Tag Archives: storytelling

The Book Thief

15 Mar

At the weekend we wandered along to the cinema to see The Book Thief.

*some small spoilers but nothing too crucial!*

I had few expectations, i hadn’t seen the trailer; all i knew was that it was set in Germany during WWII and that it followed the story of a little blonde girl… who presumably stole books!

It was beautiful.

A glorious piece of film: stunning cinematography, captivating and a really well written story with realistic, enigmatic characters, played out by equally beguiling actors and actresses. The parts of Liesel and Hans, Sophie Nélisse and Geoffrey Rush respectively, were the most enchanting. Their relationship made the horrors just bearable. The sheer harmony of their connections made my eyes tear just as much as the monstrosities… and i won’t spoil the ending but bring your tissues.

I loved this film for another reason as well: it’s portrayal of a love and vital importance for storytelling. It is a tale literally centered around that ideal. Without that first stolen book, Liesel would never have formed such a strong bond with Hans (or Max), nor would she have been able to cope, and aid others in coping, with the fear surrounding their lives and ultimately it saved her life.

The scene in the bomb shelter where Liesel makes the realisation of how her love for stories and Hans’ love for music are equated and the joy of sharing them with an audience is enough to block out the noise of the bombs above and the fear below broke my heart; my eyes overspilled and i wept at the unconditional beauty.

I’m always ensnared by a good story, and a good story that preaches the love and critical precedence for storytelling has more than earned it’s place in my favourites.

Thoroughly recommend you watch (and read!) The Book Thief.

 

Chloe out.

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Literature MATTERS

4 Feb

THIS GIRL wrote this REALLY BEAUTIFUL POST on tumblr and i’m reposting it here because it is wonderful and important.

I just read online for the thousandth time that Young Adult literature is important because “it’s important for teens to have something of their own.” And for the first time in five years, I actually thought about that statement.

“It’s important for teens to have something of their own.”

Is it?

I actually don’t think it is. I think it’s important for teens to have something thatmatters.

I think I might be getting over this prevalent idea of teenhood and adulthood as separate countries, connected only by a wobbly rope-bridge that some fall off. I’m beginning to suspect that this demarcation is actually a symptom of our subtly ageist society — a consequence of America’s deeply held belief that youth is grand and foolish, age is wise but uncool.

“It’s important for teens to have something of their own.”

Why is it important for it to be only theirs? Because once adults get ahold of it, it’s no longer cool?

It strikes me more and more as a back-handed compliment.

When we laugh about something not being cool to teens as soon as adults embrace it — Facebook, Chucks, Radiohead — what we’re also saying to teens is: adulthood is many things, but cool is probably not one of them. It’s an echo of the ever-so-subtle message always encouraging us to look back fondly on our high school and college years — that fleeting time when we were young and pretty (and good for billboards) and our relationships mattered (to Hollywood) because we were young and pretty. It’s all downhill from there, says society! Get used to settling for less, kiddos, because that’s adulthood!

(here is a common compliment for women: “oh, you look so young!” — what happens when she looks old?)

When we say that YA fiction is important because it’s important for teens to have something of their own, what we’re also saying is: YA literature is only for teens, not for adults, so put that down, you random adult holding Divergent or The Book Thief or whatnot. Or at least have a damn good excuse for reading it, adult! Are you a teacher? Or remedial, maybe? If you were a real adult, you’d be reading grown up books!

(here is a common insult for a man: “oh, grow up!” — that means, irrational emotions are for children only!)

“It’s important for teens to have something of their own.”

It’s important to have books of all kinds, at all reading levels, about all genders and colors and classes of people. It’s important to have sad books and happy books, books that stick with you forever and books that you love for just an afternoon. It’s important to have books about ponies and dolphins and cancer and space travel and everything in this world.

Teenhood and adulthood aren’t separate countries at all. Once you survive puberty, you’re thrown into a nebulous time-space continuum where from moment to moment, you can be wise and foolish, old and young, profound and silly. And it lasts the rest of your life. The bridge between those two countries? It never ends.

I think the young adult section of the bookstore is important for a lot of reasons, but putting teens into their own box is not one of them.

Everyone should have something that matters, something important. Stories are important, all stories. We all have our preferences, we all have our loves, our obsessions (our snobberies and ideals); but we should never judge people for what they choose to read, what the enjoy reading.

Happy storying.

Chloe out.

Michael Pope is Gay for Pay

25 Aug

Last night we went to see the wonderful Michael Pope in Michael Pope is Gay for Pay at The Phoenix.

 

After seeing him open up for Amanda Palmer at The Evening With concert previously, i did have expectations, and they were well met. In terms of content i had no idea what to expect, previously The Evening With gig had an age limit of 14 whereas Pope’s gig was 18… so more than a little of his show was left out and all i had to go on was a deep raspy voice (a voice i want a recording of, to play down the phone at odd times of the night to my friends! A question i should have asked, do you ever put on that voice when people call you up on the phone?).

 

(Michael Pope at An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmersee previous post)

 

This show is classed as comedy in the Fringe book, and although it is funny (hell, it pulls you through all states of emotional bewilderment), the classification of spoken word or storytelling would seem more appropriate. Storytelling via spoken word on stage is an odd art and an interesting one, and a lot of the time hard to pull off and grasp the attention of your audience, but for a whole 55 minutes the little Phoenix audience was gripped and enthralled by the tales of Pope’s peculiar life.

I wont give too much away about the content of the show itself, because i want you to go see it! There are only two performances left, so get off your arses and run down to the Phoenix now!

Let him take you through “the theatre of the imagination.”

Seriously! Wanna go? Head down to The Phoenix on Broughton Street in Edinburgh, just before 10:45 (leaving time to grab yrself a drink), sit down on the comfy chairs and await your glorious fate (oh and it’s free! so really you have no excuse not to go).

 

Show website. oh and follow it on twitter @popeisgay4pay and follow him on twitter @popecinema

 

“Fringe fairy dust was falling on me” ★★★★ – Fringe Guru <— I love this little quote about the show, ’tis very true.

 

Thank you Michael Pope for a wonderful 55minutes and for being lovely enough to not only recognise me but have a nice little chat outside after the show, oh and liking my art 🙂

Chloe out.