Sunday, July 03, 2016

Maisy ❤ June 2016

reading time: 4 min

I hate my master's thesis, I absolutely hate it. The problem is, the reason why I initially started the masters program was not because I really wanted to, nor was it because I had to, but purely because I thought that I would eventually be able to earn more money if I had a master's degree. Which is not the best motivation for doing a master, I guess. 

And now here I am. Struggling to get on with my master's thesis (which is somewhat of an experiment and has never been done at my university in that form before, yay). The thing is, when I came up with this project last winter, I was so inspired and excited to do it! And now that I'm actually working on it, I'm just so frustrated due to the lack of progress I'm making. But I won't give up now, having spent almost 4 months on it already... sorry for the less motivational thoughts at the beginning of this post, but life isn't only bunnies and butterflies, I'm afraid. It's also failure, doubt, and frustration.

But at least I got to finish the Wildwood trilogy! And watch loads of movies!
 
Read: Wildwood Imperium (Colin Meloy / Carson Ellis)




I have been talking about this series a lot on my blog already, so for the finale I will keep it fairly short. Let me start by saying that this is is no way one of those finales that completely knocks your socks off and more than fulfills the excitement, creativity, imagination, and urgency of the previous books - however, luckily it is also not the kind of finale that makes you wish they would've stopped at book 2. As the third and last book in the Wildwood trilogy, Wildwood Imperium introduces new characters such as a reanimated prince Alexei and the May Queen, and brings back known ones such as the Dowager Governess (as the Verdant Empress) and many other Wildwood residents. 

The excellent writing became a bit sluggish and slow-paced for me, although I think Meloy is an extremely good writer. After a comparatively slow start, the book picks up pace at the beginning of Part II, around 200 pages in. The ending of the book, on the other hand, was quite quickly told, almost like a fairytale where actions aren't written out, but only summarized. Oh, and I missed the numerous beautiful illustrations!! (they were probably reduced to a minimum due to the large number of book pages)

Apart from that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wildwood Imperium, I liked the character of the May Queen, I was intrigued by the idea of turning the glorification of Prue as the rebellious Bicycle Maiden into a symbol for riots and violence, and I loved the little glimpse at the background of the prince and his mother Alexandra (indeed, I would love to know more about the two of them). I would've loved to see more of the bandits and the Unadoptables, but at least the "Operation: Urban Renewal" in the Titan Tower was very thrilling and reminded me of the quick pace of the two previous novels.

In the end, things come to a sort-of happy ending without tying every single loose end. All in all this book series does a great job showing that the real world of human interaction isn't the black-and-white, good versus evil, stuff of traditional fantasy and fairy tales. We are, after all, selfish, impulsive and overly-ambitious at times


Watched: The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)

source: imdb

I've watched a number of very different -but each great in their own sense - films last month (Baymax, I Origins, The Revenant, Lemony Snicket, The Last King of Scotland, and of course the season finale of Game of Thrones!), but The Hunt stood out amongst them because it stirred so many emotions in me, ranging from empathy to anger to shock to sorrow.

The Plot:
Lucas is a member of a close-knit Danish community and works at a local kindergarten. Divorced, he struggles to maintain a relationship with his teenage son, who lives with his ex-wife. Lucas enjoys wholesome interaction with the children at the kindergarten, one of the kindergarten pupils being Klara, the daughter of his best friend Theo. Mostly neglected by her parents, Klara develops a crush on Lucas, and one day she puts a heart-shaped ornament into his coat pocket, then gives him a kiss on the lips. After Lucas rebuffs the kiss, Klara's feelings are hurt. Drawing on a memory of a pornographic picture her older brother showed her, she makes comments that lead the kindergarten director to believe Lucas indecently exposed himself to her. When interviewed with leading questions, Klara gives unclear testimony against Lucas. The adults in the community believe the director's story of abuse, dismissing Klara's later contradictions as denial. Lucas is shunned by the community as a paedophile and sexual predator. His friendship with Theo is destroyed, and his teenage son is publicly ostracised. 

The Acting:
With Mads Mikkelsen in the main lead, the acting of each character in the film is raw and intense. This is essentially a one-man show. While supporting cast members are all up to the challenge, Lucas is on on screen virtually every moment of the movie and its overall success rises or falls on his believability. Mikkelsen's delicately underplayed characterization of a man under fire likely won't be appreciated or understood by all viewers. His restrained performance is remarkable and does much to make The Hunt a haunting, memorable experience. Among the children, Annika Wedderkopp's portrayal of Klara is frighteningly brilliant. She steals every scene she's in.

The Message:
The Hunt is a Danish film, and as it is usually with Scandinavian (and the majority of European) films, it is unflinching and doesn't mince matters. So if you are used to commercial, airbrushed Hollywood movies, this film will definitely change your view on cinematography altogether. What really grabbed me about The Hunt is that it really has the power to convey real feelings to the viewer without dramatizing or sugar-coating. It is a very difficult, touchy, controversial subject - I mean, how would you react if a/your child told you it had been harassed by her kindergarten teacher, even though this teacher is your best friend and denies the crime? And even though you feel like screaming at some characters sometimes ("What are you doing? Open your eyes! Listen!"), the great thing is that you always understand where each character is coming from - you might not agree with their actions, but nothing they do feels forced or unrealistic. Overall, the film manages not to take one side over another, making the point that there isn't really any "bad guys" in the film, just people on opposite sides of one coin. And it leaves you wondering, what would you do?
 
Maisy rates: 9/10 


Listened toLight Of The Seven - Game of Thrones (Ramin Djawadi)



So, the season finale of Game of Thrones season 6 was pretty epic. After last season's lull, GOT has finally got its old pace back, and I'm excited for next year!

This very particular soundtrack was very un-GOT-like, as it largely consists of piano, which is unusual for the series, and it doesn't contain any character theme that would give away the upcoming action.

The few other songs I listened to last month:

Alaska by Maggie Rogers
Astronaut by SIDO ft. Andreas Bourani 
The Rose (Beauty and the Beast Teaser Music) by The Hit House


Oh and another favourite is definitely Teri who featured this post on herCelebrate It! Party - thank you so much :)
  
 


Maisy



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