Tag Archives: nostalgia

“Cherry Lips and Crystal Skies”

“You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain, Starbucks lovers (or whatever).”

“I’ve got a blank space baby.”

Yes, that’s from the wonder that is Taylor Swift and the wonder that is a three-month free trial from Apple music, which I am not going to cancel.

Q) How often do you blog during the week?

A) NEVER, BITCH

That is the power of Ms. Swift (and Jesse Pinkman,)

I am listening to “1989” right now which, among the one million other reasons, makes me even more excited for the Ryan Adams concert here in July. If he plays one song from his own version of “1989” and then anything and everything from “Heartbreaker,” I’ll be one happy nerdette.  It may seem unbelievable, but I honestly still don’t listen to many other musicians than Ryan Adams. I’ll admit I haven’t kept up with all of his EPs, but I love, love, love, “Prisoner” (and the B sides) and turn it up to top volume when I am trying to block out background noise (and stress) at work. It is one of three albums I purchased this year, other than Carsie Blanton and the new Michelle Branch (failed nostalgia buy.)

I own a “Heartbreaker” T-shirt and his is the only poster that survived my college years, cheap-ass frame and all. There are still pieces of Scotch tape all over it and I love it (even with my 35-year-old reflection in this picture … weird  and not intentional … but too lazy to fix.)

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Also, get this, my sister Carla touched Ryan Adams’ hair when he was sitting at Gluek’s bar after one of his shows in Minneapolis. That is where I bought the aforementioned T-shirt and took this picture, possibly with a disposable camera. Wild times. (Chances are I’ve reminisced and written about this before.)

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Okay, I have nothing else to say other than I am losing steam after writing about very boring (to me) Congressional news all day .. but I do want to share the artistic works of Kate Micucci that will soon adorn my walls and be a part of my wardrobe.

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“I bought a borrowed suit and learned to dance.”  – Ryan Adams.

 

 

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The Way Way Back

“The Way Way Back” is a film that will melt your heart and break it a little bit at the same time.

I most certainly would have been a crying mess, especially during the final act, had I watched the film alone in my living room. But I saw it in the theater and kept my emotions in check in order to maintain whatever street cred I have left in the world of Landmark Theatres. (I do work there, after all)

I will definitely buy this movie and just let it all out during my second, third and fourth viewings at home. But for now let me just go ahead and tell you why you need to see this film before it leaves the big screen.

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (also writers of “The Descendants” with Alexander Payne) are the writers and directors of the film, which took at least eight years to complete. “The Way Way Back” is their directorial debut.

The time it took to make this film is a representation of the heart it has and why it deserves to be seen.

The world of escaping from reality by watching movies is just a little bit of a better place because of this one.

The story focuses on Duncan (Liam James) who at age 14 doesn’t feel he fits in in the world and is suffering from the aftermath of his parents’ divorce.

To add to Duncan’s troubles, his mom’s new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carrell) makes him feel less than while mostly pretending to care about having a relationship with the whole family.

James and Carrell are joined in the cast by Toni Collette (Duncan’s mom, Pam), Allison Janney as Betty, Maya Rudolph, Amanda Peet and Rob Coddry.

Sam Rockwell plays Owen, the manager of the Water Wizz park who befriends Duncan during the family’s summer trip to Trent’s beach house.

Duncan spends as much time away from the house and his family as possible, which is how he discovers the water park during a venture into town one day.

After some time it’s clear that’s the place he fits in best and meeting Owen is just the thing Duncan needed.

Owen is young at heart and doesn’t take life too seriously but he connects with Duncan through having similar experiences in his childhood.

Eight, or more, years ago I am glad those who needed to saw the potential in the story of “The Way Way Back.”

Even beyond the age of 14 we all have experiences of not fitting in and not having any idea what we’re going to do.

It’s life and, as Owen tells Duncan, you just have to find your own way.

As I said there are scenes in the film that will pull at your heart strings but those come with an equal amount that are funny and witty.

Rockwell very much plays a character who is a mix of comic relief and being serious enough to teach everyone a lesson and help Duncan come into his own.

Faxon and Rash have roles as Water Wizz employees Roddy and Lewis and Rudolph plays a manager at the park alongside Rockwell.

I think Collette was a fine choice to play Pam, but her performance didn’t really stand out. Allison Janney, as the drunk, fun-loving neighbor Betty, provides comic relief as well. She has a stronger supporting role than Carrell and, while I’m a fan, I wasn’t really impressed with his performance.
Maybe it’s because Trent is developed as a character you do not like or relate to, but I still would have liked to see more of an impact from Carrell.

Overall, “The Way Way Back” is an effective mix of a modern-day family story with nostalgia represented by a beach town that comes alive in the summer and a vintage station wagon.

If for nothing else, see this this film so it won’t be a decade before Faxon and Rash make another one.

The 48 hour film project

Change is a good thing, right?

According to David Carr, you shouldn’t have nostalgia for nostalgia.

Information is so instant and changes so often nowadays, do we even have time to miss it?

If that’s the case making a film in 48 hours and moving on isn’t a bad idea.

I actually think it’s a great idea having just seen films that made it into The 48 Hour Film Project  at the Riverview Theater.

Filmmakers who were up for the challenge, which is done nationwide, are given a handful of rules on a Friday night and must turn in their creation by Sunday night.

The films must include a character, prop, line of dialogue and follow the genre issued by the project creators.

This year it was a Bobby or Betty Bulmer, a farmer/gardener, a lamp and “She told me it’s a secret.”

Thousands of filmmakers have made thousands of films across the world under two days of pressure. This year, it includes 120 cities and at least 60,000 people participating behind and in front of the camera.

I must say I was quite impressed by the films I saw.

Genres ranged from comedy to horror with themes of love, deceit, fear and the trending zombie apocalypse.

In the end the audience voted on three favorites and there will be a Best of Screening at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at the Riverview Theater.

Check. It. Out.

The Riverview Theater in itself defines nostalgia (see photos below by Amber LeRoux) and it is a really great place to take in a film.

I also recommend The Walker Art Center, which is where I saw Noah Baumbach’s latest “Frances Ha.”

Festivals coming up include the Twin Cities Film Fest in October and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, which should come around again next spring.

Those festivals often have screenings at multiple theaters throughout the Twin Cities.

If you’re more into the history of film and the stars, the Weinstein Gallery has an exhibit of candid celebrity photos open through July 27.

I know this post is a bit of a different format for me, but the short films I saw this week are a reminder of how much else is out there in the art world.

Plus, as much as I would like to just write about it forever, I have already shared my analysis of “Frances Ha.”

Today a customer (I am a journalist by day and movie theater part-timer by night) asked what I thought about “Frances Ha.”

I simply said I enjoyed it enough to see it twice. She responded that it seemed fitting for someone my age.

I am going to go ahead and take that as a compliment.

Frances would want it that way.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!