Moving to Tumblr

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So now that it seems everyone is moving to Tumblr nowadays, I will be joining them. Blogger is an awesome site and I'm going to miss it, but fact is that more people read Tumblr and I would like my articles to be read by a bigger, more accessible audience. So hope you keep on reading my blog, it will continue for now on Tumblr and no longer here in Blogger.

Here is the website address:

In Love

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I made a new playlist for that amazing feeling, the euphoria, the happiness, and the rush of passion we all get when we are in love, Even though I have never been in love so far, I imagine this would be the playlist to express that very feeling when that moment comes.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly."
-Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)

"Passion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place." -Ice T

A Single Man

Monday, November 16, 2009

The official trailer for A Single Man has finally come out! This is a film directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, and for his debut, this film is looking to be quite a good one. I'm so excited to see this film, it's one of the best trailers I have seen in a while. The cinematography is simply beautiful; I love the intense close-ups, the vibrant colors, and the heavy contrast; everything which adds an intense dramatic vibe. And not to mention the music, which is intense and draws intrigue to the visuals. Overall this film looks like its going to be a great one, can't wait to see this once it comes out.

Urban Dreams #2

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Here is my another mix made by me, this one is the second Urban Dreams playlist (Urban Dreams #2). Been listening to a lot Hip-Hop recently, there is something about Hip-Hop and it's ability to capture the soul of a city, the soul of the urban landscape, which makes Hip-Hop, and it's unique lyrical quality, an interesting listening experience. These are the songs that help me relax and lay back especially among such a hectic city.

Bittersweet Sampling

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recently I've been getting into old-school hip-hop and modern electronic music that is composed mainly of samples from other pieces of music, movies, and etc... So since my interest was ignited by this entire style of making music, I decide to read up on the history and origins of this whole culture of sampling. While reading, I found out that an entire slew of music I've heard in the past is actually sampled from other pieces music. For example the video I posted above, sound familiar? This song, The Last Time, by The Andrew Oldham Orchestra is a cover version of the Rolling Stone's The Last Time, but many from my generation wouldn't have probably associated it with that song. This song might sound extremely familiar because part of this song is actually sampled in The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony. Now the fact that The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony is not a completely original song does not lessen the value I held and still hold with this song. Bittersweet Symphony is still one the best songs I've heard. This brings to view this whole "culture of remix" we currently live in. Almost everything we listen to, watch, or read borrows from something else. We live in a time where nothing is really authentic, nothing is really 100% original. But does that mean that art nowadays has less artist value? Does that mean we should consider everything that borrows from some other work as a rip-off? On the contrary, since we live in an age with so many forms of art, so many different styles; remixing, borrowing, sampling, and rearranging, makes something we love and hold dear into something new and fresh.

Love by Angels and Airwaves

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The popular rock band Angel and Airwaves are making a feature film. Love (the film, not the actual thing) seems like it is a visual and audible experience rather than depending on dialogue and a tightly knit plot in order to get the message across. A two-hour music video containing breath-taking images and powerful music.

James Cameron Is Back!

James Cameron's finally makes a new film after a long and arduous wait of almost 12 years since he made Titanic in 1997. Cameron's return to cinema is a gigantic one, Avatar is apparently one of the most expensive films ever made, and it's seems that it's a massive sci-fi epic, which has been absent from cinema for a while. Can't wait to see this film on IMAX 3D!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Here's the trailer for another film with Joseph-Gordon Levitt, who is one of my favorite actors currently, and also starring the beautiful actress Lynn Collins, who was in Wolverine. The film is about a couple (Levitt and Collins) who make an important (maybe life changing) decision by doing a coin toss. The film is explores the two possibilities and how different each might have been. Interesting plot device, in my opinion. There is a certain measure of uncertainty in all our lives and sometimes we are left wondering what could have happened if we made just one different decision. Life takes us through some radical and unexpected turns, and despite the countless amount of possibilities in the realm of the "what if"we all end up learning one very important lesson, that all the situations life presents us, all of it's outcomes are uncertain, we don't know what will happen until we go through with it. Can't wait to see this film, seems like a refreshing plot device. Hopefully it will be done as well as the Expectations vs. Reality scene in 500 Days of Summer or the car accident scene in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Urban Dreams

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Here is another playlist I made. This one is Urban Dreams, it's composed of smooth Hip-Hop music that is just relaxing especially amongst the chaotic nature of a city. Sometimes while walking around in New York City I see the overwhelming chaos that goes around in the city; the constant construction, the rush of people from all cultures, from all backgrounds, from all professions moving in masses all over the place, the crowding in public transportation, the bombardment of advertisement, the constant noise from all the hustle and bustle of this mega metropolis. But amongst all this chaos, a entire genre of music was invented, Hip-Hop, a modern type of music capturing the sense of the urban landscape, but not in the negative sense but more in the positive side of urban culture, the combination of cultures, of ideas, the constant flow of people, the diversity. With some of these Hip-Hop songs, they are able to relax me in this tense urban atmosphere, when I pop on this music I stay in the urban state of mind while putting me at ease and allowing me to enjoy the beauty of the city. Sometimes when you are in a place where the pace is extremely fast, one has to slow down, and take a slow and hard look of everything around you. There is beauty in chaos.

Bright Horizons

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm back with a new playlist! This one is titled Bright Horizons. It's composed of music that just relaxes me and gives me a sense of hopefulness for the bright things to come in the future. Sometimes we just need to maintain a positive outlook on the things to come, to think of the positive things that can happen in our lives, and when one starts to create that hopeful mindset, all our hopes and desires will become a reality. Sometimes music can helps us jump start that positive thought process, music has the uncanny ability to be able to change one's mood, to alter one's emotions, to change one's very thoughts. And when we put on music that has positive lyrics, positive rhythm, and is able to create strong associations with positive experiences, we start thinking happier thoughts, we are transported to a world where we see our lives the way we want to live it. So this is the music that does exactly what I just stated. Enjoy!

Pursuit of Happiness

Friday, October 2, 2009

There are some songs that really strike a stride with me, something about the combination of the pristine lyrics and involving rhythms makes a song become an absolute obsession. Such songs that qualify are Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap, No Cars Go by Arcade Fire and now Kid Cudi's Pursuit of Happiness.

Pursuit of Happiness - Kid Cudi (Ft. MGMT And Ratatat)

Crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit
Feelin’ lit feelin’ light, 2 am summer night.
I don't care, hand on the wheel, drivin drunk, I'm doin’ my thing
Rollin the Midwest side and out livin’ my life getting’ out dreams
People told me slow my road I'm screaming out fuck that
Imma do just what I want lookin’ ahead no turnin’ back
if I fall if I die know I lived it to the fullest
if I fall if I die know I lived and missed some bullets

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good.

Tell me what you know about dreamin’ dreamin’
you don't really know about nothin’ nothin’
tell me what you know about them night terrors every night
5 am, cold sweats wakin’ up to the skies
tell me what you know about dreams, dreams
tell me what you know about night terrors, nothin’
you don't really care about the trials of tomorrow
rather lay awake in a bed full of sorrow

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shines ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good (x3)

I'm on the pursuit of happiness
And I know everything that shines ain't always gonna be gold, hey
I'll be fine once I get it, yeah
I'll be good

Pursuit of happiness, yeah
I don’t get it, I’ll be good

I love the lyrics of this song! I think the song is trying to describe his (whoever wrote the song) pursuit of happiness, how he hopes to reach happiness. "ain't always gonna be gold" He knows that in the pursuit of happiness not everything is going to be apparent, its not going to go exactly how we plan it. That is true to a certain extent, we all try to find happiness in our lives but we get disappointed when it doesn't happen exactly the way we wanted to. Frustrations and sorrow arise due to a fear of the unknown, due to a worry of not getting what you want and exactly how you want it. The pursuit of happiness, a pursuit we all take part, is much more than just looking for happiness in some far off place or in some goal. The pursuit of happiness is more about realizing the things that make you happy right now. As the song says "I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good.", we just need to realize that fact, that happiness should not be pursued but rather realized. The things right in front of us, the things that truly make us happy are the things we have right now at this very moment.

How to Increase Serenity

Monday, September 28, 2009

This video is amazing and everything it says it’s so true. Serenity comes from within ourselves but there are things we can do in everyday life to help us reach that serenity. Here’s my input on the steps stated in the video:

Step 1: Laugh as often as you can.

Laughter is crucial in all our lives. Having a good sense of humor about everything around us allows you to appreciate life much more. Through laughter we notice the small nuances that make our lives much sweeter, we relieve tension, and we look at the world with different eyes when we are in a state of laughter. Laughter is always the best medicine; it can make any grim situation into a happy one.

Step 2: Find time for friends and family.

Talking or hanging out with friends or family is a great stress reliever. When we see the ones that we love in our lives, our mood tends to lighten up, we tend to relax and have a care-free good time. Maintaining healthy social relationships is crucial in living a happy life, some things in life are too difficult to go through on alone and sometimes we need people to gives us a boost in the positive direction.

Step 3: Take charge of your life.

Sometimes we let things to keep bothering us in life. Whether it’s a troubled relationship with a friend or family member, or you are unhappy due to your surroundings, or frustrated by work; we all need to take charge and commit to change any unhappy circumstances. And by taking charge I don’t mean fighting your current circumstances but rather gathering confidence to smoothly surpass them.

Step 4: Start a career doing something you love.
Sometimes we get stuck in committing a huge portion of our lives in doing something that truly doesn’t fulfill our passions. When we are in that position, we have to change those circumstances and do something that we love. We have to spend the majority of our time doing something we find truly passionate to do. When find that thing that we can give all our passion to do, we will be much more productive and happier.

Step 5: Be a couch potato without guilt.

This step is very straight-forward. We all need to time to relax by ourselves and TV, or watching a movie, or reading a book will provide that well-needed relaxation. So relaxing by doing something that requires little or no work is something we all need and should do.

Step 6: Get more sleep.
Sleep is the most important thing we need in our lives. It’s crucial for our health, crucial for our emotions, crucial for our overall well-being. Sleeping is the best way to relax and meditate. Getting healthy amounts of sleep will help us be more alert and enthusiastic throughout the day.

Step 7: Go Outside.
Going outside and reconnecting with nature is an amazing relaxant. The sun provides us with energy and the nature around us provides us with calm. Just sitting outside and simply appreciating nature would make anybody smile and feel happier.

Step 8: Go with the flow.
I can write pages amongst pages about this topic. Going with flow with everything we encounter in life is crucial to live a happier life. Going with the flow is having patience and calm and taking things step by step. Enjoying everything that happens to us and letting the things that make us unhappy just flow right by us will certainly guarantee serenity.

Step 9: Having a gratitude journal.

The video is right that writing all the things you are grateful for brings more happiness into our life. But I would like to take it a step further, not all of us express ourselves through writing, so I say express your gratitude in anything you do best. If you are very good at drawing, then draw what you are grateful for, if you are good at making music, then write music of the things you are grateful for, if you are good at sculpting, then sculpt the things you are grateful for, or anything else. As long as you express, almost a daily basis in some way or some format, the things you are grateful for, then more happiness will enter our lives.

“God grant me the serenity; to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhold Niebuhr

Dynamics of Partying

Recently I went to a house party and while I was somewhat sober and the majority of everyone around me was in a drunken state (of mind). I noticed the huge amounts and variety of social dynamics that happens in parties; the drama, heartbreak, the hook-ups, the frustrations with gaining someone’s attention, the new friends being made, connections on an intimate level, the flirtation, the excess of drinking, the feelings of happiness. All these things at parties, a time of celebration, happen specifically during parties. People change during parties, mostly in a good way and sometimes unfortunately in a bad way. A party, at least for the modern twenty-something year old, has become an outlet to become your true self, to lower your inhibitions and reveal a side of yourself free from worry of obeying the social norms or any other limitations the outside world gives us. Nonetheless the activities that happen in parties, one starts to notice a set pattern, a social code, in which most of us obey almost without realizing it. Yes, this pattern may vary slightly from person to person, but there is an overall trend. This brings me to the point of this posting; I came to realize this would be an amazing idea for a documentary. The documentary would be shot very stylishly and modern, like an MTV feel to it, but it would be in the format of an anthropological documentary or nature show similar to the ones they show on PBS. The documentary will have a typical deep-voiced, authoritative toned, narrator similar to films like 500 Days of Summer and Little Children style. It will talk about all the nuances that take place in parties, all the little things we barely notice.

Effortless Effort

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Effortless effort? Sounds like a contradiction, right? It isn’t really. As I was reading Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams there was chapter on this so-called “effortless effort”. What does that mean? It is very simple actually; the less you try to work hard the more things get done. Any believer in Taoism, Buddhism, Zen or any Eastern Philosophy will tell you one simple thing; “Do nothing and everything gets done”.

Let me put this in real-world terms, what many Eastern philosophers are trying to say, is that when we need to do work, it can be any type of work from the most mundane to the most extravagant, it’s better to do that work in calm and tranquility. Putting a strong effort, or working hard, as the Western tradition teaches us to do is a struggle, it puts our mind in a fighting state, in a state worry, anxiousness, and hurry. The Taoists teaches us a different method of encountering work, in which we encounter every day. They suggest being calm and putting less effort into the work. Wait, less effort? Yes, less effort, while putting lots of effort or working really hard on something the only thing that runs through our mind is finishing the job or rather a fear of not finishing the job. Taoists suggest focusing on the task at hand, living in the present. It’s better to concentrate on what you are doing presently, and take it easy, so that the work you are doing will be done swiftly and in a much better fashion. When we stop caring about the consequences, the fears, the sense of hurry, the worries of not doing a good job, when all of that is absent from your mind, then you will truly be able to finish your work easily and without any problems. Think of this, when studying for an important exam that you only have a few days to study for, you are reading your textbook in order to study, but while reading your textbook you are probably thinking about the consequences of failing the exams, you might be dreading the amount of material that is needed to be studied, you might be thinking about the little time you have to study. Most of us don’t even realize those thoughts cross our mind while studying, but they do, and how do you know you are thinking those thoughts, through having feelings of frustration, incompetence, or worry. And how do we overcome these obstacles that limit our ability to work? It’s simple, stop caring! Stop caring about the consequences of not finishing, stop caring about the little time you have, stop caring about the implications of failing, stop caring about how difficult the work is, stop caring about everything. Once you stop caring about everything that might or might not happen in future then you will be able to finish the task at hand. Erase all those negative thoughts from your mind and focus on the current job. Just maintain a positive outlook; just keep thinking, and start realizing, the abundance of time you have, the wealth of knowledge you already have, start realizing that whatever happens in the future is not as important as what you are doing right now at this very moment. Living in the here and now will allow you to focus on your work and only on your work. For example as I am writing this right now, I’m letting the words come out naturally, not worrying about mistakes, not worrying about contradictions, not worrying about the amount of time I’m spending, not worrying whether or not my point is getting across. The only thing running through my mind is writing, writing this article without really caring about anything else. Same thing as a painter, a painter keeps on painting, naturally allowing the images in his head go onto the canvas without really putting an effort. Same thing as the fiction writer, they write everything and anything that goes through their head, they write the story as it plays out in their mind, and there is no room for any other thoughts while writing a story. There is just room for the story. Same thing as an athlete, a runner is not really, nor has the time to, care about the speed or position of his opponent, or the thought of losing the race, the only thing that goes through the successful runner’s mind is just running. There are moments where we just need to stop caring and just go about things naturally and easily. Along with the main Taoist belief of going with the flow goes with this idea of effortless effort. It’s better to allow ideas, motivation, or inspiration naturally into your work. For example the writer who claims to have writers block only has writers block because they are only thinking about a lack of inspiration. For the writer, for the painter, for the runner, for the student, for anybody, just going with the flow and allowing a calmness and tranquility overcome you and your work will allow you to finish many more things much more quickly. This philosophy of effortless effort can be applied to every facet of life, from brushing your teeth, to watering the garden, to eating your dinner, to studying for an exam, to finish a big project, to maintaining a healthily relationship with a significant other, putting an effortless effort to everything in your life will allow you to get so many things done.

In western culture we are taught to try hard to get the things we want. If we fail in getting those things we have to try even harder. It’s as through sacrifice and struggle is the only way to achieve things that are crucial in our lives. But in our lives the most important, life-depending, things are done without an effort. Breathing, digesting, sleeping, cell replication, heart rate, and body temperature are all done without an effort, yet they are all things we depend on, that we need to live on. They are so effortless they don’t even require thought. Look at nature, everything in nature is done without effort. The sun sets and rises without effort. The rivers flow without effort. Plants and trees grow without strain. The planets, including earth, revolve without being forced to. Animals live and procreate without an effort. So all things in nature, all things our lives depend on, are done without a single effort, they are all done naturally. How is this relevant to our lives? Well if all these things in nature and our crucial bodily functions, the most important things in our lives, are done without effort, then is it necessary to put any effort in other (less important) things in life? Not really, just allow things to go naturally. And when you have some work to do, its solution will come naturally to you. Effortless effort does not mean doing nothing. In order for an artist to finish a masterpiece he must paint, write, sing, or sculpt. For an athlete to complete a feat he must run, jump, swim, or throw. For the blood in our body to circulate our hearts must contract. But all those things are done without effort, all are done naturally. Same thing as anything we encounter in our lives, we have to approach it effortlessly, and we have to go about it naturally. We have to let our natural abilities and our natural will take charge. Ultimately if we want to achieve something we will achieve, and we can achieve without working really hard to get it.

This brings into mind that the best things in life come without any effort and work. The best things in life come naturally. As with our ability to breath, eat, and sleep, things we all truly try to achieve in life comes easy to us. To find peace, we just let the right place and right time give us the tranquility we need. To find love, we just let the right person at the right time to come into our lives. To find our true talents, we automatically start doing something that comes extremely easy to us. To find our calling, we find something we are good at doing, we find something we are passionate about and we decide to do it for the majority of our lives. Through no struggle and minimal effort our lives manage to live out the way we want it to. Nothing in life really requires a struggle, when we struggle everything around us struggles back. As many people say, you cannot fight fire with fire. We just need to go with the flow, take things that might seem challenging in our lives and go through it with minimal effort. Not going about things head-on, but calmly and collectively thinking of all ways to finish something. Many people will say life is hard, life is a bitch, but that is simply not true. If you are breathing without an effort then that is the most irrevocable proof that life is easy. Life is easy, life is natural, and everything that happens in life is a natural process in which we must respond to it naturally. As the Taoists preach; just live life to the fullest by enjoying everything around you, by taking things with ease, and by maintaining a positive mindset. Just remember “Do nothing and everything gets done”.

"Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

The Mutual Exchange of Beauty

Saturday, September 19, 2009

When I started reading the world renowned book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho it started with a very interesting prologue. It’s about an Alchemist, who is later introduced in the novel, finding a complete version of the classic parable of Narcissus, the boy who knelt by a lake on a daily basis to contemplate on his own beauty then drown to his own narcissism, which has a completely different meaning. Here’s the Prologue for The Alchemist:

The Alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus. The Alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who daily knelt beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.

But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

"Why do you weep?" the Goddesses asked.

"I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.

"Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus," they said, "for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand."

"But..... was Narcissus beautiful?" the lake asked.

"Who better than you to know that?" the Goddesses said in wonder, "After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!"

The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:

"I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected."

"What a lovely story," the Alchemist thought.

Originally the parable taught us the woes of narcissism, an extreme obsession of appreciating your own beauty. But this iteration of the classic parable has a much different lesson to teach, it teaches how beauty is contemplated through another’s beauty. Narcissus looked onto the lake in order to see his own beauty, but in return the lake looked onto Narcissus in order to see its own beauty too. Was Narcissus or the Lake narcissistic? In this version, no they weren’t. Narcissism is an extreme obsession of oneself, an intense self-worship, where the person completely disregards everyone else and only cares about themselves. A narcissistic person is blinded by their own self-obsession so much that they are unable to see another’s beauty. Narcissists do not really find themselves beautiful nor have high opinion of themselves, rather they are obsessed with trying to find their own beauty, they make that their only goal in their life, and in the process they ignore everyone else and everything else around them and thus they never discover their true beauty. But in this story neither Narcissus nor the Lake are true narcissists because they are able to see their own beauty. And how they see their own beauty? Through another’s beauty. This story says something important about ourselves, about how we see ourselves through the reflections of everything around us. The story is trying to teach us a very important lesson and that is the only way to see your own true beauty is to appreciate another’s. It’s the perfect reciprocation of love. Love others and you’ll love yourself and also vice-versa. When we see something that is beautiful, whether it’s a flower, a person, the sky, an animal, a symbol, a lyric, a painting or anything else, somehow through that appreciation of that beauty we find our own. Let me put this real-world terms, if you find a person so beautiful and you express your appreciation to that person, eventually that person will reciprocate and express an appreciation for your own beauty. Narcissus used the Lake’s beauty in order to see his own, and through that appreciating of that beauty Narcissus saw his own beauty and the lake continued showing his own reflection to him. So is appreciating or seeking your own beauty selfish? No on the contrary, we all need to appreciate our own beauty. We all need to love ourselves so we can love others and through an appreciation of our beauty we begin to realize and see all the beauty around us. The Lake in the story was starting to appreciate Narcissus’ beauty, but when he died the lake was overcome with sadness. Throughout our lives we are taught that beauty is a one-way thing, we find some people beautiful and some people might find us beautiful. We are taught since a very young age that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And though that statement is very true, it fails to acknowledge the mutual exchange of beauty. Beauty can also be seen through the eye of the beholder. Think of this, a photographer takes a photograph of something they find beautiful, it might be something not all of us might find beautiful, but the fact that the photograph takes that photo he then expresses his own beauty through that photograph. What is beautiful in a photograph, the object or person in the photo, or the photograph itself, or the person who took the photograph? The answer is all three, because all three were able to feed off each other’s beauty. The photographer showed his appreciation of something beautiful by taking a photo and thus the photo became something beautiful itself and even the photographer’s beauty became apparent as well. So beauty is a two-way thing, it’s something we gather from others and others gather from us. Such as a photo, beauty is a mutual exchange. You cannot have beauty without having something else to appreciate that beauty. It’s like love; you cannot love if there is nothing to love. Love is also two-way exchange, you love to be loved and you are loved in order to love. Same thing as beauty, we find something beautiful so that beauty can reflect our own beauty, and our own beauty shows others their beauty.

Mashing up with Ratatat

I have even more mashups featuring instrumentals by Ratatat:

Go Falcon! - DJ Constant (Common's Go! vs. Ratatat's Falcon Jab)

(Right Click + Save As)

Tell me which one is the better of the following two:

Dare to Break Away - DJ Constant (Calle 13's Atrevete vs. Ratatat's Breaking Away)

(Right Click + Save As)

One Dare - DJ Constant (Calle 13's Atrevete vs. Ratatat's One)

(Right Click + Save As)

Words to Ponder On #2

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -Bruce Lee

"When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing." -Zen Proverb

These are two truly beautiful set of words that relate to each other in a seemingly simple way. Will elaborate on this idea in a upcoming post.

One Lady in the World (Mash-up)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another mash-up made by me (DJ Constant). This is a mash-up of Flight of Conchords's Ladies of the World and Ratatat's One. The song is appropriately titled One Lady in the World. Enjoy!

One Lady in the World (Flight of the Conchords vs. Ratatat) - DJ Constant

Download (Right Click + Save As)

First Mashup

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is my first effort on making a mash-up. I used Ratatat's Breaking Away, which is one of their best beats in my opinion, and Calle 13's La Jirafa, another favorite of mine. Basically I just added Calle 13's lyrics to Ratatat's beat. Hope you enjoy. Constructive criticism is gladly appreciated.

My DJ name is DJ Constant. Why? Because I believe in a constant flow in music.

Breaking Away My Jirafa (Ratatat vs. Calle 13) - DJ Constant
Download (Right Click + Save As)

The Chipotle Diet: Why Eating Whatever You Want Isn’t Bad For You?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

For the past couple of days I’ve been on a binge of Chipotle burritos, the big, hearty, 1,000+ calorie Burritos that most health conscious people would advise against eating. While partaking in this binge of so-called “junk-food” a very unique observation came into my mind, I looked around the Chipotle’s, and mind you I went about 14 times in the past month, I noticed every time I walked into a Chipotle’s everyone was thin and fit. Compared to a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and even Subway where I noticed that big chunks of the people are overweight or obese. Now, these burritos pack in more than a 1,000 calories in them, have tons of fat and carbohydrates and most people who eat there buy a soda with unlimited free refills. Now why is it that so many people who attend Chipotle’s are fit and not obese like in many other fast food establishments? I have a theory, nay a tested fact; it’s the love for the food! The burritos in Chipotle are simply wonderful edible pieces of joy. Everybody who eats one of those burritos thoroughly enjoy the experience of eating the burrito. Now you must be wondering what my point is. My point is that if you love your food and have a thoroughly happy experience while eating, then your food will love you back! Think about this, fact is most people who eat McDonalds on an often basis, feel guilty for every time they eat there. The calorie count (that is nowhere near Chipotle’s calorie count), the fact that they didn’t eat a salad instead, the feeling of dread because now they have to work-out to burn this fatty meal all starts running through the person’s mind. Eating foods at places like McDonalds and Burger King have become negative experiences, but with Chipotle it remains a positive experience. Now what I mean with your food will love you back is that if you truly enjoy what you are eating, only thinking about the positivity of the meal, how good it is, how tasty and fresh, the explosion of different flavors, just by simply enjoying the meal at its fullest will only affect you positively. It will not make you gain pounds by eating it, it will not make you feel physical ill, nor will it even negatively affect your health. I believe if you eat food and truly love what you are eating, that food will digest nicely, not affect you negatively in any way, and you will be going out with a feeling of fullness of ultimate satisfaction. Eating good food is always a good thing regardless of what you like. If you like eating a deep-fried salami sandwich with tons of cheese and 2 liters of Coke on the side and that makes you happy and does not make you have any negative feelings then you should definitely go for it and enjoy it to the fullest. Whatever food you like, you should eat it and feel happy about it. That’s why a well-cooked and fresh dish is more appetizing and more satisfying. That’s why, for example, a fresh and excellent tasting burrito at Chipotle is much more satisfying than an overly processed and cheaply made burger at McDonalds, even though the Chipotle burrito has nearly twice as many calories than a Big Mac, at the end of the meal you end up feeling much more satisfied and you feel like you had a healthy meal. That’s why dieting always fails! Diets make you feel guilty about the things you eat, it limits the eating the foods you truly love, and when you eat the food you truly love you end up beating yourself up. Dieting is self-punishing activity, a negative activity, an activity that limits your happiness and that’s why diets never work. Ask yourself, why is it we always see people who say they eat like crazy and never gain a pound? It’s because they have appreciation for food and never antagonize food. The people who say that always end up eating as much as an obese person does but they never gain a pound because they think of food as a positive thing in their lives. Their thoughts while eating, is enjoying the food and not worrying about any consequence that could happen. Same thing you can say vice-versa with people who say that with every little thing they eat they end up gaining pounds like crazy. Those people constantly look at food as a negative entity, as an antagonist to their weight problems. But in reality food is not the problem, but it’s ourselves, our negative thoughts, that cause excessive weight. So I purpose that the best diet is the one where you eat anything you want as long as it makes you happy. Whatever you want, if you eat it and it makes feel good inside then go eat it. And if you’re a person with weight problems then you’ll notice that once you start loving your food and growing a true appreciation for everything you love to eat you will start noticing a positive change in your body. You will become one of those people who say they eat like crazy and never gain a pound. I, myself, have lost about 50 pounds under this mode of thinking, or philosophy some might say. So love your food and it will love you back. Think of this, most people say “you are what you eat”, but if you eat something that is beautiful to you (something you love) then you will become beautiful.


They are finally making a film about Confucius!!! For all those who have been living under a rock for past couple centuries, Confucius is the Chinese philosopher who has inspired an entire religion based on his beliefs. The man playing the legend is Chow Yuan-Fat, an excellent choice since he is one of the best Chinese actors out there and not to mention he looks very similar to Confucius as he is depicted throughout history. I must say two things; first I love Chinese Epics, any film involving a epic tale involving sword fighting, martial arts, politics, and deep philosophical symbolism in Ancient China (Hero, Fearless) automatically qualifies as a film I definitely have to watch. Second I love Confucius, all that he stood for, all that he preached, his teachings of living life through moral virtue and not through a rigid system of laws, and the importance and emphasis he put on relatioships with other people, giving love and respect to the important bonds you share in life. Confucius teachings live on almost 2,500 years after his death. Why? Because his teaching, his philosophy relates to anybody, his ideas were universal, Confucius philosophy can be applied to any facet of life. It makes me happy that there is finally a film about another major religious persona, besides Jesus, it was already time to make a film about Confucius, and there is also so many other major religious figures to make biographical (or semi-biographical) films about. I absolutely can't wait for this film. In the meanwhile, I'll read more on Confucius, because there is so much I don't know about him.

Here's a couple of quotes of Confucius' great teachings to dwell upon:

"What one does not wish for oneself, one ought not to do to anyone else; what one recognizes as desirable for oneself, one ought to be willing to grant to others."

"Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself (all friends would be as loyal as yourself). If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it."

Side Thought: I want to see a film be made about Lao-Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, who teaching and philosophies later became into the religion we know today as Taoism. Even-though Lao-Tzu is believed to be myth, more a combination of several historical figures who existed in the time, I think his persona has been developed into a unique one. A film about Lao-Tzu will emphasize more on the myth of Lao-Tzu, the man who traveled all of China riding a water buffalo, and how that myth manifested into an entire way of life, a philosophy that has inspired millions upon millions of people.

Words to Ponder On #1

Thursday, September 3, 2009

“Softness triumphs over hardness, feebleness over strength. What is more malleable is always superior over that which is immovable. This is the principle of controlling things by going along with them, of mastery through adaptation” –Lao-Tzu


Friday, August 28, 2009

Alejandro Amenábar, director and writer of The Others and The Sea Inside, has a new film in store. This one is a ancient Roman epic starring Rachel Weisz. I must say two things; I love films that take place in ancient Rome and I love Rachel Weisz, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed with memories of The Fountain when I see her in this film. But one question comes to mind; why do all characters in all films that take place in ancient Rome have British accents?!? (You won't hear the characters speaking in this trailer, but other websites have a longer trailer and you'll hear all the British accents)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I saw this trailer before seeing Inglorious Basterds in the theaters and when it started it gave me chills. This is the new film written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight, Memento) and starring two of my favorite actors right now, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt! I would have never really imagined DiCaprio doing a film with Gordon-Levitt, but alas it's seems to be a match made in heaven, considering they are the two best actors in Hollywood right now. Not to mention Marion Cotillard is also in it, she did a superb job in La Vie En Rose. Plus even more awesome actors such as Michael Caine, who doesn't love that British accent, Lukas Haas, who did a very good job in Brick and looking forward to seeing more of him, and Cillian Murphy, who starred in my favorite Zombie movie of all-time, 28 Days Later. This film has an beyond awesome cast, and from the look of the trailer, it seems to be a sci-fi thriller a cross between Minority Report and The Matrix. I'm extremely excited for this film, can't wait to see it!

Fifty Dead Men Walking

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I noticed a common occurrence when you live in NYC is when you're looking through the list of films playing in the local movie theaters and you see one film you never heard of. This is the case with the film, Fifty Dead Men Walking, an Irish film starring Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley. Before I looked over what was playing in AMC Empire 25, the biggest movie theater in NYC, I never heard of the film, but then I was intrigued so I went to check it out on IMDB and noticed that Ben Kingsley was finally starring in a role that was not a crappy sci-fi or off-beat crime comedy like he has been doing for the past 10 years! Ben Kinsley was finally starring in a serious film and that captured my attention. Also Jim Sturgess stars, who did an impressive job in the film, 21. This film looks really good, I must catch in theaters soon.

Here's the premise of the film:

"Inspired by Martin McGartlands incredible autobiography, Fifty Dead Men Walking is the stunning new action thriller by Kari Skogland about a secret agent working undercover for British security services in Northern Ireland in the late eighties. Over the course of four years, until his betrayal and subsequent discovery, it was estimated that McGartland was responsible for saving the lives of up to fifty men."
And the trailer:

Any Fun

Friday, August 21, 2009

Coconut Records released a new music video for their song Any Fun!

I like the very old 1950's home-video style to it. Plus it's entirely shot in New York!

Life changing experience

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This documentary and book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, has changed my life in so many positive ways. Give this a watch:

Yes, this might at first sound a little over dramatic and preachy, but I assure you it's made to capture your attention. It's so true when they talk about the power of positive thinking. Our lives really are the culmination of our everyday thoughts. Most religions and philosophies of the world talk about mind over matter and this puts aside all the mystic and magical connotations about mind over matter and puts it into a way which is much more realistic and easier to relate to. Whatever we think about becomes reality, this has taught me that happiness can only come from the inside. So maintaining positive thoughts and thinking of only things you truly want and knowing that there is abundance in life for everything and anything you want, you then will truly be a happy person.

Now here's is two inspiration quotes to dwell upon:

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way you are right"
-Henry Ford

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him"

Tango Hip-Hop?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tango has always been a music of passion. A sensual rhythm that gets the heart pumping with fiery passion and just makes you want to dance. Yes the title is correct, I have found a band called Bajofondo that is straight from Argentina and Uruguay that makes an interesting mix of Tango and Hip-Hop. It's two genres I would have never imagined being combined and I have to say I'm presently surprised. I listened to Bajofondo's live album titled Supervielle. This album has a perfect combination of classic tango with modern hip-hop and some electronic. The music is so relaxing and soothing, it puts the mind in a beautiful trance. Maintaining a new and unique sound, Bajofondo manages to revitalize tango music. With the addition of a DJ (someone on turntables) on their band it adds new life to this dying genre. This band also does a interesting mix with vocals, using classic vocals from a couple of popular Tango singers, and they also incorporate rapping. Being a big fan of tango and groups like Gotan Project, I love this album. This music is so sensual, just like Tango which is one of the most sensual genres of music, this perfect fusion of classic Tango and modern hip-hop makes for a perfect blend of sensuality and modernity.

Wish You Were Here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

After having my mind being blown by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, I was looking to listen to more of Pink Floyd’s albums. After having a chat with a friend talking about The Dark Side of the Moon he suggested to me to listen to Wish You Were Here. He said it was completely non-commercial just like Dark Side; one of Pink Floyd’s other avant-garde albums. Wish You Were Here was album made after Syd Barrett departure of the band. Syd Barrett was suffering through a rough LSD drug addiction and a decline in his mental state so Syd Barrett and the rest of Pink Floyd broke off. The other members of Pink Floyd were incredibly saddened by the loss of a great band member, one who mainly composed all the song in their first 2 albums. So this album was created as a tribute to Syd Barrett.

I have to say from the start this is another great album made by Pink Floyd, as with Dark Side of the Moon the entire album is one piece of work and not just a bunch of tracks put together. The lyrics are very sincere, reminiscing about the good times they had with Syd Barrett and sadness of the loss of incredible potential Barrett had. The most impressive song of the album was Shine On You Crazy Diamond, which is a 20 minute song divided into two parts. The song starts very spaced out similar to the sound of Dark Side then moves to very jazzy with the use of a saxophone and then has a rapid climax with funky melodies. Then there is my other favorite song in the album Wish You Were Here, which ironically sounds like many indie bands I listen to nowadays, very similar to artists like Bon Iver, Coldplay and many others. The guitar is amazing in this song; I really dig the acoustic sound. The lyrics in this song are simply beautiful. They express the sadness of losing a great friend, their frustrations for that loss, and their desire to have him back. This is a great album, filled with many memorable moments, if you like Pink Floyd or like slow and spaced-out music you should definitely give this album a listen.

Beautiful lyrics from the song Wish You Were Here:

“How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls

Swimming in a fish bowl,

Year after year,

Running over the same old ground.

What have we found

The same old fears.

Wish you were here.”

(500) Days of Summer... again

Align Left
Warning this reflection of the film contains spoilers.

So I went to see (500) Days of Summer again because I recommended it to a friend who had a recent bad break-up, and he was dying to see it so I went with him to watch this amazing film again. I will tell you now, for a second viewing of the film I was amazed again! I still felt the magic of the film as I felt it the first time I watched it, and the film to a certain degree got even better. Watching it for a second time I was able to appreciate other things that I didn't noticed the first time around. In this second viewing I really felt sympathetic for Summer. In the first viewing I thought Summer was rather cold-hearted, but in the second time I realized Summer is human being too with feelings and emotions. Even though Summer was much more closed than Tom was, she was in a relationship too, and she also felt heartbreak. It wasn't easy for Summer to break it off with Tom, but, unlike Tom, she followed her intuition and was honest to herself about the way she felt about Tom. Summer at 300th or so day started to feel that she truly didn't love Tom, the feeling between her and Tom was dwindling. Tom's break-up was so hard because he was resting on a fantasy, but more so he was constantly thinking about lack. He thought about the lack of love Summer was showing, he thought about the lack of consistency in the relationship, he thought of the lack of women out there besides Summer that he could connect with. Tom constantly had negative thoughts running through his mind. As the narrator said, Tom's mode of thinking was similar to sad 80's British pop music, he lived in world where there was heartbreak, where love is a rare thing, and that one really has to fight for it to win it. This way of thinking really hurt Tom and really hurt his relationship with Summer. Summer during the relationship was having fun, taking it casual and slow, meanwhile Tom was panicking that he was going to lose Summer. Tom felt as though he had to be in an official relationship with her, in order to guarantee no heartbreak. At one point in the film Tom says "I just want consistency" and Summer replies "You know I can't give you that, only you can". Summer was completely correct, Tom was looking for the love of Summer in order to feel true happiness but that isn't the way. One has to be happy, and you have to love yourself in order to give love to others. Of course nonetheless, Summer and Tom weren't meant to be with each other, but they were meant to have a short-lived relationship. Both Tom and Summer learned so much from that relationship they had together. Summer found someone who she truly loved by first learning about Tom's philosophy on love. Tom ended up pursing architecture and also finding someone else all due to Summer.

It's not a love story, but it is a story about love. We all go through these moments in our lives that we rest all our happiness on one person, but that only leads to feeling empty and unsatisfied, no one can give you the happiness that you truly want, you have to be happy on your own in order to live happy. You have to love yourself in order to love others. Tom at the end start appreciating and loving himself because he pursued architecture and that's how he was able to meet Autumn. (500) Days of Summer is a therapeutic film teaching about love, the destructive power of negative thoughts, and a very important lesson that love is always out there and there is an abundance of love to be given and received, one just has to be patient and let it come to you naturally.

Photo Blog #1

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Channeling Clark Kent.

[See Photo Blog Project]

Enigmatic Lyrics

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Open up your
Open up your
Open up your throat
And let time
All of that time
All of that time
All of that time go

I know it sucks that Daddy's done

But try to think of what you want

You've got to open up

Open up your
Open up your throat

Support your brother
Brother Sport

You got to weigh what you say

To help you shape the way you play

You gotta get rid of the mourning

Sort out the habits of your mind

You're halfway 'til you're fully grown

You've got a real good shot

Won't help to hold inside

Give a real, give a real

Shout out

Until you're fully grown
You've got a real good shot
Won't help to hold inside
Give a real, give a real
Shout out

Animal Collective's lyrics are always a bit abstract and hard to understand but after many listens to the song Bothersport I finally fully grasp it's meaning. The song is written for a brother called Matt who apparently had many problems. The lyricist is trying to tell his brother that the problems have come and gone and that its time to open up and talk about his problems. Anybody can easily relate to these lyrics, we all go through problems in our lives that we feel fearful or ashamed to talk about, but sometimes it's so much better to shout them out, to talk about them rather than holding them bottled up inside. "You got to weigh what you say, To help you shape the way you play" Talking to friends or family is a great reliever, someone is always willing to listen and give advice, and through that proper exchange in communication we can shape our lives harmoniously. As the song says "Won't help to hold inside".

The Dark Side of the Moon

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For many years I’ve heard this album been talked about, people praising it for being one of the most influential albums ever made. Then one day I put on the album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys for me and my dad to hear it, and he said the album was amazing and that it sounded it just like Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I absolutely love Pet Sounds, and before I heard that comment comparing Pet Sounds to Pink Floyd, I always thought Pink Floyd was way too commercial and mainstream for me. I only knew of the songs such as Another Brick in the Wall, Comfortably Numb, and Money all which are very mainstream songs, so I disregard Pink Floyd as a mainstream band like Rolling Stones or The Who for many years. Then with the discovery of The Beatle’s Srgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club and The Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, I’ve realized some of these massively popular bands that make up the mainstream as we know it today have also made these avant-garde albums that are nothing like their mainstream successes. Sometimes the media constantly shows only the commercial side of these bands that you never realize they have an amazing catalogue of powerful completely non-commercial and unique music. So I decided to give a listen to Pink Floyd avant-garde album. The Dark Side of the Moon I have to say from the start is mind-blowing. From the very beginning to very end it’s a trip into a vast musical landscape of mellow tones, powerful singing, spaced out melodies, and hypnotic rhythms. I was completely blown away from this album. It was so carefully constructed as if it was created for a story. The music flows from beginning to end as the album is more of an entire piece of work rather a track by track album. The song that impressed me the most was The Great Gig in the Sky which has a powerful female voice, a gospel singer, singing in the background. It was interesting the combination of rock with gospel vocals, something that is rarely done. The album also used various vocals and melodies various times throughout the entire album, maintaining a unique and similar sound to it throughout the entire album. This album is filled with unique instrumentation, a variety of amazing vocals, and amazing spacey feel to it. The Dark Side of the Moon is a work of art, an amazing piece of music that should live forever in our musical history. If you haven’t listened to The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety, go now!

Angels with Guns!

Yes you heard me right. This film has angels, as in heavenly biblical angles, kicking some demon ass with guns. Awesome premise right? Constantine, End of Days all are films with the premise of Heaven vs. Hell, but in those films they are mainly humans fighting with demons, but in the upcoming film Legion, starring Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid, it's angels doing most of the fighting. I know this all sounds juvenile and maybe blasphemous to some, but I find something quite exciting about this film. There is a certain quality to action/adventure films that use biblical mythology, they are pretty fun and intriguing to watch.

Call me an Idealist

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lately there has been a lot of drama amongst some of my friends. Falling in and out of relationships, problems with friendships, frustrations about life, everything people go through every day in their daily lives. Luckily I’m not involved in any of this nor have any stress because of this, but, like always, I kindly offer my advice to my friends. I say that there is no need to be frustrated or stress because life needs to be enjoyed, good things will come once you start feeling happier. For my friends who break-up with a significant other I always say the cliché “there is plenty of fish in the sea”, but I mean that with all my heart. Everybody has someone out there who would make them happy. We are not limited to a small selection of people to choose from, to care for. No, we have an abundance of people to love, to care for, to be friends with, the options are basically limitless. Now when I say this people look at me with skepticism. They believe life can’t be that easy, that in life we have to fight for what we truly want. But I always ask why fight? Why not just wait for what you want? Fighting is a struggle, its work, it makes one unhappy and frustrated, and that is not the way to achieve happiness. In our society we are programmed to believe that everything; love, friendship, wealth, work, happiness, all has to be fought for in order to get it. You see it with all types of music, movies, TV shows, advertisements, cultural customs and advice people give to others every day. I disagree with this widely spread belief. There is no need to fight, fighting just creates more resistance, it creates more anger, and more unhappiness. I don’t think we need to fight for what we truly want; we don’t need to fight for what truly makes us happy. I think for the things that you truly want in life, whether its wealth, love, friendship, or anything else, you should let it come naturally to you. The things that happen naturally with little or no resistance are things that will truly make you happy in life. Many people may think that this belief is naïve, unrealistic, and hopeless. But on the contrary, thinking about the best results will always result in getting the best. So, like I tell all my friends, just be patient because good things will come. That’s how I live my life, I only think of the things I really want, of the best that I can get, and nothing else and through that lifestyle I’m living a happy life. So you can call me an idealist, because I’m proud to be one.

I Love New York

The new trailer for New York, I Love You finally has come out! This film follows the same concept as Paris, Je t'aime, as it's a series of short stories about romance in a large city interwoven to make one film. Now this one doesn't have quite as many big name directors as Paris, Je t'aime. The only directors I recognize is Mira Nair, who directed The Namesake, and Brett Ratner, who directed the Rush Hour series. The rest of the directors and writers are indie and foreign filmmakers, which has me quite excited. It nice to see indie and foreign filmmakers incorporating their unique and new film style for a Hollywood produced film.

I think they picked a perfect place to make this type of film. New York is a lovely place filled with wonder, life, love, and excitement. New York is truly a wonderful and unique city. No other city comes in comparison with the diversity, the style, the grandeur that New York offers. A gigantic mesh of culture that creates an interesting flavor for this grand city. Everywhere you look you see something interesting, you see new and interesting faces, you see the fusion of culture in people's wardrobe, speech, and customs. New York is a truly spell-binding city, I absolutely can't wait to see this film because I, too, love New York. <3

(500) Days of Summer

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warning this review might contain some spoilers.

I finally went to see (500) Days of Summer, the film I have been anticipating and hyping since February. It’s a long time to wait for a film and within that time the hype grew and grew. Then on a Saturday night I entered the theater finally after 6 months of anticipation with my expectations running so high. The film started with soft classical music slowly gaining momentum, reminiscent of fantasy films, then a narrator with a very deep and authoritative voice starts talking. His first line “This is a story of boy meets girl.” An introduction is given about the two main characters Tom, the boy who falls in love, and Summer, the girl who doesn’t. At that instance, two minutes into the film, I knew this wasn’t your ordinary cliché-ridden romantic comedy, I realized this film is going to unique and unlike any other. In a time where romantic comedies seem to be empty, superficial, and lacking any real heart comes (500) Days of Summer which comes like a refreshing breeze in the sea of dry romance films. This flim blew my mind, it was witty, funny, new, and engaging.

First let me start with the two stars of the film, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two actors I have complete love for. Zooey Deschanel a beautiful woman who always plays the strong female lead extremely well. She has a talent for playing the corky, weird, and slightly off-beat female. Then there is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is one of my favorite actors right now. Star of one my other favorite romantic comedies, 10 Things I Hate About You, and star of many other wonderful films such as Brick and The Lookout. Gordon-Levitt has the talent and is an amazing actor of the top most quality and I see him going great places in his art. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt blended very well in this film. In most romantic comedies you need to feel the chemistry between the two leads but in this film it was different. The film is about the full course of a relationship, the beginning, the middle, and the end. And throughout the film you see the development of the chemistry between the two leads but then you also see the slow deterioration of the chemistry between them. The film expertly explores the development of innocent and naïve love. Many people might find the fact that this romantic comedy is not quite the love story as all the others, many people might find it depressing because of that fact. But on the contrary this film shows the ups and downs of relationships and being in love while the other person is not is a hard thing to go through. This is where the film is at its strongest. Even though it shows a relationship that doesn’t quite work out, it’s still a beautiful thing. So many memorable experiences and joyful experiences are created that will pristinely forever live in happiness. We tend to look at relationships and only think about the outcome, when really it isn’t only about the outcome, what is most important is what one goes through that relationship. Even though a relationship doesn’t work out in the end, there are so many things that happened during the relationship that made you happy, those moments should be cherished. Marc Webb, the director the film, did an excellent job at capturing these small moments that live pristinely in happiness and joy for the rest of our lives. The lingering shots of Summer’s face, of Tom and Summer holding hands, of the smile on their faces, all are shots that make this film truly wonderful. In real life the small moments of seeing the one you love smile, laughing, and glancing at you are the images that keep playing over and over in our heads. Marc Webb of course knows this and he expertly incorporate those lingering images into his film.

I also have to praise the cleaver use of an omniscient narrator, who had no relation to any of the characters in the story. The narrator had a deep voice and was very well articulated, reminiscent of nature documentaries or other films like Little Children. To me the film sounded more like an anthropological study on the workings of love, a dive into the inner-workings of human nature. The narrator added an authoritative and serious tone to this romantic comedy. It made the film feel important to me, hearing the narrator made me feel like I had to listen to this film, take the opportunity to learn something new from this two-hour exposition of falling in love.

As for the soundtrack, it was completely amazing! An enchanting and such an engaging soundtrack filled with many memorable songs ranging from indie artist such as Regina Spektor, Feist, She & Him, Doves, Wolfmother, and the Temper Trap, and it also had a couple of classics from the 80’s such as The Smiths, Hall & Oates and Simon & Garfunkel. A big influence of this film I think comes from songs of The Smiths, anyone who holds The Smiths close to their hearts knows that their lyrics are about the pursuit and search for love. Tom is desperate for love and as they say in The Smiths song, There Is A Light The Never Goes Out, “And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die” Tom is desperate to find love and he feels that he would only feel happy once he does, no matter how dire the circumstances. No wonder Tom falls head over heels with Summer, once he finds out she likes the Smiths. Also with the other songs such as Sweet Disposition by the Temper Traps and Us by Regina Spektor are perfect love songs, expressing the small moments of love we all experience in our lives.

(500) Days of Summer follows a non-liner story sequence, a definitely interesting choice for this type of film. But I think the fact that it was structured this way allows the audience to feel more empathetic for Tom. As the audience we are put into Tom’s shoes. We experience his overwhelming sense of love then his despair of that love not being reciprocated back to him. Tom represents the every-day person. Every person goes through an up and down through their relationships. We sometimes love someone who doesn’t love us back. Tom’s experience is a growing experience, a story of growth and learning about love. The way he learns might seem harsh, but in reality it’s a beautiful thing, because he learns about love and he learns that love is always out there. There is someone out there for everyone. The fact that Summer ended up finding someone else but in the most seemingly random circumstances in the same exact way Tom has always expressed he wanted to find true love, shows that Tom’s view of love is correct even though his relationship with Summer didn’t work, as the narrator stated “This is not a love story. It’s a story of love.” Tom learned about love and was able to later find love. At the end when Tom seemingly coincidently met with someone else that seem to have created a love spark, shows that his view of love was always correct he just had to find the right one. The film shows another very important thing, it’s always good to give someone a chance. True love might be found in the most unexpected of places or even in the most obvious of places. We simply don’t know where true love lies, we have to go out there and find it. We have to love someone in order to find someone to love us. Tom’s relationship with Summer wasn’t a lost cause. It was a wonderful chance to learn something new and spend some precious time with an amazing person. Sure it didn’t work out, but Tom loved and could always love again. There is no limit to how much we can love, so we all have to take advantage of those moments of sweet disposition we experience when we fall in love. (500) Days of Summer was a wonderful film that I have fell in love in with. There are rare times in movies where I have a glowing smile from beginning to end. The actors were amazing, the cinematography was simply memorable, the story was enchanting, and the ending was awe-inspiring. I love (500) Days of Summer.

“a moment, a love
a dream, a laugh

a kiss, a cry

our rights, our wrongs (won't stop til it's over)”

These lyrics are simply BEAUTIFUL.

We all have a wild thing in us

I'm absolutely in love with this trailer. Where The Wild Things Are is shaping to look like a wonderful film. The effects look great, the costumes look amazing, the creatures look so accurate to the illustrations in the book. The art direction is simply wonderful, everything has the look of Maurice Sendak's original book. I'm so glad they kept Arcade Fire's Wake Up in the trailer because that song is simply awesome and conveys the film's true themes. Spike Jonez, writer and director, seems to be creating a truly powerful and thematically heavy film. Even though the original book was very short, it had many heavy themes about childhood dreams, pursing your ambitions, the clash of escapism versus realism, and our need to unleash our primal desires. Spike Jonez seems like he is really going to elaborate on these heavy themes that were lightly touched upon in the original book. After all we all have a wild thing in us...

Indie Music in Movie Trailers

Recently I viewed the trailer of a film called Only and it had one of my most favorite indie songs, Wet and Rusting by Menomena, and I realized that Indie songs really make any movie trailer a whole lot better. There's a enchanting quality in hearing an Indie song that is up-beat, happy, smooth, but yet full of life in a movie trailer. There is such wealth of music out there in the world that we can find any song that is already written to convey a feeling, an emotion, a thought. Especially in Indie/Alternative music where the songs have such a wealth of meaningful lyrics. Lyrics that tell epic stories, convey a specific feeling, and lyrics that tell us about the world around us. For a filmmaker, Indie songs make a perfect match to convey the subject and the theme of the film. To tell the audience what film they are going to watch. As in the 500 Days of Summer trailer with the song Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap. And with Where the Wild Things Are trailer with the song Wake Up by Arcade Fire. Each song is meant to be attached with these great films. Many of us might not realize it, but we develop strong relationships with songs. We create powerful associations of important life experiences and strong emotions with every single song we listen to. The more we listen to a song the stronger that association gets. Same thing with the marketing of a film. If you take a song that brings positive thoughts or strong feelings and put in a movie trailer, you make a personal connection with the film that is being advertised.

Now is one my all-time favorite indie songs that was in Only trailer.
Wet and Rusting by Menomena.

Fantastic Mr. Anderson

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wes Anderson is back and this time he is doing animation? Yes sounds odd but Mr. Anderson is an odd man. Even though this is animation, Wes Anderson's new film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, maintains that Wes Anderson flair and style. Slick, colorful and off-beat this film look likes its going to be a fun ride.

A Serious Awesome Trailer

I love this trailer! I'm not the biggest fan of Coen Brothers' films, but this trailer is so amazingly unique using sounds from various scenes and making a rhythmic mash-up. I give props to the editor of this trailer for creating such a unique fresh style of trailer editing. It makes me very intrigued for this film, it looks hilarious and refreshing. Can't wait to hear more from this film.

"The Rabbi is busy."
"He doesn't look busy!"
"He's thinking..."

Photo Blog Project

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ever since I got a new camera (Sony Cybershot W290), I wanted to take the opportunity to use it to take some artistic photographs. So I got this list from Marielle's blog (which she got it from her friend, Kristin's blog) of 100 things to take photos of. Each photo must somehow show or convey the thing/concept that is stated. This list has quite a couple of abstract ones so it is going to be challenge, but I'm determined to get all of them and within a year. This is going to be fun! Wish me luck! =)

Here's the list:

1. Introduction
2. Love
3. Light
4. Dark
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence
9. Drive
10. Breathe Again
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Gray
20. Fortitude
21. Vacation
22. Mother Nature
23. Cat
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
30. Under the Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectations
34. Stars
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. Stripes
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger Ahead
57. Sacrifice
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Do Not Disturb
64. Multitasking
65. Horror
66. Traps
67. Playing the Melody
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mischief Managed
73. I Can't
74. Are You Challenging Me?
75. Mirror
76. Broken Pieces
77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
83. Heal
84. Out Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red
87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle
91. Drowning
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
95. Advertisement
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude
100. Relaxation