October 2010

Rabbit Hole

Random Musing
Rabbit Hole Trailer:

Nicole Kidman has a new movie coming out later this year. Rabbit Hole - based on the David Lindsay-Abaire play - will be in limited release December 17th and in wide release January 14th. So basically it'll be in New York and maybe LA on the 17th, while the rest of the US waits for the new year.

I'm a huge Nicole Kidman fan - I've quite literally seen all of her movies. I actually liked Bewitched (she starred and Nora Ephron wrote and directed - pretty great combo in my opinion), and even sat through The Invasion (which really was horrible). It doesn't matter if critics are ripping it apart (which has been the case for a while now sadly. Her last critically well received film was Cold Mountain in 2003), I will definitely want to see it. Positive critical response just means I get "justifiably" excited. And Rabbit Hole has already been getting lots of awards buzz. It's supposed to be really great.

My last bout of real movie excitement revolved around Never Let Me Go, which I finally got to see a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, it wasn't very good. It had beautiful cinematography and a great cast, but the screenplay was just awful. I honestly think that if I hadn't read the book beforehand I would have been really confused. The movie actually seemed to under-utilize its actors also. I felt like they were barely in the movie, which is strange when it's a character-driven plot and you have talent like Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan.

Okay, Never Let Me Go mini rant over. My point is just that the last movie I was excited about proved disappointing. In fact, the last few movies I've been excited about have proved disappointing. Never Let Me Go, Alice in Wonderland, and Nine were all thoroughly mediocre. I'm hoping that Rabbit Hole finally breaks the pattern. Expect an update mid January. Only two and a half months to go. Sigh.

A Fairy Tale

"The Princess of the Green Valley"
     Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a small kingdom nestled in a green valley. It was a prosperous, peaceful kingdom which was ruled with loving care by its young King and Queen. These kind rulers were adored by their loyal subjects who wished them every possible happiness. And indeed the King and Queen had almost everything they could desire, for they loved their kingdom almost as much as they loved one another. Only one inestimable thing was missing from their lives: a child and royal heir to the throne. And as time passed, the years slowly giving way to decades, the chance that there ever would be one seemed to fade away.
     Then one dark stormy night, a small cry broke through the silence that had long ago descended on the royal castle. Steadied by the years, their noble visages faintly lined and their hair touched with grey, the King and Queen were finally blessed with a daughter. The delicate little princess was as pale as her curls were dark, and her eyes were the mild gold of honey. Her tiny presence was everything the King and Queen had ever dared hope for. To them she was perfect, the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen. And they named her Adrienne.
     To commemorate the birth of their new daughter, the monarchs held a grand ball in her honor. One to which every nobleman and woman of the kingdom was invited. To this extensive guest list, two more special persons – unable to lay claim to any of the numerous titles of nobility - were included: the Witches Meridan.
     Two sisters, Parthenia and Penelope Meridan, were among the most feared and respected persons of the green valley. They had resided in their small cottage, tucked into a corner of the kingdom, for many many years. So long that there was not a single individual in the kingdom who could recall a time or age when their presence in the valley had been missed. The witches lived modestly, inconspicuously, living so as not to draw attention to themselves; a futile act as the valley’s residents could not help but watch them in fascination. A fascination which had led to the surprising and slightly uncomfortable discovery that throughout their many years of living within the valley, the sisters had not aged but even one day. To look upon the Witches Meridan was to look upon eternal youth, the only visible sign of their incredible magic.
     It was this magic that the King and Queen called upon during Adrienne’s ball. They had invited the Witches Meridan to the ball foremost out of respect and a desire to avoid insulting them, but in the midst of the festivities the Queen peered down at her daughter with loving eyes and could not help but wish there was a means of guaranteeing her happiness in this hard world. It was at that moment that she came upon a wonderful idea which could only find fruition with the aid of the Witches Meridan.
     The Queen asked the two witches if they would be so kind as to grant her a favor in regards to Princess Adrienne. Being really most obliging individuals, Penelope and Parthenia promised almost immediately to carry out the Queen’s request without question, whatever it may be, so long as it was within their power.
     The Queen was quite pleased by their alacrity and she said, looking all the while at the tiny princess, “I would like her to have happiness in the future.” Though she spoke softly, her words managed to carry to every corner of the hall. “Happiness such as that which I have been so fortunate to have found.” She and the King smiled at once another before she turned her full attention to the witches. “I want to guarantee she find love in the future,” she concluded warmly.
     Parthenia and Penelope exchanged a troubled glance which went unnoticed by every other individual in the large hall. Bound by their unwise promise to not question the Queen’s request, Parthenia said hesitantly, in a clear sweet voice which was as young as she herself appeared, “Your highnesses are requesting that we guarantee that Princess Adrienne find love in this lifetime?”
     “True love,” the Queen clarified. She smiled trustingly at the witches. “Happiness.”
     Penelope spoke then, her lovely voice carefully calm. “Guarantee she find true love?” When the King and Queen nodded once again, she could only say sadly, “So be it.”
     Penelope turned to Parthenia and the two witches locked mournful eyes, sharing their thoughts with one another, searching for a means to do as both the Queen wished and appease their own consciences. Alas, the witches could only think of one almost negligible way to do so. Though unhappy with what they must do, the witches began to speak in unison and bright lights enveloped the little princess.

             “Darling Adrienne, maiden of royalty born,
             By desire of loving parents
             Who in this world found such happiness,
             We, the Witches Meridan, do promise
             That you will experience the joy of True Love’s first kiss.
             In the moment that lover’s lips do touch thine own
             Your happiness will know no mortal bounds.
             One breath of pure bliss we gift to you princess,

             For when thy lips do part royal maiden,
             Cold ethereal Death will descend on thee.
             For life holds but one dark guarantee.
             And to bind you to happiness in this hard world,
             Love and death must as one be unfurled."

     Where the first verse of the spell elicited ecstatic cries of approval from the witch’s audience, the second left them speechless. A silent horror descended upon the hall. The King and Queen stared at the witches, aghast. And defeat seemed to have wrapped itself about the Witches Meridan as well.
     It was not long before the King and Queen’s shock turned to righteous anger. They demanded the reversal of what they deemed the witches’ curse, but alas it could not be done. Such a spell would hold the test of time, the witches said, just as it had been designed. The witches wished to more fully explain what they had been forced to do, but further speech was not tolerated by the monarchs. Their royal highness’ response to Penelope and Parthenia’s refusal to lift the spell was to order the witches seized and imprisoned. But the guard’s attempts to do so were piteously in vain. The Witches Meridan disappeared silently into thin air, never again to be seen in the kingdom.
     And so it was only weeks after she entered the world that the Princess Adrienne was barred from it. She was immediately confined to a single wing of the castle which was restricted from all but a few select individuals, for the King and Queen were taking no risks with their daughter’s life. They had decided that as the spell upon her could not be lifted, she must, at all costs, be kept from falling in love. And so they locked her away from the world and all of its once-thrilling prospects.

     The years passed and Adrienne grew in beauty as she did in age. At eighteen she was a tall, slender figure of a girl with dark brown locks curling about a delicate pale face that never saw enough of sunlight. Adrienne was as blissfully unconcerned with her future as all princesses of her age were bound to be, for the King and Queen had decided that she was not to know a thing about the witches’ spell. That she was never allowed outside her one wing of the castle and was politely restricted to her rooms when visitors of any type arrived was not initially perceived as odd by the princess. As a child she had of course never known another life. And when her daily existence did finally striker her as unusual in adolescence, she came to the conclusion that her parents were simply over protective as she was their only child, a conclusion not too far from the absolute truth. Besides, she would think to herself, how was she to know if this was not as all princesses of her time lived – the princesses of storybooks were of course from another age.
     It was really only after years of eyeing the beauty ever present outside the castle windows and reading about grand adventures that always took place outside of thick stone walls that Adrienne really felt the restrictions upon her person. Her lack of friends, let alone acquaintances, rankled strongly with her. To be certain, she was incredibly fond of her mother and father, and very much liked the few female servants who would bustle about her castle wing. However, none of these persons could truly be called a friend and Adrienne did not know and never had known anyone else. In eighteen years, not a single person other than the aforementioned had ever set eyes on the princess. And she, in turn, had never seen anyone else. It was the eighteenth anniversary of that long ago and fateful ball that this situation was finally and fatally altered.
     That particular day, young Prince Damian of a kingdom far far away, arrived at the castle. He was on a journey to a kingdom by the sea and had been advised to seek shelter in the green valley before continuing onward to his destination. Though it was quite late into the night that he came upon the castle, he was taken in graciously by the King and Queen, as was only proper royal etiquette. And as in the midst of his arrival the princess was of course sleeping, it was decided that she would be instructed not to leave her quarters the next morning instead of being unduly woken with such directions. This one decision would be fate’s means of bringing the Prince and Princess together.
     Despite his late arrival to the castle, the Prince breakfasted with the King and Queen early the next morning. Their royal highnesses had of course the usual affairs to tend to following the meal and as rain was falling steadily outdoors, the Prince informed them that he had decided not to continue his journey until the weather finally cleared. While inwardly a bit nervous about having the Prince around the castle, the King and Queen said nothing untoward to him. They simply, as courtesy demanded, hoped he would be comfortable during his stay and also politely, if forcefully, requested that he please refrain from setting foot in the castle’s east wing. The rest of the castle he should feel free to explore, and there was indeed a splendid library in a room about the north wing, but visitors were generally restricted from the east wing. The Prince was ready enough to abide by their request, expecting only to head back to his rooms and wait out the weather before leaving the castle. So the King and Queen left the table – and the Prince – not especially worried about Adrienne. Princes had come and gone from the castle for years now with no incident and there was no reason to suppose that Prince Damian should be an exception. That Princess Adrienne was not currently safely restricted to her quarters and that the Prince was to get confoundedly lost on his sojourn back to his own rooms was not known to the monarchs.
     Princess Adrienne had risen from bed earlier than usual that particular morning and had immediately left her bedroom to watch the sun rise from her favorite set of windows. This meant that the servants had been unable, though not for lack of trying, to find her and relay their royal highness’s instructions. The east wing was rather extensive in size, a large part of the reason it had been chosen as Adrienne’s own, and it was impossible for the servants to know precisely where the Princess had gone. This did not trouble them particularly, for though they would prefer her to be safely behind closed doors, Adrienne had never defied her parents request to stay within the bounds of the east wing. And visitors, especially princes, were most certainly not permitted there.
     As Princess Adrienne gazed dreamily out of windows Prince Damian became almost hopelessly lost as he attempted to find his own rooms, an almost impossible feat considering the dining hall’s close proximity to them. However, for some mystical reason, as the Prince attempted to find the corridor that led to his room, he was presented with nothing but one long winding passage that he could have sworn had not existed just hours before. He tried to find another more familiar passage way but somehow there was no other way out of the dining hall. Even the corridor the King and Queen had just used to exit the dining hall had disappeared. With no other option the Prince walked down the long passage hoping it would eventually lead to a part of the castle he recognized.
     And so it was that Prince Damian came slowly closer and closer to the one part of the castle he was forbidden just as Princess Adrienne tore herself away from the windows. She was wandering the halls of the east wing, deep in imagination, spinning her own lovely castles in the air when the Prince came to a hall which had not in long years seen Prince nor young man of any kind. He was peering down the hall in some frustration when Adrienne turned a corner and the two saw one another.
     Adrienne was most certainly the more startled of the two youths. She had only in books or from a far distance, peering at visitors from her windows, seen anyone resembling the Prince and she was quite certain that the King and Queen would disapprove, to put their feelings lightly, of their having ever met. However, she found that though she was startled at the sight of him, she was not at all afraid of him. No impulse within her told her to turn away and walk back to the safety of her rooms and indeed she found that she could not do more than stare back at the tall, handsome individual in front of her. For the Prince was tall and dashing and handsome as all princes should be. And he was also, as is only to be expected in such a circumstance, from first glance completely enchanted by Adrienne.
     He had met many princesses before. He had been meeting them for many a year now, for his parents had been from the eve of his twenty-first birthday hoping in vain that he would soon marry. He had been unable to find one to suit him however, though every one of those many princesses had been beautiful and charming in their own right. Something about Adrienne, or perhaps simply their belonging to one another, instantly told him that here was finally the princess that he would marry. He had no doubt that she was a princess, though he had never before heard of any princesses living in the kingdom of the green valley. Just as he had no doubt that he was love with her.
     He slowly walked up to the silent and still princess, fully intending to introduce himself and pondering if it was too soon to propose marriage. However, when he finally found himself in front of the lovely slip of a girl he could not speak. Instead, all that came to his lips was an involuntary smile.
     The moment his kind smile fell upon Adrienne she knew why she could not move. She had never done more than read about love before, but in that instance she found herself already in love with the Prince, not knowing a thing about him, let alone his name or that he was actually a prince. Unlike Prince Damian, she could not immediately recognize royal heritage. She only recognized that she was in love with him. And she smiled up at him sweetly that it was as though she said the words aloud. Smiling softly at one another, and entirely unaware that their happiness was to be so fleeting, the Prince and Princess drew together into that most fatal kiss.
     Unspeakably happy the Prince drew away Princess Adrienne only to find that the soft smile was now eternally frozen to her lips. Anguish quickly replaced his happiness and in his misery a heart-wrenching cry escaped from his lips to summon servants and guards from all over the castle. A cry so terrible it even summoned the King and Queen from their own secluded corner of the castle.
     The sad sight they found was that of the heartbroken Prince kneeling over the dead Princess, tears streaming down his face. The King and Queen’s grief was as complete as his own, and for long moments they could do nothing but stare at this image of broken happiness. Anger found no place in their hearts and they did not, as a number of the servants feared they might, demand the Prince seized and imprisoned for what he had done. They only, upon seeing the Prince’s haunted confusion at this terrible turn of events, explained to him in broken words why fate had seen to be so unkind.
     Refusing to relinquish hold of his would-be bride, the Prince listened to their sad story while still sunken to the floor. And it was only at its completion that he began to say over and over again in obvious growing torment, “‘True Love’s first kiss.’” At the confusion that met this phrase he finally explained in a hollow voice, “It was the kiss.” He swallowed a painful sob. “Not love.” And so it was in this terrible way that the King and Queen, and in time all their subjects, finally learned of the careful compromise the Witches Meridan had made eighteen long years ago.

                                                     The End.

On Love #9

"…I hope you proved to yourself
whatever it was you were trying to prove.
That you loved me.
That you didn't.
That I failed you and
I wasn't worth holding onto anyways.
That you did all you could do.
The fictions we tell ourselves
in order to stagger away." -Suzanne Hancock, from "Cast From Bells"

Dreams and Dreaming #5

"...me, a dreamer, I walked enchanted, and nothing held me back." -Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca

"Religious Melancholy"

"'She'd been real melancholy in the fall – religious melancholy – it ran in her family. Her father worried so much over believing that he had committed the unpardonable sin that he died in the asylum.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

"'There are days when he growls at everybody because he thinks he is fore-ordained to eternal punishment. And then there are days when he says he does not care and goes and gets drunk.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley

"But of course he was in the wrong religion for compromises, deals, pacts, weaknesses…" -Zadie Smith, White Teeth

"Once, they'd even brought the minister of the Unitarian church, whom I'd never really liked at all. He was terribly nervous the whole time, and I could tell he thought I was crazy as a loon, because I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people, like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death, since they didn't believe in life after death, and what each person believed happened to him when he died." -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Random Musing
Changed the blog layout today, as I'm sure you've noticed (if you hadn't noticed before my mentioning it here, then that's really a bit weird) - mostly because my sister's been harassing me to for a while. She didn't like how generic the old layout was. I haven't quite gotten used to the new look yet, but I'm sure I will in a few days. Hopefully you approve of the change yourself - or at the very least, don't find it so awful that you decide to stop visiting.


Random Musing
I want a typewriter. One of those cool, vintage typewriters that are in all the old movies. Not an electric typewriter that has absolutely no personality. Though some electric typewriters aren't all that awful actually - the one(s) in You've Got Mail is/are pretty cool. (If you've watched the movie you'll understand what I mean.) But yeah, owning a typewriter would be pretty amazing. As much as I do love my Vaio, writing on it isn't quite the experience that clacking away on a typewriter would be. For once thing, you can't "clack away" on a laptop. That being said, the type of typewriter I want is really expensive. I've looked on ebay. And buying ribbon would be a pain in the ass too. Also, given how impractical a purchase one would be, I just can't justify spending the money. Tis unfortunate. So for now I'll just dream about typewriters - figuratively that is. I've never literally dreamt about typewriters. That'd be a bit odd. 0_0

Just Very Very Tired

"One day, walking down some street in Brooklyn, Antonio Jones had felt tired, sat down on the sidewalk, and a second later stopped existing." -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

"The priest was young and seemed tired, not because of what had happened that night but because of something that had been wearing him down for years." -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

"'I'm just tired of everything…even of the echoes. There is nothing in my life but echoes…echoes of lost hopes and dreams and joys. They're beautiful and mocking.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

On the Moon and Moonlight

"A cynical, lopsided old moon was coming out from behind some shaggy clouds in the east and the fields beyond seemed to wink slyly and impishly at her." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

"'Such moonlight. It is such a night as one might fall asleep in and dream happy dreams of gardens and songs and companionship, feeling all the while through one's sleep the splendour and radiance of white moon-world outside as one hears soft, faraway music sounding through the thoughts and words that are born of it.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

"'Last night I almost told him I'd marry him. But I had sense enough to know it was just the moon. I could be in love with anybody when the moon is just right.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Mistress Pat

"…For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea." -Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee"

"At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon.
An opiate vapour, dewy, dim,
Exhales from out her golden rim,
And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
Upon the quiet mountain top,
Steals drowsily and musically
Into the universal valley…." -Edgar Allan Poe, "The Sleeper"

"Sit down beside me, Isabel,
Here, dearest, where the moonbeam fell
Just now so fairy-like and well.
Now thou art dress'd for paradise!
I am star-stricken with thine eyes!
My soul is lolling on thy sighs!
Thy hair is lifted by the moon
Like flowers by the low breath of June!
Sit down, sit down – how came we here?
Or is it all but a dream, my dear?…" -Edgar Allan Poe, "Fairy Land"

"I saw thee once - once only - years ago:
I must not say how many - but not many.
It was a July midnight; and from out
A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,
Upon the upturned faces of a thousand
Roses that grew in an enchanted garden…" -Edgar Allan Poe, "To Helen (II)"

"…Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
I saw thee half reclining; while the moon
Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses,
And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow!…" -Edgar Allan Poe, "To Helen (II)"

"…I can't lie that dreams are ridiculous.
And in dreaming myself upon the moon
I have made the moon my home and no one
Can ever get to me or hit me or kiss my lips…." -Dorothea Lasky, "The Process of                                                                                               Explication: III"

The Swell Season

Random Musing
If you haven't seen Once yet, you should stop reading this blog immediately and go watch it. It's an amazing movie, with an even more amazing soundtrack. I've actually recommended songs (or a song anyway) from the soundtrack before.

Well, The Swell Season is a folk rock band formed by the two leads from the movie. If you happen to like music in the line of Damien Rice, they might be right up your alley. The following are my personal favorites from their album Strict Joy. Check them out if you are so inclined.

1. The Rain
2. Fantasy Man
3. I Have Loved You Wrong
4. Back Broke

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