This is the last beginning. I will not move forward from here. Draw the line, straight and perfect, use the ink I bleed from my fingertips. Onto your skin, into your head, and out of your heart. Dig in and hold the line, retreat is not an option. It's too late. The light continues. Won't you stop and listen to me? Manipulate the King and move the Queen. Checkmate. I've failed. Nothing I say will tell me the truth. I lie to you every day but I refuse to see it myself. Timeless.
The movie won for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction and was nominated for Best Picture (Hamlet won), Best Original Screenplay (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre won), and Best Film Editing (The Naked City won). I like knowing how a movie fits in the time period it was released.
The plot is reminiscent of its source material and ends up reflecting real life. If you’re unaware of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, a spoiled selfish woman falls in love with an enchanted pair of shoes. Isn’t that how all great stories start? Anyways, they’re not so much enchanted, as they end up being cursed. So, she dances and she basically dances until she dies. Go read the original.
We meet Victoria Page – an unknown dancer from an aristocratic family. She manages to secure a spot in the corps de ballet for Ballet Lermontov, where she catches the eye of the director, Boris Lermontov. Based on her dance in Swan Lake, he decides to make her the star of his adaptation of The Red Shoes in Paris. Lermontov places these insane rules upon her like making the composer Julian play the score for her during her meals. Her dancing is very rough around the edges, but this is a huge opportunity for an unknown like her.
As it is, their opening night is a great success. The film devotes a good portion of the movie to staging The Red Shoes. This is my favorite sequence in the whole film. We spend so much time getting emotionally invested in the rehearsing of the play, one can only hope we can see bits and pieces. We see the whole thing! The medium of a film made it easy to consume the play too. When you see something in a theatrical production, you’re stuck seeing the story through the limitations of the proscenium arch (or whatever). Being able to see The Red Shoes with the camera behaving as it was made the whole sequence ring more emotionally true. You’re focused on camera angles that you wouldn’t see if you saw it live.
As they were rehearsing for The Red Shoes, Vicky and Julian fall in love, discovered by Lermontov – who has also grown to love Vicky – fires Julian. Vicky follows him. Later, Lermontov tells her that he’s bringing The Red Shoes to London, and wants her to dance the principal role again. She’s then caught between two worlds: dancing on stage where she belongs, working for an admittedly brilliant beast like Lermontov or living as a housewife for Julian, while he pursues his career and puts her own to the side.
She does choose dancing, but the power of the enchanted red shoes is too much for her. She tries to kill herself by leaping in front of the train Julian was going to leave on. She does somehow survive, the implication being she will never dance again, or may die later. Lermontov goes ahead with staging The Red Shoes for the people who were waiting for Vicky, using a spotlight where she would’ve been dancing. As she’s surrounded by a crowd of people that witnessed her almost suicide, she asks Julian to remove the cursed red shoes, bringing the story full circle.
In regards to the Oscars it won, I’m inclined to agree. The score for The Red Shoes was absolutely luscious. Never was it more evident than in the ballet sequence. I was so taken and wrapped up in the story. But the art direction? Whew. Blew me away. All in all, a wonderful film to enjoy.
American bookstore ninja/Darcy fangirl runs into Mr. Darcy in modern times on his own turf. Hi-jinks ensue. It’s amazing the impact Jane Austen has had on literature, how many times her storylines have been retold and redone even today. I’m not a hopelessly obsessive fangirl, but I do recognize her significance to literature and women’s studies. You’d be a fool not to acknowledge at least that.
In “Me & Mr. Darcy,” the protagonist Emily is so obsessed with Jane Austen that she goes on a book tour with a bunch of old ladies, retracing the steps of Austen’s life and career in and around Bath, England. She’s so deep in her obsession with all things Jane that towards the end she sees that her trip has parallels of “Pride & Prejudice” itself. There’s a Jane, a Mr. Darcy, Georgiana, and a Mr. Wickham, but not in the way that you might think.
There’s even a subplot where she hallucinates meeting Mr. Darcy several times throughout the course of the book! Let’s think about the implications of that subplot. We ALL want a Mr. Darcy for ourselves, but in actuality, he would never fit in with the modern world. In his day, women were only wives and mothers, nothing more.
Emily’s perfect vision of her own Darcy is pretty much put to bed when she realizes this. Sure, we want that handsome, rich, chivalrous man that simply does not exist in our time – if it ever did – but would we want to leave behind our modern lives for the life of Elizabeth Bennett?
Women were either servants or made to be married off. Very rarely were they able to be anything more? I’d much rather read about life in Regency England than to live in it. Although Emily makes the observation along the lines of you can’t miss what you’ve never had.
Have you ever found yourself talking but not understanding what you were saying? Like it was all on autopilot? like your skin is not your skin? Your lips were not yours? This is my life.
Found this poem in my papers. This was borne out of a time where I merely existed but did not live. I wasn’t confident about the path I was on. So instead of rebelling (which I should have done), I endured. My advice, if you’re going through a similar crisis of consciousness, is to take the rebel route. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.
I was interested in this film because Girls Aloud did a couple of songs on their soundtrack: “Theme to St Trinians” and “On My Way to Satisfaction.” Both were such great songs, I wanted to know how they worked within the context of the movie.
I loved it, from beginning to end. I wasn’t sure what to expect even though I spoiled myself with the Wiki entry and parsing through the old comics by Ronald Searle.
I saw loads of familiar faces: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Russell Brand, Talulah Riley, Gemma Arterton, Lily Cole, Lena Headey, Fenella Woolgar, Celia Imrie, Stephen Fry, Anna Chancellor, Mischa Barton, Nathaniel Parker, and Jeffrey Thompson. I had to go back and make sure I got everyone.
I loved the little nods to Colin Firth’s turn as Mr. Darcy. Miss Fritton’s dog was named Mr. Darcy and after Colin’s character falls in a pond, he walks out with a wet, white, translucent t-shirt. Every Colin Firth movie is an allusion to other Colin Firth movies.
My little feminist inner flag-waver was pleased to see how refreshing it was to see girls committing crimes rather than boys. We expect boys to be the masterminds of anarchy but the girls really took to their source material. Of course, if boys are committing anarchy and committed to a boarding school for fuck-ups, it would be a drama. But if it’s girls, we make light of it and do a comedy.
Summary: Buffy and Angel introduce Harry and Ron to the joys of vampire slaying.
Timeline: “Deleted scene” from episode 1.6.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and related characters belong to JK Rowling and related entities. Buffy and Angel belong to Joss Whedon and Co. Made-ups are mine and mine alone.
Night had fallen on Hogsmeade.
Protected from prying eyes beneath James Potter’s Invisibility Cloak, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley surreptitiously snuck out of the rambling Hogwarts castle to make good on a promise. Buffy Summers, an American vampire slayer and her ex-boyfriend Angel (who happened to be a vampire himself), agreed to teach them the basics of vampire slaying.
I first heard about the story from a Babysitter’s Club book. True story. I think it was from one of Stacey’s books. So when I saw it at my used bookstore, Twice Sold Tales, I snapped it up for cheap.
Patricia Ann Bergen is a 12-year-old Jewish girl living in wartime Arkansas. I guess it was customary to send POWs to America during World War II. I have never heard of such a policy before. But the author, Bette Greene, based it on her childhood in the South. So I assume she actually went through or knew someone who did go through what Patty did.
She is a lonely girl. She is the bane of her parents’ existence. She makes up fanciful stories as 12-year-olds are wont to do. She hates wearing dresses, and her hair is always a mess. Her father is not affectionate with her, and hair-trigger abusive. Her aloof and beautiful mother constantly compares Patty’s looks to her baby sister Sharon, and worries about her figure. Sharon looks like their mother but is completely unaware of the power that she holds because of it. The Bergens run a department store in town, and leave the house to be tended by their black maid, Ruth.
She has no real friends. The girls she was semi-friends with at school are at Bible camp for the summer. Her parents didn’t want her to go to Bible camp, even though she swore to lie about loving Jesus and everything. So when she meets Fredrick Anton Reiker in her parents’ store by chance, she thinks it’s a dream come true. She believes she has made a friend.
Anton speaks perfect English and is articulate and educated. He also behaves nothing like a soldier that they say he was. Patty was conditioned – as many other people were during that time – to believe that all Nazis were the worst of their stereotype. She meets him and questions what she was told. Being 12 years old, you are at that odd age when you don’t take what you’re told at face value but trust your instincts more.
Using a bit of skill, Anton escapes from the POW camp and runs across Patty again. Patty harbors him in a boarded-up garage owned by her family that doubled as her hideout for a few days. Their friendship blossoms, but it’s perfectly innocent. I’d like to think Patty matured greatly from meeting Anton. He exposed her to great authors in their short time together and made her feel worthwhile.
When Anton realizes it’s time to move on, he does so at great peril. A careless mistake Patty made casts a cloud of suspicion over her family to the point where the small-town mentality becomes its stereotype. I don’t want to spoil it. But it’s sad what the townsfolk do to the Bergens.
At the heart of it, it’s a coming-of-age story about a misunderstood girl. As such, the ending was unsatisfying to me. It left me wanting closure. But what was so unique was that I didn’t expect one. Does that make sense? I mean, there weren’t any redeeming qualities about the characters that made me feel as though they were capable of improving. No one listens to 12-year-olds. There was no chance in hell Patty had of fixing the wrongs in her life. No way, none. The ending is emotionally brutal in that sense.
The book is more suited for young adults. I’m sure if I had read it when I was younger it would have had a greater effect on me than it does in my mid-twenties. I would recommend it to girls Patty’s age and those who are struggling with their identity.