You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...


-Walt Whitman


3.12.12

winter and autumn





For now, you are winter


And so I flow into you, for I am autumn-


A time where leaves fall and time itself changes color


And color itself melts into nothingness


To give way to the purity of winter-


Where nothingness becomes a blank canvas- 


A time to start anew, 


Filling the crystal air with the promise of rebirth.



co-written by: Arni Magdamo




---
The line "For now, I am winter," the title of Olafur Arnald's album, led to a mentally stimulating night with my college professor.





21.10.12

a secret place


I WATCHED YOU change color - from red, to orange, and then to green - as did the stoplight that hovered over us. You were gazing at the stars and talking of how they seemed to be chaotically placed on the night's blank black expanse. And that you feel insignificant whenever you look at the majesty above, whenever daylight retreats, and shadows creep in. I would have said 'You are not insignificant' but you told me to just keep silent for a while. To be alone with each other because you wanted to fade away. To where, I did not know. It must be a magical place I thought - a place you've read from somewhere, or a moment from a page of the book you were currently reading. I wished I knew where you were, and I ached a little - because I did not know there was a better place - you and me, lying on that isolated road one summer night.


And then, i felt your hand in mine, fingers as warm as the hard rough surface underneath us - the same moment you changed color again - into red.

Somehow, I knew we owned that window in time. No one would take that empty street. There would be no headlights to overpower the soft light from a lamp post a block away.

Orange. 

You detached your eyes from the heavens and look at mine as I felt your grip tighten, on my hand, my words, my breaths. And then you smiled at me, like I have never seen you smile before.

"You are not insignificant." I whispered, so soft that I barely heard it.

And then you said, "There is no better place."

Green. 

I inched closer until the last remaining space between us disappeared. I kissed you. And you kissed me back - the kind of kiss that penetrates through my walls into my inner rooms where no one have never been before. And in that moment, the world has forgotten about us. I was in your secret place and faded away with you.







Photo by: Wasn't Here.

12.10.12

breathe me




Be my friend.




Hold me.



Wrap me up.



Unfold me.



I am small,



And needy.



Warm me up.



Breathe me.







- "Breathe Me" by Sia






27.9.12

the perks of watching "perks"


I REALLY THINK there are books that are not supposed to be adapted into films, that there are stories that speak most loudly within the silent confines of the written word, and I thought "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky was one of them,

...that is until I watched it and walked away from the theater with a stupid grin.

'Perks,' the book, is a very simple read written in a minimalist style. You can read it in one sitting. The story is simple - a coming-of-age story where the protagonist, Charlie, a very shy 15-year-old, tries to find himself in the hostile social climate of his first year in high school...and then he met friends who let him in (Surprise! Surprise!) The concept is not that original. We have read about it, watched about it (like a lot), but what makes this particular story really special?

This book's strength lies in sentimentality. It is a very intimate and personal read, and if you're a shy and socially awkward guy or girl, you could easily identify with Charlie's character from the very first lines alone. I know I did. There are these big ideas, crucial even, that are delivered in a simple, straight-forward way, and how a confused teenager would muse them. It somehow reminds me of the things I used to muse about when I was growing up; back to the time before the advent of the internet, to the world of mix tapes, handwritten letters, and 90's love songs. I made a list of the books Charlie was reading and currently building up a Charlie playlist (Asleep by the Smiths and Landslide by Fleetwood Mac are my favorites).  Funny, sometimes dark, and full of heart, 'Perks' is one of those books you wish you have read back in the times of your youth.

Now that it is now translated into a film, it's impossible not to compare the two media. Fortunately, I am done with my "book purist" phase, so the risk of being disappointed has gone down.

One thing that worked for this film was the screenplay, and there was no better person to write it for the big screen than the author itself, Stephen. Being a movie buff, I do think the greatest movies are the ones that were directed and written by the same person, Dancer in the Dark (2000) by Lars von Trier and Memento (2000) by Christopher Nolan to name a few. I think the novel being an epistolary and its simplistic style gave Stephen a breathing space to work with, like the story now could breathe in film - the pieces left to the imagination are projected before your eyes.

Chbosky's characters are so colorful, and full of personality. The main cast really did a great job. But one of them really stood out - Patrick (Ezra Miller). He is simply epic! Who would've thought he was the same psycho kid from Let's Talk About Kevin (2011) and made Tilda Swinton's life a living hell? In the book, he was very subtle as a gay character, but in this movie, he was gayest as can be! He's a very versatile actor. Let's now talk about her sister. I WANT TO talk about Sam, played by Emma Watson. :) I am very thankful that she played the role; otherwise, I would've just resorted to waiting for a decent download. The first time she appeared on the screen, I swear I was grinning from ear-to-ear, teeth reflecting light from the screen. Anyway, watching her movies as the witty, beautiful witch Hermione in the Harry Potter films, and seeing her now taking on a different role (without an English accent!), I think she has really matured in her craft. Logan Lerman (Charlie), at the other end, really redeemed himself with this one after that 'Lightning Thief' stint. I have read from somewhere that he actually locked himself in his room for weeks to get an idea of what's it like being 'alone.' And it was worth it. He gave a brilliant performance. The "snow angel" scene was powerful. It takes only a few frames, but the way he spread his arms and how pain was etched on his face...I really felt like he wanted to escape, to disappear.

I am very particular with music, especially with films. Music is a form of art more potent when set along brilliant photography. The tunnel scene was beautifully shot. But there is one scene, at the party when he was hallucinating (?), when everything appeared psychedelic. I like how the music and the pace of the images lengthened and stretched the moment. I somehow doubt that that is how it feels like or looks like, being drugged. Michael Brook's score is post-rocky. Post-rock is a beautiful genre of music. Here is the track list for the OST. Will someone leak this already!? This soundtrack makes you really nostalgic.  

1. The Samples - Could It Be Another Change
2. Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
3. Galaxie 500 - Tugboat
4. New Order - Temptation
5. The Innocence Mission - Evensong
6. The Smiths - Asleep
7. Cracker - Low
8. Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot
9. XTC - Dear God
10. Cocteau Twins - Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops
11. Michael Brook - Charlie's Last Letter
12. David Bowie – Heroes.

Anyway, this film is feel-good and awesome and all, but if I were the director I would've made a few changes: (1) I would've cut the last few frames and let it all end with Charlie, arms outstretched at the tunnel at the crescendo of Michael Brook's last score. It would've been much better if the screen went dark and your lungs are filled with air...and then you exhale. (2) Too many kisses, especially between Sam and Charlie. It somehow diminishes the significance of their first kiss.

I think that's all about it  Whew. It feels good to let it all out of my system. 'Perks' garnered an 80% Certified Fresh rating in Rotten Tomatoes :) I really don't recommend this. Haha.










24.9.12

()


IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME that it was possible. That you could break the heart of a person you've never even met. And for that I feel terrible, powerless. It is one of those moments when you wish that the stars hold our wills, our fates; when you wish you're somebody else. Where is the beauty in that?





18.3.12

a kamikaze's letter



“As I write this letter, the ocean breeze feels cool on my skin; the very ocean is soon to be my grave. They tell me I will die a hero; that the safety and honor of my country will be the reward for my sacrifice. I pray they are right. My only regret in life is never telling you how I feel. I wish I were back home. I wish I were holding your hand. I wish I were telling you that I have loved you and only you since I was a boy. But I am not. I see now that death is easy. It is love that is hard. As my plane dives, I will not see the face of my enemies. I will only, instead, see your eyes, like black rocks frozen in rain water. They tell us that we must scream, “Banzai” as we plunge into our target. I will instead whisper your name and in death, as in life, I will remain forever yours."


- Hiroshi, Restless (2011)








15.2.12

justin vernon's speech



"It's really hard to accept this award. There is so much talent out here on the stage; there is a lot of talent that is not here tonight. It's also hard to accept because when I started to make songs, I did it for the inherent reward making songs..."




I am thrilled that Bon Iver, a folk indie band, pulls up an upset to win a Grammy (Best New Artist), toppling down J. Cole, The Band Perry, Nicki Minaj, and Skrillerz. Good music, once again, broke through the almost impenetrable walls of mainstream music, so I guess it is understandable that people who are estranged to this kind of music are in outrage, which I think is quite amusing. :P I am rejoicing while some Nicki Minaj fan wallows in confusion and disbelief, lashing out his wounded feelings into a Bonny Bear forum.

I watched the Grammys last night and out of all the winners, Justin Vernon's speech, I think, was the most sincere, boldest, and the only one which sounded like a speech you would expect from a genuine artist. Some say, it's pretentious. Some say he despises the Grammy Awards, but in my opinion, he really meant every word that came out of his mouth. I felt like he was receiving that award in behalf of all the unsung artists of independent music. He was uncomfortable receiving the award because, out there, a lot of talent is not recognized and will never be recognized through mainstream standards, yet he was there. It was also hard for him to receive the award because to the artist, the craft, the artistry is the essence of it all; the act of expressing oneself for the satisfaction of making art, and recognition, in a way, betrays it.



10.1.12

basta


I am really happy for you. I really am. Although, I have to admit, a secret place where I have kept you all this time is collapsing in itself, and for the first time, I was able to step beyond the line which you have drawn, and which I should have crossed a long time ago. And now, all I have is the memory of you-the faint tug on my sleeve, the fleeting sensation between my lips and your face, your hand in my clammy hands, your name resounding and fading through and back the thin sheet of rain, the fantasy hanging on my wall set in waves of water-washed colors.

I may not be able to convince you, because this is a truth embedded beneath the deepest limits of my consciousness, so out of reach like a  memory of a dream fading into the distance.  Even I cannot summon a smile to convince myself that what I am saying is true.  But I know it is, because in the end, the thought of you having found happiness is all what matters to me. You have wandered beyond and away from the divide we have made for each other. I pray I would have the heart to do the same. You will always be my first love, because even if I get lost to the ends of the earth, or whoever I meet, to love is to remember you and your subtlest ways that opened a window to true, innocent, and pure happiness.

Thank you for such a beautiful gift.



-Basta






7.1.12

she went quietly


Another reason to update my TV series playlist.

 

She went quietly.
She didn't make a sound.
She went quietly
With the wish not to be found.
She went quietly without a word of where.
Just a note that wrote: "Forgetting is easier."


- She Went Quietly, Charlie Winston