. I don’t know how it could have been so simple at it’s core, yet also so smart and complex. But I just hope everyone has an Uncle Frank in their lives to open their eyes, but even more so, I hope that everyone meets a Wally and lets them into their hearts! Also, this was a deeply personal movie for Alan Ball and it’s worth it checking out why he made the movie.

For fans of: coming out stories, family centric stories


Have you watched any of these shows or movies? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!

November 2020 Wrap-Up

November was A MONTH for me. I was glad that I had already finished my reading challenge for the year in the previous month, because I barely had the energy at the beginning of November to do anything. However, I did end up reading the following books:

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily #2) Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily Admission

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I still remember mentioning that I got a job last month. Well, I am not at that job anymore, but I also don’t want to talk about it. I think it’s just better for now.

Additionally to me having to get tested for Covid (I was negative, woot! woot!), my country went into a hard lockdown with all shops and restaurants closed (unless they can provide take out) for the second time. Weirdly, I think people aren’t taking it as seriously as the first time, which in turn makes me angry because it’s gonna drag out things even more. As much as all of them want to go back to “normal”, a whole lot of them refuse to do the bare minimum necessary to achieve that. But here’s to hoping the lockdown will have positive effects (in all ways except for covid testing results).

I have found myself in a really big life slump. Even after finding out that I might be able to get an extension for my Canada work permit, I could not motivate myself to do anything. It’s been a pretty arduous time for a lot of us and I know I am not the only one struggling occasionally, but it definitely didn’t feel nice. I didn’t draw. I didn’t write. I barely read anything. However, I DID create a tips and tricks post for watercolour art and if you haven’t checked it out, I’d really appreciate it if you gave it a look HERE.

If you have any specific questions about my process and art in general, I’d really love for you to post them in the comments of the tips & tricks post! I am more than happy to collect them and give it my best shot at answering them in a possible new post! (please don’t let it flop!!)

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I was really, really looking forward to Dash & Lily on Netflix and I am so happy that it didn’t disappoint. I already watched it through several times and it’s the reason I also finally read the sequels! On the show, Lily makes this puppet of Dash and it looks so funny and *drum roll* I have decided to give it a try myself and I now have it as a goal to recreate the puppet until Christmas.

I already have a lot of the materials, except for the hair, eyebrows and these floofy balls. I am not sure I am gonna get them until Christmas, but I will try and get as far as I can.

Also, in a desperate attempt to feel productive in some shape or form, I finished my MasterClass for TV writing with Shonda Rhimes as well as the Art of Storytelling with Neil Gaiman. They are both incredible instructors and have provided great course material even beyond the videos. I have to say, it’s easy to listen to them for hours though, they did a great job and it did make me feel just the tiniest bit more motivated to do something … even if I didn’t follow up on it.

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


How was your November? Did you get into the holiday spirit a little bit with all the topical shows and movies releasing?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #47

Since I’ve had more time again, I’ve spent it in front of screens a lot. Aside from tearing through some MasterClasses, I binged a couple shows and movies, which I’m now, once again, going to share with you!

Grand Army (Season 1)

TW: sexual assault, adultification, terrorism, racial profiling, racial injustice

I feel like Grand Army is Netflix’ response to HBO’s Euphoria. We follow a group of teens through a rough time in High School with the portrayal being relatable and closer to reality than some of the glossier shows airing these days. I understand when people say they don’t just want a copy of Euphoria, but, as someone who struggled a lot with that show a lot, I actually preferred Grand Army. It doesn’t bank on visuals as much as Euphoria and in that sense, made it easier for me to connect with the characters.

At the end of this show, I was emotionally exhausted. I love to binge watch and rarely don’t do it, but Grand Army really had me take breaks between episodes because it was getting just so darn heavy. It’s not a perfect show, I don’t think that exists, but I loved how so many really difficult issues were handled and openly discussed such a variety of struggles without making it seem preachy.

For fans of: Euphoria but less stylized, realistic teen struggles

Over Christmas (Season 1)

In only three episodes, you follow Basti’s (probably) worst Christmas ever. His brother is now dating his ex, his parents are keeping secrets from him and he isn’t as honest with his friends as he used to be. The premise is fairly easy and includes a lot of elements (I’d almost say clichées) that most of us have seen in other productions. It’s not that it’s bad show, but when Basti eventually blows up and ruins everyone’s life in the process, I had a hard time sympathising with him.

BRIEF SPOILER MOMENT

Especially considering that he outed one of his friends to the entire town and they just brushed it off like that wasn’t some super evil thing to do, nevermind that he was angry at his friend for not telling him he was gay. Like … you really gotta make it all about you, huh?

SPOILER MOMENT ENDED

The show was just three episodes and only showed three days in the life of this chaotic family. It had some nice bonding moments, but also felt a bit over-acted at times. It’s an okay way to spend a couple hours, but it could have seriously fit into a movie too.

For fans of: Luke Mockridge, predictable Christmas stuff

Virgin River (Season 2)

This show was a surprise to me when I started it a year or so ago. I was so pleasantly surprised in turn afterwards when it got renewed almost immediately. To those who thought the previous season finale was cruel, this one will have you nothing but stressed.

Mel and Jack truly have some of the most natural and sizzling on screen chemistry and make this show so watchable! For me, personally, the “crime” element has started to take over a bit too much at times. I am not saying this is a crime show, because it is decidedly not, but I prefer the more human dilemmas that are about relationships and life circumstances rather than stuff that needs police involvement.

For fans of: small town charming romances with a lot of drama

Stargirl

I have not read the book and this has absolutely nothing to do with the show Stargirl, just thought I’d clarify that up front.

I’d definitely say it is targeted towards a younger audience, but not in a bad way at all. As far as lovers of the book go, they thought this version of Stargirl (the person) wasn’t as quirky and charming, but I found her absolutely enchanting (probably, because I had nothing to compare her to). Stargirl is one of those people that will come into your life, turn it upside down, teach you empathy and compassion and then vanish without a trace. I think there was definitely potential to go deeper and it was generally pretty slow moving, but the message came across. For one, it’s all about being YOU, but also so much about making mistakes and learning from them, showing compassion towards others without any gain for yourself and to not put people on pedestals. They are always bound to fall off.

For fans of: quirky “magic” girls

Black Beauty

Again, just to say that up front, I haven’t read the book, even though I know it’s a classic.

When I was little, I went riding at a stable that had a lot of rescue horses. Not all of them were suitable for children and there were some I loathed to ride, but mostly I was fine. I had my favourite horses and when I got them, all was good. Still, I fell a lot and eventually turned to other hobbies when it became more of a chore than a joy to go riding, but my inner horse girl always remained in some part.

This movie has absolutely beautiful cinematography and had me tearing up almost every other minute. But it’s also a fairly slow moving story and the heavy reliance on narration probably won’t be to everyone’s liking. However, I did like it overall. It gave me all the whimsical and nostalgic feels that I want in a horse movie.

For fans of: horse stories


What have you been watching lately? Do you want to see any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk!