10. June Favorites

Time flies—this month has been so busy! Outside of work, I’ve also been on the grind working on my short stories and doing more freelance writing. You can check the latter out here. My short stories? Who knows when they’ll make it! But I’ll be trying my hardest to refine them so that they can be exposed to the real world for my fans out there (you there, fans?). Here are a few of my favorite things (this month)! *plays The Sound of Music* I’ll just give a quick explanation of each thing—since July will be here in literally an hour!

  1.  Bridget Jones’s Diary – Technically I stumbled upon this classic romantic comedy in May, but it’s made quite an impact on me over the last month. On really tiring days, I stream it again on Netflix for some good old British comedy and nuanced feminism. Thanks Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth for giving me life again. I can really relate to Bridget on those bad days (minus the sleazy lover, of course). My favorite scene in the film is when Bridget, refusing to give up on life because of a bad man, blasts Chaka Khan and decides to take control of her own life. It’s hilarious, but also weirdly empowering at the same time.
  2.  Groundhog Day – I’ve been a fan of Andie McDowell since Four Weddings and a Funeral. There’s just something so sophisticated and understated about her. She stars alongside Bill Murray in this hilarious and heartfelt film about a man who relives a day over and over again and eventually, after some morbid occurrences, learns to make the most of this unfortunate situation.
  3.  About a Boy – Okay, so I’m not quite over Hugh Grant yet. But, despite all his dreamy bumbling nice dude roles (courtesy of Richard Curtis), this is my favorite performance from him. Grant plays a man in his late thirties who’s kind of an aimless and hedonistic narcissist who’s never worked in his life. He’s so bored, he even goes as far as pretending to be a single dad at a single parents’ support group to pick up women. And as the story goes, he meets a dorky, quirky 12-year old boy who really changes his life. It’s a really heartwarming movie, with an equally strong performance from an adorable Nicholas Hoult at 12 years-old. I love the perfect dynamics between the film’s serious issues and the witty British humor that makes the whole film work.
  4. Selma – Ava DuVernay is a certified genius! I’ve had so many professors tell me to watch Selma, but I haven’t quite gotten around it until recently. DuVernay really delves into Martin Luther King’s character, especially his ambiguity about political compromise, despite being historically lauded as a leader of moral clarity. He’s a nuanced character. DuVernay also isn’t shy about illustrating the brutality inflicted upon black protesters during the Civil Rights Movement. We see very direct, visceral violence by white troopers against black protesters in the Selma to Washington March. That said, DuVernay’s visual style tows the line between surreally artsy and raw, as we see in her delicate portrayal of the infamous Birmingham church bombing that killed five young black girls.
  5.  Arkon iPhone Tripod Mount – This is not a film, of course. It’s just a cool doodad I learned about on the Internet and got for my own personal use. I’ve been really inspired by the films I’ve watched lately and wanted to do some amateur screenwriting. You can’t, of course, understand screenwriting without understanding the technicalities of visual language. So, I just wanted to try out filming stuff on my phone. Tangerine, after all, was filmed on an iPhone 5!

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