Sunday, December 19, 2010

Movies that made me the way I am - part 4

41. 25th Hour (2002) - I hope none of us will be faced with such terrific 24 hours when you watch yourself in the mirror and say things like "Fuck *you*, Fuck you and this whole city and everyone in it. Fuck the panhandlers, grubbing for money, and smiling at me behind my back...Fuck terrorists in fucking training. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN! Fuck the Chelsea boys with their waxed chests and pumped-up biceps. Going down on each other in my parks and on my piers, jingling their dicks on my Channel 35. Fuck the Korean grocers with their pyramids of overpriced fruit and their tulips and roses wrapped in plastic... Fuck the Wall Street brokers. Self-styled masters of the universe. Michael Douglas, Gordon Gekko wannabe mother fuckers, figuring out new ways to rob hard working people blind. Send those Enron assholes to jail for FUCKING LIFE! You think Bush and Cheney didn't know about that shit? Give me a fucking break!..." This much, much longer speech where Edward Norton is f...g everybody smashes your brains and leaves you in blood.

42. Cape Fear (1991) - One of the remakes I adored because De Niro is playing his sleaziest role and because Juliette Lewis sucking his finger with her innocent eyes and smile is the hottest and dirtiest scene in the history of cinema.

43. About Schmidt (2002) If you are in your 20's this movie will make you think it's better live fast and by 35 you are already dead. If you are in your 40's and plus this movie will give you the final blow. Life is over. If you are in your in your 30's you feel trapped like a mouse in a treadmill, but you will fool yourself with "There is still time and I will not watch this movie again. Ever." I don't understand why Nicholson didn't win 1 million of Oscars for this role.

44. The Name of the Rose (1986) - Only a brilliant mind like Jean-Jacques Annaud's could have the guts to screen a novel by Umberto Eco. Add the perfect cast (the ugliest people in the world gathered in a 2 h carousel), the gloomy atmosphere, the mystery of a book, a camera that follows the characters greedily and you have a win of a movie. Besides "Laughter kills fear, and without fear there can be no faith, because without fear of the Devil there is no more need of God."

45. Gaslight (1944) - One of Ingrid Bergman's first roles. A black and white movie which will thrill you at best. A Cukor masterpiece, though the not so familiar with cinema history would swear this is a 100% Alfred Hitchcock. Oh and one short moral of the story...beware whom you love and trust. :)

46. Whatever happened to Baby Jane? (1962) - This is not a movie to be watched by soon to be actresses, as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford can kill instantly such desires. I mean how can you even think of getting at least as good as them. Blasphemy. My first encounter with virtual isolation. Creepy and haunting.

47. Anger Management (2003) - Because Adam Sandler, otherwise a not-to-be-mentioned-ever-actor, manages to keep up with Nicholson. It's true that for this he has to sing "I feel preety". Hilarious and a comedy to light up your heart. :D

48. Love Story (1970) - People avoid talking about it. And nowadays it seems so outdated and ridiculous. But oh boy...I cried my heart out hundreds of times. Like all the love stories depicted in flicks, such a thing does not exist in real life, so relax and wash those eyes a bit.

49. Butterflies are free (1972) - All kinds of stereotypes in this one. Overprotective mother, the handicapped person and his right to have a normal life, the sissy girl... but what interpretations. My favorite quote from this one. "Mother, you have to laugh sometime, or people will think you're a lesbian."

50.Fellinis Satyricon (1969) - Rome, homosexual love, earthquakes, a hermaphrodite demi-god, impotence, sentences stopped in the middle, decadence, visual feast, brilliant soundtrack, craziness, child exploitation (?)...what more can one ask? It makes you gasp in awe. Maybe even puke your soul out.

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Touched by teenage-hood insanity

A few nights ago I read the diary I kept when I was a teenager and I experienced a tremendous session of hysterical laughters. It's useless to mention that I found all the clichés specific to young ages (12-16): secret alphabets, schizoid moods (I quote: "I am the saddest person in this world, because X doesn't love me. Oh, my mom is going to buy me a fur cap. I am happy, happy.", miserable quotes, songs lyrics and lots of drawn hearts and incredible amounts of exclamation and question marks.

Later a sort of nostalgia hit me and I realized I was laughing because in the long process of growing up (now speedily approaching an age when I was supposed to have myself a teenage kid) I lost my innocence and the strength to reveal my feelings exactly as they were. I forgot the black and white expressions and I simmered in seas of gray tones. I forgot the pureness of writing down exactly what you feel, because it's sort of ridiculous. Mature women are supposed to be cynical or at least to show some self-confidence and a patrician resignation.

Then I decided I need to learn again to play and to my disgrace and awe I chose "poetry". For fun. Twitter style. The reaction of people was puzzling. Everybody encouraged me and they seemed highly enchanted by my little "pearls". That's why I decided to post them here,too for the record. As a back-up.

"I wrote your name on each and every stone/Then each and every step hurt my bare feet."

"I chained my words for you inside my battered heart/As you considered them too pungently tart."

"I carved your far away features in the trees bark/And then the leaves were smiling and blinking at me."

"I buried your unspoken touches deep down my body/And so I learned the howling yearning."

"Sweet surrender was my candid tribute/So why you trample it and painfully contribute?"

"Humbly my soul didn't ask you for the ticket when you came in/But why did you have to plunder it when everything was free?"

"You are smooth, and clean and green/Lemon flavored gelatin." - ode to my dish cleaner in a jingle style. :P

"I turned my eyes to you expecting a miracle/To find the wind solacing your faded wrinkle."

"Fearless and fair maiden shelter thy eyes/For thy king's heart is melting into ice."

Conclusion? Playing with words brings back pieces of genuine smiles from old times when I was not afraid to say what I was going through. Ridiculous? Maybe. But the catharsis effect deserves all the efforts and all the grins.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When you don't want anything anymore...

I have just realized that there are worse things in life than pain, numbness, angst, sufferings, sadness, anger, depression...(you name all those fearful dark words). That split second when it hits you that you don't want anything anymore.
When the smallest zest of life is gone.
When desires soap balloons.
When you look around and you don't find any meaning whatsoever.
When you watch all those little things that were so precious, but which are now just things of no concern for you.
When future is reduced to the infinite zero, as you don't care anymore what will happen from now on.
When people seem strange puppets and you cannot understand who they are.
When nothing moves.
When void is perfect.
Fear it is the scariest and the freakiest brain click in your life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Movies that made me the way I am - part 3

And here we go again with some movies that marked my life.

31. Cast Away (2000) - It takes an outstanding performance for an actor to keep on his shoulders more than half of a movie. Tom Hanks makes you feel small. And unprepared if you were to land on an island, where you are totally alone.

32. 12 Monkeys (1995) - Nobody can depict madness better than Terry Gilliam. How can one be impressed anymore by movies like Avatar or Inception after you see such a jewel? Fragile to the point of crashing inside itself, this masterpiece also gives you the best 15-20 minutes of Brad Pitt's career. Unforgettable.

33. Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf (1966) - First time when I experienced emotional draining. It sucked me out, until I remained numb. One can write tomes about it. Beautiful and shaking whatever certitudes you might have regarding the relationship between a man and a woman.

34. Death in Venice (1971) - I didn't like the book, but I loved the movie. Haunting images in a cinematic roll that will leave you breathless. Add Mahler music and you will understand the painful sadness of one of its famous lines: "In all the world, there is no impurity so impure as old age."

35. Tootsie (1982) - Definitely the most awesome transvestite in the history of cinema. Every time I watch it, I laugh in tears. Every time. Dustin Hoffman is hysterically good. :)

36. Queen Margot (1994) - The movie that manages to actually push the mind accepting the incest as a reality. Incredibly intense, compelling, it slaughters all your senses.

37. Training Day (2001) - Denzel my man, you are one heck of a God in this one. Slap, punch, slap, punch... until you fall on the floor. Now stand up bitch and take it one more time. That's the feeling.

38. The Godfather (1972) - There are no words for this one. No other Mafia guy was so much loved and respected. Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone is a part of our heritage. It's in our blood. For good. Live with it.

39. Die Hard series - Heh... I mean can you not adore Bruce Willis when hearing him say "C'mon baby, come ta' papa, I'll kiss ya' fuckin' dalmatian." or "Who's driving this car, Stevie Wonder?" Muahahahaha... I can watch him anytime saving whatever he saves. :D

40. Sense and Sensibility (1995) - I have a soft spot for this movie. Serene, delicate, funny and perfect played. Like a Monet painting that comes to life. I guess I need to see it again. :)

To be continued...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Movies that made me the way I am - part 2

And let's continue with the long list of movies that influenced me in a way or another. For more information you can read if you like my previous post on this subject. :)

21. Con-Air (1997) - For the awesome John Malkovic who plays the unique Cyrus the Virus. The gripping action doubled by a brilliant chosen soundtrack will always freeze me on the couch, making me clap when the "bunny doesn't get it". :P Now singing... He's got the whole His hand...:)

22. Leon: The Professional (1994) - a Luc Besson masterpiece in which I discovered a special kind of tenderness. Jean Reno, Natalie Portman and Gary Oldman form a golden trio very difficult to be ever equaled.

23. Heat (1995) - in other words: when 2 monsters meet history is made. Al Pacino and Robert de Niro in a breathtaking crime saga. There should have been invented an Oscar award just for the coffee shop scene.

24. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - when the special effects were the gestures and the eyes of the actors. When Milos Forman had the guts to dig deep in the fascinating world of the institutionalized crazy people. When Jack Nicholson was a God.

25. Annie Hall (1977) - One of the movies which forces me every time to thank God I have an awesome sense of humor. Otherwise I would have missed the perfect beauty of the wittiest movie that has ever been shot.

26. Rush Hour (1998) - The most comic on-screen duo cannot but win your heart. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker together are the best anti-depressives.

27. L'avventura (1960) - Antonioni is not everybody's piece of cup. But once you get used to his style, a world of wonders unfolds. Alienation, shallowness and love blew my mind.

28. The Last Boy Scout (1991) - I fell in love with Bruce Willis after this line: "Nobody likes you. Everybody hates you. You're gonna lose. Smile, you fuck."

29. The Fisher King (1991) - Hope and misery in a mix that broke my heart. One of the most underrated movies of all times. My first encounter with the Holy Grail seen as unconditional love. An amazing Jeff Bridges and an astounding Robin Williams.

30. Moonstruck (1987) - This is how a romantic comedy should look like. Cher and Nicholas Cage? So unexpectedly good together. And yes "the moon brings the woman to the man..." :)

To be continued...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Movies that made me the way I am

This is going to be a very long beware. I will not make a top of my favorite movies and I will not review them either. I will simply write down the titles of flicks that meant something to me, that touched me, that changed me, that influenced me or simply movies that must be seen by anybody. There is no particular order and I will list them exactly the way they come into my mind. The post will be periodically updated so be free to come back and check the new jeweleries. :)

1. The Great Dictator (1940) - the ultimate masterpiece of all times. If there is one movie that should survive Earth destruction then this is the one. Chaplin remains even after so many years the number 1 genius of this art.
2. Amadeus (1984) - Forman's best movie unlocked mind-blowing depths in me. Mozart as never seen before. This is when I started to fear mediocrity. I was 16.
3. Jesus of Nazareth (1977) - The only religious movie that really managed to make me totally believe even if for a fraction of a second that God is somewhere watching over me. It was then that I experienced epiphany.
4. Gone with the wind (1939) - The charm of old times has never been better depicted. I loved and hated Scarlett. My first encounter with love at its best.
5. Stalker (1979) - Thanks to Tarkovsky, I knew there was nothing wrong with me. The abnormal and haunting images from my daily dreams found their sisters in the decayed buildings and the mysterious, weird waters.
6. 8½ (Otto e mezzo)(1963) - the real world and the inner world combine themselves to give birth to a movie dedicated to the painful confusion that torments any artist's life. Fellini touched the insane strings of creativity process.
7. Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie (1972) - 100 minutes that will tower you with its absurd humor and ominous dream sequences. 100 minutes that will reveal the horrible hypocrite that exists in each of us.
8. A Clockwork Orange (1971) - the perfect match between a writer and a director (Burgess and Kubrick). The double quantity of madness smashes every piece of your body and soul. It squeezes the humanity in you, but it also purifies you.
9. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - It hits you with the power of a hammer. Fragility, pain and the mute wailing of "I've Always Depended On The Kindness Of Strangers."
10. The Matrix (1999) - "Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." A new era started. An era where mind and spirit got an extra-dimension.
11. Star Wars (1977) - The beginning of an epic saga that mesmerizes the kid in us. The movie that showed the power of imagination.
12. Rain Man (1988) - It's ok to cry when watching it, even if you are a man. There is nothing wrong with this. Dustin Hoffman's performance (backed up by a surprisingly brilliant Tom Cruise) is the lesson we all must learn and remember forever.
13. The Hours (2002) - You thought you were depressed? You thought your life was small and pathetic? You thought you knew anguish? Well, take this and let's talk about it afterwards.
14. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) - When humanity embraces the magic, this is the outcome. And I don't know about you, but sweet dear God I wish I was an elf.
15. Some Like it Hot (1958) - The perfect comedy that stands the test of time. Sparkling, alluring, sexy, intelligent, fuzzy, hilarious, it is indeed perfect, in spite of its most famous end line: "Nobody is perfect."
16. E.T. (1982) - Spellbound, hypnotized, in love. An extra-terrestrial being whom I adored more than anything. If there was a religious parable behind the movie, only Spielberg can tell. All I know is that E.T wanna go home...
17. Scent of a woman (1992) - When the outstanding performance of a "monster" meets the flavor of tango and the slashing randomness of life. Breathtaking.
18. Fight Club (1999) - The first rule of Fight Club? "Never talk about Fight Club!" Initially, I was so shocked that I hated it. But then, the movie grew on me and grew...and grew...Suffocating, brilliant, insane, disturbing. Puts on the table with lucidity all my fears and all my doubts.
19. Meet Joe Black (1998) - Because even death itself needs love. "Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived."
20. Don Juan DeMarco (1994) - The last movie in which a male was plausible when making love declarations. Sad, but true.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sometimes, we need life to push us back a little bit in order to move forward. Otherwise we find ourselves stuck, trapped, limited within our boundaries. And then we indulge ourselves in the warm daily routine: wake up, the morning coffee, the traffic to our job, then calling some friends, going home, taking care of kids, the pets, watching some TV, Facebooking, Twittering, Orkuting or whatever and then the sweet bed.
It is true, for many people in the world this picture sounds like a perfect thing, especially if you are homeless, jobless and all the other „less”. But this is not the point, as one day, „bang!”, it hits you: you lose your job, you lose your house, you do not have money for school, you get ill, you are stolen, your spouse betrays you, you fall, you cannot feel anything...
That moment you ask God or life or the world or your friend: „Why me?” „Was I so bad?” „Did I made anything wrong?” „Is it faith?” Unfortunately we will never find the answer. But the beautiful part is that we can do something, we gather our strengths to find a solution, we suddenly discover that we have a big power: to think and to do something about it. The result might not be the one we dream of, but we accomplish something more important: WE MOVE.
We free ourselves in the searching process and we learn new things. It’s up to us if we become better persons, but the chance has been given. So, folks, let’s move, let’s do something new, it doesn’t matter what. Either is helping a neighbour, or taking a new course, or talking more to the children, or reading an author we do not like, or joining a volunteer organization, or learning a foreign language, let’s do something new.
We have one life, as far as we know, and it would be such a pitty to waste it without trying all the things it has to offer. Life is smart; don’t get angry with it when it pushes us back in order to move forward.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Name is Khan – a journey

I cannot speak about My Name is Khan without shortly mentioning Berlin experience. I can live very well without visiting the city anymore, but I appreciate it manages to attract thousands of cinema lovers during The Berlinale. Some of them are weird, some of them are adventurers, some of them are normal, but all of them are ready to queue for hours just to buy the golden tickets.
I had my MNIK ticket reserved for 13th. But I wanted to go on 12th, as the most beloved trio – Karan, Kajol and Shahrukh - was going to attend the premiere. It would have been a win-win situation anyway. If my haunt for tickets on ebay had failed, I would have got the Red Carpet chance to see them close, get an autograph or even hug Shahrukh. But what I wished more was to be in the same hall watching the movie together.
And I don’t regret this, as I felt like one of just a few real supporters in the middle of a crap audience – most of them people who entered via invitations and who had no idea what they were coming to see. Three guys, who stayed near me and had some VIP badges on the chest left after 20 minutes. I am very sorry I could not see their names. But if they ever read this, they will know I am talking about them – Shame on you, impotent bastards. Fans paid impossible to utter amount of money to be inside and you dare get out? And shame on you Berlinale organizers for letting in such persons, instead of giving this chance to someone who really loves and respects the work of movie-makers and deserves the special moment of a premiere.
Now that I expressed my rage against the atmosphere inside, which should have been really hot (proof? the second watch on 13th was really amazing – the love exuded in the cinema hall was almost material, like a thick silky veil), maybe time has come to focus on the movie in itself.
Karan had guts to do such a movie. First of all, non-believers, detractors, haters, would say: “Oh, no, did we need another Forrest Gump or another Rain Man”? Well, even so, what is wrong to see more stories about similarly challenged people? Let me tell you something, the trailers are misleading. I got in the same trap. I thought I knew what the story would be about and what was the message, blah, blah… He,he,he…Karan managed to surprise me, right from the very first seconds of the movie. The way camera moves, following Rizwan Khan, the music, which is absolutely brilliantly used, marks the beginning of a journey that will enchant you, will make you clap, tear, suffer, laugh and smile.
I will not detail the narrative thread, as this is not important now, but I will mention the very-well written script (puzzle-like sometimes), the incredible cinematography, a neat and very much westernized editing and decent Americans actors (for a change - this is an aspect I use to hate in Bolly movies).
There are two big moments in the movie, when time seems to stop and the world freezes. One belongs to Kajol, one to Shahrukh. Both of them are catharsis creators. Brace yourselves for a mother in pain and for the church speech. Those who saw/will see the movie and remain(ed) untouched by these 2 moments lost something precious in their lives – sensibility and love.
The movie has the quality of a bildungsroman and it can be interpreted and analyzed at many levels. I would recommend you to forget about analysis and simply enjoy the story, the rhythm, the fun, the jokes, the magic and charm of a special jodi, the kids acting in the movie (very good), the breathtaking images, the drama, the tears (yes let them flow – they will purify your soul), the Hollywood style ending, the humanitarian message, the incredible eyes of Shahrukh (dead, but expressing million things in the same time – I really cannot remember/imagine other actor of such a performance), the wide, beautiful smiles of Kajol, Zarina Wahab as Rizwan’s mom (adorable), the serene presence of Sonya Jehan, a delicious Vinay Pathak in a short role…and I can continue like this for pages and pages...
The movie can come over you like an avalanche. The desire to know how the story goes on and what happens next can make u impatient and hence, for some people, MNIK will be too long. That is why a second watch is a must. As then you can taste all those little details that first time seemed of no importance to you.
Trying to be objective as much as I can, I must say that My Name is Khan is one of the most powerful movies I have seen lately and appropriate both for Western and Asian audience. A Shahrukh-Kajol-Karan fan doesn’t need any reviews, any opinions or any ratings and the experience will be mind-blowing for him/her.
In the end, if you read these lines, please, go and see the movie. You will rediscover love. And love. And more love.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Când începea să viseze, sunetele hipnotizante o făceau să deschidă prima ușă. Străbătea încăperile uriașe, sufocate de draperii sângerii din brocart greu, una după alta, într-o goană disperată. Același miros înțepător de mosc și tămâie. Într-un târziu, ajungea la destinație. Abia peste 20 de ani, bărbatul care cânta la pian își va întoarce fața și îi va spune să se arunce în abisul ce se căsca urât între ei. S-a supus fără crâcnire, însă viața trecuse deja pe lângă ea. N-a mai visat niciodată...

Particip la Concursul de Proza Arhiscurta organizat de Trilema.