Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)

Film

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Is it possible to fall in love with a film in the first 2 minutes? The drawing of a person’s face on the chin reminded me of my sister and me when we were younger. We’d draw a face on our chin and talk, while the other person tries not to laugh. I remember often losing this game. The dominos falling remind me of a simpler time when we could spend hours playing board games, cards and knuckle bones. We would spend time writing our own stories, creating with our hands and using our imagination. Going to school meant break times were filled with crafty things, trading stickers and playing games.

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Some how I like it more so back then, because we seemed to look in each other’s eyes more. Even if one wanted to escape from talking, we’d try to make an effort in the end, rather than staring down at a phone screen. More on that some other time. It was one of the sweetest films I’ve seen in a long time, and Audrey Tautou was just the perfect Amelie to play it. It reminds us to do good deeds to bring a little spark into other’s lives, to remember to fill our lives with excitement and joy. It’s a reminder that our lives are just (and if not more) exciting as a film that we feel immersed in.

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The film was something different and special, in that it had a story line that I’d never really wondered about, but it also felt nostalgic in some ways. It was unpredictable which made it all the more enjoyable to watch, in that you’d hope for one thing to happen, but perhaps another thing might happen. Audrey was such a wonderful Amelie, because she gave that extra charm and light that the film would of lacked without her. There were so many things happening in the film, that I feel I’ll have to watch it again some day just to notice some more little things.

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It was quite lovely to see little snippets where the narrator would tell us at exactly what time what someone may be doing. He tells us what a particular person likes and dislikes, which is interesting to know every persons little quirks. A part of me could relate to Amelie in some subtle ways, such as the idea that she’s more quiet, an introvert, deep thinker, loves to watch films, imaginative, a little shy at first, likes cats, observant, likes to spend time alone and takes time to express her true feelings to someone.

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One of my favourite parts of the film was the script itself, and the simplicity of the lines. Such as when she talks about liking the sound of cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon. It’s those small things that can give us the greatest joys. The film visually has a warm tone that carries the soft sweet atmosphere throughout. The childhood box reminds us of the memories we hold from our younger days, and the important parts of our lives that give us strong feelings when we think of them. Amelie makes you want to cry, laugh and smile all at the same time!

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One of my favourite scenes

The Wonderful Lessons From Midnight In Paris

Film

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The first time I watched Midnight in Paris was in 2015, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s been a sort of yearly tradition ever since, where I’d watch the film at least once a year. Each time I watch it, I feel transported into a different time and a wonderful fantasy world, where we could interact with our favourite people from the past. If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s films, such as Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, To Rome With Love and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, then you’ll know his style. Not to mention, the soundtrack was so exquisitely and magically beautiful.

There are so many parts to think about, from love, relationship, era, history, writing, artists, nostalgia, imagination and self expression. Even the simple things, from seeing the beauty of walking in the rain at midnight in Paris. There’s something timeless about it. You lose sense of the present, and your thoughts wonder off into a world unknown, perhaps with a saxophone playing in the distant. The film starts with a montage of Paris scenery set to 1940’s  jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet’s “Su Ti Vois Ma Mere” to set the atmosphere.

There is beauty in the most small, delicate things. The thought of rain in Paris against the night light reminds us of the simple beauty in life. Gil tries to explain to Inez in a scene, but she can’t imagine such a thing. Gil: This is unbelievable! Look at this! There’s no city like this in the world. There never was. Inez: You act like you’ve never been here before. Gil: I don’t get here often enough, that’s the problem. Can you picture how drop dead gorgeous this city is in the rain? Imagine this town in the ’20s. Paris in the ’20s, in the rain. The artists and writers! Inez: Why does every city have to be in the rain? What’s wonderful about getting wet?

We often want what we don’t have or cannot experience. No matter how wonderful it would be, I know I won’t ever be able to see Ella Fitzgerald perform live, talk to Audrey Hepburn over coffee or hear Karen Carpenters beautiful voice in the flesh. There is sometimes a kind of romanticisation when looking at the past. It brings a strong sense of sweet nostalgia. We see the surface of others life, and may feel like it seems magical and amazing. However, it’s an illusion in the sense that we all live our lives with the good and bad.

Interact with those who support you and are extremely honest about your work. It’s important to surround yourself with those who inspire you, and those who support you. Perhaps if you’re an artist, having other artists giving honest feedback can be beneficial. This means that they aren’t afraid to tell you when they like or dislike something. Their comments are there to encourage growth and improvement. Hemingway (seen in the film), had a way of being incredibly honest, that you almost felt like the words come straight out of his soul.

Connecting with creative minds can solidify great friendships. Similarly to the previous points, being surrounded by those who share a passion similar to your own eg. art, writing, film, and engaging with them can create strong friendships over time. You talk about your point of views, opinions and thoughts. It allows you to broaden your knowledge and see things from different angles. A strong and true community is important.

The importance of writing and how it lives on in every era. Writing through every age communicates to people. Held at the hands of each person, the words soak in and we’re left feeling a certain way or thinking about certain things. You can read something from over 100 years ago, and ponder about it. How does it relates to your life in the present. Writing teaches us something, as much as reading does. Although, a writer should read often in order to write with an open mind.

Loneliness is in the mind, but so is imagination. Many artists can often feel lonely, especially within the process of creating. However, it’s that same experience that they all have, in which they all use their imagination and creativity to bring something real and raw. When we use our imagination, we lose sense of loneliness and time, and we enjoy the time we can spend in solitude and thought. We’re more likely to have sparks of creativity and energy to express ourselves.

Be persistent in the pursuit of your dreams. If no one believes in you, who is left to? The simple answer is you. You’re the one who is there for yourself to pursue and be motivated in chasing whatever it is you’d like to accomplish in life. No one can bring you down, unless you allow them to. Even the goals we set in mind, can only be completed if we set out to do so. We might write them on our to-do list and make sure of ticking them off. No one else is going to tick them off for us.

We must be grateful for the time we live in and learn to see its magic.  When we live in the present, we can truly live our lives with fullness. Gil: Adriana, if you stay here though, and this becomes your present then pretty soon you’ll start imagining another time was really your… You know, was really the golden time. Yeah, that’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life’s a little unsatisfying. It’s a reminder that we must cherish the moment we live in, it’s the moment we truly have.

Love should cancel out all feelings of death. Ernest Hemingway: I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well, which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know, or Belmonte, who’s truly brave. It is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds, until the return that it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.

Artists go through their journey of struggle to something great. Every artists struggles before creating something great. It makes me think of J.K. Rowling, when she talked about how she had years where she was struggling in her life, yet through that time she created Harry Potter, and what it is today. She brought magic and made it alive for every person to experience, even when she battled through difficult periods in her life.

What The Little Prince Taught Me

Books

Growing up, you may of read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As I was sitting in a cafe called Woolloomooloo in Taipei last year with my dear friend, she told me how she was reading the book. It brought back a lot of memories of the book, and as one of those classics that have been read time and time again, I was curious to watch the film which came out in 2015. There are rarely books and movies (with the exception of Harry Potter), where I felt like I loved both of them. The film magically intertwined The Little Prince with the story of a young girl. The most important message I felt was the power of imagination. The wonderful joy, love, happiness and excitement it brings. New adventures and a boundless mind. The water colour paintings, wise words and wonderful story is really a reminder for us that we were all once children. “All grown ups were children once… but only few of them remember it.” – Saint-Exupéry.

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When you were younger, did you remember asking endless questions out of curiosity, going on adventures of make believe, having your first imaginary friend and laughing uncontrollably about nothing. Whatever it was, a part of growing up can often suppress many parts of our childhood self, that so often is a crucial part of us to carry within us for the rest of our lives. Human nature can only survive by reaching for what is within, rather than what is without. As we grow older, there are many parts of our surroundings we only look at from the surface. The book shows the little prince, being amazed at the drawing of an elephant inside a boa constrictor, where as the adults can only see a hat. How mysterious we are inside. The secrets we hold, the words waiting to be unlocked and the way we think. When we grow older, it can become a habit to judge on a person’s exterior, rather than realising the journey they have come. The stories that are untold and the wonderful true self that they may partially hide. The Little Prince reminds us not to lose the goodness that is in all of us.

fb807d5721ed3e8e075ab466dbbfe2fbThis book is a lot deeper than one may find, but it is also the kind of book you read and do not forget. There are many themes, such as friendship, human nature, truth, innocence, reality, imagination and so forth. We are reminded to be like the little prince in many ways. To hold onto our true selves, to seek from within rather than without and be an honest person. Pulling down the brick walls that can often be built as we grow older. Lessening the judgment of those that walk around us in our daily lives. Remembering to see the beauty and simplicity in the world, and most of all, cherish and nurture special relationships for every individual is a magical treasure of secrets.

little_prince_boa_constrictor“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” It could not be any truer. Everything that is truly beautiful, is always felt inside. I’d like to think that we can always encompass a child like imagination and see beyond the surface of our minds. Unfortunately we often assume, look and judge based on what is immediately seen. The Little Prince reminds us to have an open heart, open mind and to embrace our imagination, rather than let it go. If you get the chance, have a read of the book. If you were wondering what had happened to the elephant, he is still inside the boa constrictor.