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.
(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.
On my third week in Beijing now. A few more days and it’ll be the longest I’ve stayed in a foreign country. It’s so strange to think about really, how far away from home I am. Flying doesn’t help with that I think, you don’t really comprehend how far you’ve traveled, it’s all sort of a blur of films, sleep and plane food. Even so, here I am 4,928 miles away from home, just a bit further than my usual 268 miles when I’m back at uni… And, of course, with such a distance comes homesickness. I’ve always gotten quite homesick because I tend to spend a lot of time with my parents when I’m home, whether we are just watching movies, going on dog walks or late night chats, I always enjoy spending time with them. I told my mum last night that I was missing her and my dad a lot, her reply was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my little bout of sadness “That’s perfectly understandable. We’re awesome parents. Xx” She always knows how to make me laugh, even if I’m miles and miles away.