Monday, August 27, 2007

When language fails

On Friday we watched Babel, a "strange" little film which happens to be a masterpiece. Or at least one of those films that will be either loved or hated, with no "yeah, but" in between. I happen to love it.

To me it seems like a tale about communication (or lack thereof), diversity and understanding. Babel comes from the Hebrew word Balal, meaning "to confuse" or "to confound". The film is composed by 4 intertwined stories taking place in 4 different parts of the world: the border between the US and Mexico, Morocco and Tokyo. The protagonists of these micro-stories are all linked by a weapon, and for some of them, their lives will be irremediably changed.

4 languages are heard throughout the film. The characters all have their own issues in dealing with the world: an American couple separated after the death of a baby and now holidaying in Morocco, a Moroccan family where one of the kids had just shot a bus by an unfortunate accident, a Japanese girl who is deaf-mute, has recently lost her Mom and strives in interacting with her own Father, that same accidental shooting in Morocco that now risks to become an international crisis, two American kids going to a wedding in Mexico with their Nanny, the Nanny being arrested for crossing the border "illegally" and unable to communicate with the US authorities in equal terms, the same American couple united by tragedy and now striving to understand each other, and so on. Depressing situations, sad outcomes, one misunderstanding after another.

The actors were excellent (especially Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barraza), conveying the excruciating pain of being misunderstood and not being able to communicate themselves properly. It's sad to see Chieko desperately trying too have sex and attract the guys - who seem to be repelled by her being a deaf-mute. For her, in her own silent world, words do not work - it becomes clear in the night club scene. She has no words for people around her and, when she flashes her "hairy monster", it's like she is trying to make love to that same world that rejects her, trying to make herself comprehended by other means. If words cannot be said and thus, understood, then her actions may.

It's also hard to see Richard (the American guy played by Brad Pitt) trying to shout and be understood in the little Moroccan village in the middle of the desert, while his wife risks to bleed to death. Or when the Moroccan boys escape with their Dad thinking the American woman "has died". Or Amelia being questioned and humiliated by the US authorities. It can be quite uneasy.

Sad and depressing it is, but nonetheless worth seeing. Not for entertainment, not for fun, but as something that must be seen, because it shows how things happen and how people involved in these events may be connected, for good or bad.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Theoty by Shiseido (Bénéfique)

Adam sent me some samples of this lipstick, Theoty Bénéfique by Shiseido. My favourite colour must be the one in the picture, nr. 58, a brown, coppery nude shade, very warm and shimmery. The texture is amazing, and it stays for quite some time.

One of the things I love about Shiseido is the variety of lines and the amazing design of the items. Pity we don't have most of these wonders here in this region (they are Asia exclusive).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I love Amy! Awww....

This cute, adorable, precious little girl is... Amy Winehouse! Or should I say WineMouse? Heee! I found it in some web news, due to her gone in rehab (for real, I mean). Isn't she lovely? Yeah, I know it sounds pretty much like the Stevie Wonder song, but what a cutie! The same face as today's! People talk and talk about her, but I think she is just amazing. They talk about her beehive, her eye liner, how tiny thin she is, but let's face it: she is amazing, she sings like the oldies, classical ladies of Song, she is the best these days. I agree she looked gorgeous by the time of the 1st CD, Frank. And although I prefer Back to Black, she is not looking as stunning as she was then. But I love her for her quirkiness, and her vulnerability. She is a girl with problems, and she admits it. One must only admire her.

Reminiscing now... I once dressed up as a Mouse too. Not Minnie, but Mickey Mouse. I was much older than Amy though. 19 or 20, er, a bit too old for the part, I admit. It was a costume party and I went my Mum and my Stepfather, Paulo Boneff. I had black tights, a large denim short, a man's shirt (Paulo's), big round shoes, a black ribbon as a tail, white satin gloves, a nose painted just like Amy's and my Mickey Mouse hat. Why was that so memorable? Well, Paulo drank lots and lots and got seriously stoned. He was a huge man and I was scared because he was moving and shouting like a troll. I started to cry, and the only thing I remember is how black my poor satin gloves become 'cause I cried and wiped my face, cried and wiped my nose, cried and rubbed my face (including my very own rodent's nose) with my impeccable rodent's satin gloves! Everything was OK in the end, of course. But it was something I never forgot!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sexy Swimwear (huh?)

... Mmmkay then... I found this while browsing the web. It's priceless, really. And unbelievable. But, no, wait. It is for real. Swimwear that preserves "your modesty". With culottes, sleeves and all you need to look, well, unique (to say the least)... And moronic - to say the cruel truth:

But, what really disturbs me is that the pics in the website all show under age girls, sort of pre-pubescent, long-haired average all-American kids (and Caucasian, exclusively). Apparently their objective is to emphasize the "face"... No boys aimed either - and they show much more "flesh" in the beach, for that matter. As you can see, no diversity allowed. At all.

(Entertaining, nonetheless!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad Boy Bonzo

This cute postcard dates from 1931 and was sent to my Dad by one of his sisters. I managed to scan it and it looks quite good. It is Bonzo, an extremely cute and vivacious dog who - apparently - was always involved in some sort of misadventure.

I wonder what kind of dog he is: a mutt, a shar-pei or a bull terrier? Whatever he is, it's way to cute, no?

Friday, August 03, 2007

The last few days... (and some drawings)

I haven't been feeling too well the last few days. I think I have a hay fever because my eyes are itchy, my nose congested and sometimes bleeding, and also very itchy. It is very annoying hto have an itchy nose, believe me! No, frankly now, since I came back from Rio, I haven't been well enough. I hope I will feel better soon and resume my activities, such as going to the gym and sitting down to draw a bit - once again.

It's not like I am lazy and long for staying in bed. I love staying in bed and sleeping, it's true, but not all the time, while things happen outside, most importantly, while time goes by so quickly. In this sense, MS has been quite a debilitating factor in my life. As for drawing, I have been thinking a lot about re-starting. Will it be OK? I mean, will I be able to draw again? Is it something that gets "lost" when you age? It used to be easy for me some years ago. Then I stopped and, now, when I want to go back, I am not sure I will be able to. It sort of freaks me out the idea of not being able any more. I guess I can only know if I try. Obvious. But, what if I don't succeed? How will I cope? It's true that my vision is not what it used to be neither...

Here are some examples of my art work. These were part of a Tarot deck, and I really enjoyed doing it. But that was like 18 years ago. Will I be able to do something like that again? I only wish...

They represent the 4 suits of a Tarot deck (and of a normal deck of cards) and its corresponding elements:
  • Clubs - element Fire, first drawing from left to right...
  • Hearts - or Cups, element Water, 2nd drawing...
  • Diamonds - element Earth, 3rd drawing on bottom row...
  • Spades - element Air, the last one.
I miss a plan right now. Maybe coming back to it should be one of my plans, from now on.