Wednesday, 14th of March
Day off, day off! Hurrah, hurrah!
Yeah I didn’t do that much. Popped by the shops where I got aggressively flirted with by an older cashier named Atef (he even gave me a candy, am I basically betrothed now?). Planted a few things in the garden. Did some boring house work.
I did also do some binge watching.
First, a movie–A Silent Voice (2016). This film was actually on mine and Haitham’s weekly movie list because a friend recommended it to me. When Haitham saw it was on the list however he groaned, “Are you serious? Teenage angsty drama? PLEASE!”
So, I did the only logical thing: I watched it without him. (Later on he threw a wobbly and said, “That’s against the rules!” I swear there’s no winning with this lad!!)
Anyway, the film. UGH!!!!!!! If you’re looking for a movie to punch you over and over again right in the feels, wringing you dry of tears in the process, YEAH this is the one for you. A Silent Voice is the story of a rowdy young boy and his classmates making their way through school. One day a new student is introduced: she is lovely, she is sweet, and she is deaf. Unfortunately for her, her fellow classmates repeatedly reject her overtures of friendship, and before long, gentle teasings turn into outright bullying.
What happens during the rest of the film is the story of redemption, learning about yourself, and of course overcoming obstacles. It’s ridiculously sweet but also heart-achingly real, portraying cruel interactions, misunderstandings, and what it means to be a friend.
I have to admit that story aside, this is an absolutely gorgeous film. Every character is so beautifully drawn–each expression painstakingly rendered. I also loved seeing the incorporation of sign language into the story.
UGH IT’S TOO WHOLESOME, I feel like I may cry just thinking about it. Thank god I didn’t watch this one with H–he would have inevitably given me the side-eye the entire time I became a blubbering ugly-crier! Really, he should be thanking me!
Thursday, 15th of March
What can I say about today? Well, I painted things at work mostly. And hardly got any of it on myself this time around! Hoorah, hoorah.
In other news: no one at my work knows who Jimmy Buffet is… SERIOUSLY! And Brits claim to be a civilised society!!
At the end of the day Haitham concluded a game he’d been playing for the last couple of days, one that I had actually been watching with interest despite myself. It’s called Firewatch. (A certain reader named Pete probably would have enjoyed it too for obvious reasons!) The story unfolds from the start: a middling-aged man suffers a traumatic breakdown in his marriage due to his wife’s failing health. She leaves to return to her family back in Australia who will pick up caretaking duties where it’s understood he will join them–instead, however, he makes the split-second decision to spend the summer in the recesses of Colorado, in a fire tower, watching for signs of smoke over the rugged terrain.
It’s a brilliant little game which involves you mostly following a pre-set story. But the gradual reveal, the little details you can suss out, and of course the element of wilderness exploration complete with map and compass really caught my interest. Although certain elements were a bit unbelievable: like two teen girls hiking out to the middle of nowhere complete with boombox and unending supply of beers to cause a ruckus. What teen girls would bother these days?? Really!
Friday, 16th of March
Friday night–so, movie night/pizza night is in order!
But first up a warm-up with a new, totally wholesome show we’ve both found, which also reveals our mental age: +80. The show is called The Repair Shop. According to BBC, it is the antidote to throwaway culture, featuring a team of master craftsmen who are ready and willing to repair and restore family heirlooms, priceless treasures, and the like.
Here’s a clip of the show.
It’s safe to say I love it. But I also hate it. Because oftentimes when the people return to pick up their treasure, they’re sometimes overcome with emotion, and then I’m overcome with emotion. Ugh. Seeing other people cry often makes me cry too!
At least we had a Guinness milk stout to go along with. Yum!
Afterwards it was time for our weekly movie. Because H had poo-poo’d A Silent Voice, I bumped up my next choice to its slot: The Apartment (1960). I mean, if he didn’t want teenage animated angst, then surely an old B&W film would do??
The Apartment actually came up in quite a lot of lists of top films when I was browsing, so I popped it in without really thinking about it. I appreciate older films for what they do–without grandiose special effects and big movie budgets, these films take clever plotlines, excellent characters, and make something that oftentimes holds its place through the passing years. The Apartment was no different–and I found myself enjoying it quite a lot (even if I did find myself questioning the screen at a few key moments).
The Apartment is the story about corporate grunt worker C.C. Baxter. He lives alone in a small apartment in New York–and somehow, finds himself being bullied into relinquishing his abode for his superiors as they commandeer his home for their own trysts and walkabouts. Baxter puts up with his for the sake of a rise in his career through the ranks, although he does have eyes for a fellow employee, elevator operator Fran Kubelik.
But this is more than a story about Baxter. It’s also a story about Kubelik (the girl who has him smitten), who has tangled interactions with the men of this corporation as well. Naturally things get more complicated, as any good B&W film does–hearts are broken, careers are made, and Kubelik and Baxter are thrown together to try as they try to work out their paths for themselves.
This is a funny and yet surprisingly sad film. Baxter and Kubelik both have their own struggles, and though each character is well-written, you can’t help but shake your head at their antics from time to time. They both make mistakes, but also learn from them, which makes this a very interesting film from multiple standpoints.
Did I mention it’s funny? Yeah, definitely. I think what The Apartment does so well is its portrayal of people. Like this Santa celebrating in a bar on Christmas Eve… until he notices a morose Baxter sitting next to him.
Despite it being very well-written, this film is still a product of the ’60s: a doctor’s bedside manner with an indisposed female patient requires him to slap her about the face a few times as well as shaking her (although I guess it makes a shred more sense with context in the film); the doctor in question and his wife are very stereotypically Jewish; and the only shot with a black character is of course, with the big boss getting his shoes shined. (bummer!)
Still, a great film that’s definitely earned its place on modern viewing lists!