One question I don’t think gets asked enough when discussing film is “how did it make you feel?” Along with, “was it effective in delivering its message? And did it inspire as it meant to?” After all, these are the reasons I got into film studies in the first place, because film is inspiring. I watch the critically acclaimed La La Land yesterday. A spontaneous meet up with a very good friend led to heading to the cinema to see the 9:45pm showing, and dear God was it amazing. I had been dying to see it since I watched the trailer, and even with an overly noisy (and dare I say drunk) group of people a row across from us, it was the most inspiring film I’ve seen this year. Being that we’re only seventeen days into 2017, I’m not sure how much that says, but it really is a beautiful film, and it reminded me of why I do what I do. It reminded me of why I study and strive to build myself up to do something (hopefully) world-changing. Films feed the soul, or at least they feed mine. Showing heartbreak and loss, defeat and destruction, love and hope, success and creation… Films show us the worlds outside the ones we live in, perspectives we’ve never even thought of, and we can even watch from the comfort of our very own homes.
So I got a little inspiration from one of my lecturers recently to set myself a reading goal. I’m quite bad about books as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve gotten into the habit of staring a book, getting about a quarter of the way into it or more, and then stopping and starting a different book… No idea why, but it keeps happening. I also keep buying more books even when I haven’t finished reading the pile of ones I already have. Therefore I decided taking a leaf out of their book (pardon the pun), and maybe setting some reading goals myself would be a good idea.
This post is a bit more sad than usual. Today I attended the funeral of my grandfather, we always called him Pop. Losing him was sudden, but I’ve found so far that it always is. In the space of six months I have lost two grandparents, both of my father’s parents are now gone, and of course we are all heartbroken. Yet, we go on. We go on because that is what they would have wanted.
Turning an idea into an action is always harder than it sounds. You make a whole big list of things you want to do, things you want to make or write, a whole long bunch of possibilities, and in all likelihood you end up doing less than half of them. Or that’s how it usually ends up working for me. I write lots of lists and put them on my wall, to do lists, screeds of goals, and daily reminders, many of which I end up not completing. I fill notebooks with ideas, and then wonder if I’ll ever actually bring them into reality. I look at my bucket list (Yes, I’m 20 years old and I have a bucket list. It’s never too early to start, you know!) and wonder how many of the things I’ve written down I’ll actually manage to do. I also wonder if some of the things I have written down are too ambitious, then I remember that I may as well try, or what’s the point in having a bucket list? In any case I decided to think about my New Year’s Resolution early, and how maybe I should try and make more of my ideas actions.
All For a Hat, Rewatching Old Favourites, and My First Christmas Away From Home
When I first began writing this post, it was about staying positive when facing a year abroad. As I wrote it developed to staying positive in the face of challenges and lost hopes. It changed again, quite drastically, after the 2016 American Election results. Now more than ever I feel this is relevant.
The news of the 2016 American Election results will forever be burned into our minds and, for those with any real sense, will have left us devastated, dejected and demoralised. I’m not American, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t effect me, and everyone else in the world. However, the most important thing now is not giving in to the fear and hate that has won this election. Sticking together, supporting all those who have been attacked during his campaign, and who will face further attacks, is crucial. Woman, LGBTQ+ members, minorities, Muslims, people with disabilities, and so many others are now afraid and angry, and rightly so, but these emotions have to be pushed towards continuing to fight for the future we believe in. Staying positive and continuing to fight for equality, against hate and discrimination is our only chance to save our futures from the ‘huge’ number of negative outcomes of recent events. After Brexit, I thought things couldn’t get much worse, but it did. Now I find myself genuinely concerned for humanity. I’m scared of the world I live in, of the closed-minded people in it. So the only way I can keep my head above water is to think of everything I have worth fighting for, and continue to speak up for what I believe is right.
(Before I start, I’d just like to say that wifi has been super bad the past few weeks making it hard to do much online, so that’s why it’s been a while since my last entry. That and the fact I have exams and assignments due in two weeks time. However, you can all rest in the knowledge I’m still alive and working away in Beijing.)
I visited the Temple of Heaven (briefly) last weekend. I got a tad lost trying to find my way around and stumbled upon the exact spot I stood on five years ago when I visited as a school student as part of a Hanban/Confucius Institute Summer Bridge Camp. It was strange being back. It’s been so long since I was last there, yet I recognised it instantly. It made me think about how fast time passes, and just how quickly things we think will never end (dramatic pause) are over. I cross off my calendar every day and watch as my life ticks by. I wonder how quickly this will all just become another memory, a photo I look at and reminisce over. I may not be able to slow down time, but I can at least make the most of the time I do have.