“You can’t let yourself go free when you’re speaking a foreign language. To be honest, to be real, to be able to express yourself really openly, have it in mind that you’re speaking a language that doesn’t mean anything to you because you haven’t had a life experience with it. So many of the words just have alphabetic meanings.” -Javier Bardem

I promise that the above quote has more to do with its meaning and less to do with my growing obsession with   recent fixation on new found appreciation of Javier Bardem. Sort of.

I just finished watching Biutiful, which stars Bardem, and can be found on Netflix instant. It’s an absolutely foreign language film, and it transcends all language barriers. (Thank God, though, for subtitles.) I don’t watch many foreign language films simply because they’re in a foreign language. I don’t mean this in an ethnocentric, my language is better than your language way. I mean it in a much is lost in translation way.

I’m not fluent in Spanish, nor do I pretend to be. That being said, my eyes were glued to the subtitles because I wanted to know exactly what was being said. With Biutiful, though, I could tell what was happening even if I hadn’t read the subtitles. The acting in this film is literally that strong. It didn’t matter whether or not I spoke Spanish. All that mattered was that I understood Uxbal and his motivations.

I’m rambling about the film because it meshes with the quote seamlessly. What I loved the most about Biutiful was how relaxed Javier was. He knew exactly what he was saying, and he knew exactly the weight of the words. He was free. He was real. He was flawless.

That being said, there is something lost in translation. Those moments I spent reading and then internalizing the subtitles took away from truly experiencing the movie. That isn’t any fault of the filmmaker; it’s caused by a language barrier. If I’d been fluent in Spanish, I would have been able to watch the film as I do any film in English. Somehow, I enjoyed having to read the subtitles. I liked having to work harder to understand the point. So much of the film is built on emotion, and emotion translates to all languages.

I guess what I’m saying is that language is a beautiful thing. It brings us together and it keeps us apart. But experiencing another language, even if you don’t fully understand it, is always worth it. Always.

“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.”- Bill Watterson

I’m a terrible blogger. Go on, say it. I know you’re thinking it. I certainly am. Life just has a way of imploding when you need everything to go right, doesn’t it?

First of all, I’m behind on my NaNo project. I don’t mean 2k or even 10k behind. I mean I’m 40k behind. I have a grand total of about 7,500 words written, and I’m absolutely frustrated with myself. It’s not that I don’t love the project; I do. I started with a novel that I fell in love with when outlining, but when I started writing, I hit a wall immediately. I switched projects, and I had no problem getting the words out. But recently, it’s been one thing after the other. (My road test-passed the second time, thank God, my mother’s surgery, an AP paper, a short film, and an Honors history book/paper/project.) I know I should always find time to write, but there just hasn’t been time. I’ve tried.

I know it’s possible for people to join NaNo around this time and manage to pull out 50,000 by the end of the month, so hopefully I’ll pull through. I have no school for the next couple of days, so I’ll stay up all night and see what I can get done.

Secondly, tomorrow is the anniversary of JFK’s assassination. I believe this is the first year that I’ve become aware of it, and I’ll be sure to take a moment of silence. He’s come to mean so much to me over the last couple of months, and I’m so lucky that I’ve really started studying him in earnest. He is truly a remarkable man.

Thirdly; Skyfall. I won’t say too much about it if you haven’t seen it, but please do yourself a favor and get to the movies this break. I saw it with my friends on Sunday, and we’re talking about it. I went in with mixed expectations because I didn’t fancy Craig as Bond, but he completely shattered my expectations. He was phenomenal, as was the rest of the cast. I have a thing for villains, and Raoul Silva (or Tiago Rodriguez, take your pick) did not disappoint. I understand that he’s the villain and he should lose and we should hate him, but he was so real. He had a backstory, and he had a reason for wanting to stick it to MI6. Javier Bardem played him so well that I’m actually afraid of him now.

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Please enjoy the above gif of Bardem.

All in all, I hope that everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving, and if you don’t celebrate it, have a nice weekend all the same. As for me, I’ll be cradling my coffee and writing until six am.

“We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.”- Patrick Rothfuss

Halloween has come and (pretty much) went by now. The clock is ticking down to NaNo, and I can’t wait to start. Sleep will have to wait tonight; I’ve been preparing, and I will not get behind. (Not until the middle of the third week, anyway.)

I live on the east coast, though, and no one has quite felt like celebrating since Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, we have power, the majority of my friends have power, and no one that I know has lost their lives or had their property damaged. That being said, New York City and the shore are wrecked. The amount of devastation is absolutely horrible, and I hate seeing the pictures. I hate natural disasters. They terrify me, because no matter how great we claim to be, we aren’t bigger or better than nature. Nature will not be controlled.

That being said, Halloween in New Jersey has officially been moved to next Monday, November 5th. The governor said so and everything. I usually don’t go out anymore, anyway, but I do miss my candy. (We usually go over to a friend’s house, eat candy, order takeout, and watch Disney on VHS.) It’s a little surreal, though, not to see little kids in their costumes running down the street.

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But here, have this picture of the Kennedys. (I’ll always find a way to connect them to everything.) November is also the month of the assassination, so I’ll be taking a break from NaNo to pay my respects.

In terms of NaNo, I have my alphasmart at the ready (it’s on sale for the next few days, and if you’re a writer, you’d better invest now!), plenty of coffee, tea, candy corn, chocolate, and apples to keep myself alive for the next month. I can hardly wait until twelve. Good luck in NaNo, and try to get some sleep before the madness descends.