Life is beautiful…

Archive for October 2010

Tonight was theater night! Again:)
I had almost given up on reading the award winning novel(ette) The people in the basement by the Icelandic author Auður Jónsdóttir. At least i was making no progress and had lost interest in the book. Now on the other hand I will try once more after I’ve seen the play that’s based on the book. And if and when I finish it I’ll update this post so stay tuned…

But right now I want to quickly review the play. There are two stories going on at the same time. One that is happening now and one is Klara’s, the main-characters, memories of her childhood. Her parents were of the ’68 people, drank, smoked and fought a lot. Klara has to make peace with her own world but to do that she has to make peace with her parents world.

The setting of the play was practical, there were seats on both sides of the stage. I specially noticed the lighting, which added a lot to the scene. The music was also very well handled. Ilmur, who played Klara, did an amazing job with interpreting the character. She sold her, made her believable and made me laugh and have tears in my eyes. Other characters, such as the man in the basement and Klara’s husband also did a great job.

I love that you can buy really cheap theater tickets in Iceland now. It’s almost the same price as going to the movies but the plays stick with you for so much longer and you always enjoy yourself!

I recommend this play for people 18 years and up. I can’t see teenagers or children liking it and also there is cursing, drinking, partying and such in it. I want to give the play 4.5 stars.

That’s it for now!

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I excitedly continued to read the Twilight saga as I got my hands on the next book in the series. This time i read it in English and although the Icelandic translation is really good, I noticed the difference in the language. The characters as well as the conversations were much more real – or maybe everything just sounds better in English;)

I wasn’t as happy with Eclipse as the first two books in the series. Like the author has talked about, this third novel gave her an opportunity to go deeper into the history of some of the characters. As the reader I really felt like these background stories affected the progress of the story. Some were long and I started to lose interest. But it came back when the stories were over and I guess they were important to the story.

As with all my readings this one got to me though it had it’s good and bad sides and I finished the last 300 pages (in English) in one sitting so I guess I liked the book after all:) I watched the movie straight after I finished reading!

This time around i felt that the book was so much better than the movie. As for the first two movies they followed the books to an acceptable degree and left little out. But I can’t imagine how viewers that haven’t read the Eclipse were supposed to follow the movie. In the book, so much is said through descriptions of eyes, speech and such that didn’t come through at all in the movie. I don’t know if it is due to poor acting (which is my first guess and then mainly for Bella because the story is told through her eyes), poor directing or if the script just didn’t have room for this perspective. It’s sad because in my opinion the text of the book is written rather beautifully.

I am still looking forward to reading Breaking dawn though i guess there is a rather long time until the movie is released. I will probably review those separately. I recommend this book as usual for teenagers and adults with healthy imagination. Where is the fun in reading fantasy-novels and not being able to imagine that what happens could actually happen in real life. I give Eclipse a total of 3.5 stars

Yesterday evening was really fun. I had a lovely early dinner with awesome people at Argentina steakhouse and then some of us went to the theater.
The play is written by a famous Finnish playwright, Sirkku Peltola and is a comedy and a drama.

It’s about a family in Finland that lives on a farm. The parents have been split up for many years and the man has a new girlfriend but he has no money to move in with her so he has to stay living with his ex wife and his mother in-law. They have two children, a grown up son who has unrealistic dreams and is the type that is always trying to make easy money, and a teenage daughter who dislikes her life in general. The play shows the effects of the administrative burden that comes with the EU on the rural family.

Overall it was a good experience. In my opinion the cast was the real upside to the play, and I specially loved the grandmother. Her dialog was sharp and ironic and hilarious. The other actors were also good, I really liked the performance of the ‘mother’ who had a very believable eczema and all sorts of problems.

Maybe I make a shallow audience but I felt like I needed a few years to fully appreciate the play. Or maybe I just love life too much to like this kind of drama. Either way I felt like the play was a little too adult for my taste so I would recommend it for adults of 30years and up. I give it 3,5 stars though 🙂

That’s it for now
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The TV series were great, the first movie was also great so I had been waiting impatiently for the sequel. As it happened, most of my friends saw the film before I did. And the reports that I got were not making me eager to see it.

My BFF, Tinna, has this to say about the movie on her blog:

“I was kind of disappointed with the movie… a very thin storyline to say the least! However, I was most definitely not disappointed with the fashion!”  (stylice.wordpress.com)

So I didn’t see the movie until recently… I just never got around to do it. And now that I have seen it, I totally agree with her. The fashion is great but the movie is nothing special. I didn’t understand why Carrie was so afraid of getting into a rut with John (Big). I have news for you honey… when relationships get to a certain point, the ‘rut’ or what I just like to call ‘the everyday life’, happens. If you don’t like spending your normal life with someone, you’re probably not as much in love as you think you are. This was my major problem with the movie and kind of damaged the rest of it.

I can only give it 2,5 stars. It was okay but I wouldn’t watch it for a second time. I recommend it for teenage girls and all women so they can say that they have seen it.

That’s it for now!

P.S. – I really liked the glittery letters in the beginning though:)

I have been wanting to read the “The legend of the ice people” series for about ten years now and finally finished my first book – Spellbound.  The writer, Margit Sandemo, comes from Norway and has published several other series but The legend of the ice people is her best known one (at least here in Iceland). My B.A. thesis in Icelandic was about how literature and popular culture influence name-giving and it is obvious that the influence of the series is great here in Iceland. In the English translation they change the names though.

The series was written in the years 1982-1988 and have been published time and time again in many countries and languages. Spellbound sets place in the 16th century in and after the plage. The protagonist, the 17 year old Silja finds two children who have been abandoned and takes them in. Then she meets and falls in love with Þengill, who has supernatural powers and is the descendant of Þengill the evil. So the story is a historic romance and a fantasy.

There are 47 books in the series and as the matter of fact I’m quite afraid that I made a huge mistake by reading Spellbound…. because I LOVED IT! I am so looking forward to reading the second book in the series: Witch-hunt but if it, and the remaining 45 books, prove to be as good as the first one – I’m in big trouble! (But also in heaven!)

There is a long time since I’ve been so captured by the first page of a book. It’s easy to read and follow, fun to read through and sexy as hell! But it also leaves a lot of unanswered questions, it’s almost as if the writer didn’t start out with a clear plot in mind. I suspect that many of these questions will be answered in the following books.

I recommend this book for teenagers and adults, both male and female and i give it 4,5 stars.

That’s it for now – I’m off to continue reading Eclipse;)

John Dewey

In my studies there is one name that I hear almost every single day – John Dewey! I am taking a theory-class this fall and on the reading list was one of his essays Experience and education. To make it easier on myself I decided to read it in Icelandic but the original came out in the States the year 1938. It is amazing how – after all these years – it still covers the basics of the field.

Dewey was a philosopher and a psychologist. Though he himself didn’t really do it, his work has been connected with pragmatism. He had many ideas of democracy as well as it’s intimate connection with education. His most famous work is maybe of experiential learning or “learning by doing”.

In experience and education he writes about his main views on both of these concepts and emphasizes that there really is important that teachers consider their student’s experience before and during teaching, planning and curriculum modeling. Former experiences always influences student’s understanding of the subject. Experiential learning can be very affective method of learning.

The essay was short and relatively easy to read and follow. I recommend it for education students, teachers and a large part of all university students.

After the first Twilight novel and movie I was basically hooked. I needed to know more about this world of vampires but also hoped that the story wouldn’t go out of hand.

So my next blog reviews the second book in the series New moon. I had heard that in this second part of the story of Bella and Edward, things would start getting weird and that the movie was crap.

I have to disagree… I actually liked this one even more than the first one. Even though it was just as long there was much more action in this story. I highly recommend reading the books before watching the move and of course I’m struggling with following my own advise right now. I really really want to watch Eclipse but I have to wait while I finish the book!!!

In this one Bella and Edward kind of break up and there was a part in the book where you (the reader) would turn the pages and on each new page was a new month. That really gave me goosebumps and showed how Bella was nothing without Edward. Stephanie Meyer really made an impression on me and cought my attention with this and I couldn’t help but wonder how the movie would handle this. It turned out the movie did it perfectly (you just need to see for yourself).

I really like the movie adaptations of the books. Cute guys, realistic characters and they follow the dialogue and plot of the book almost to the core.

Overall I am happy and would recommend this book and the movie. I give it 4 stars:)

That’s it for now…

Bye