Life is beautiful…

Posts Tagged ‘drama

Hello everyone, for the last two days I have been sick – so naturally I read. For quite some time now I’ve been subscribed to a book club called Handtöskuserían (e. handbagseries). The idea is to provide books that modern women would have in their handbags so they are new or new-ish books by non-Icelandic female authors. Isn’t it fabulous to be a part of something like that? Well, I think so…

The language of flowers

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to read the books that I get so more often than not they wind up unread in the bookshelves. Last week (I think) I received the newest addition. The language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Instead of putting it straight to the shelf I put it on my nightstand. So… while I waited for my body to get the best of this fever I… well I played Tetris on my computer… but when I got bored of that I grabbed the book and started reading… and I read… and I read… and I read… until I had finished the whole book. It was so charming. I can’t remember a novel that captivated me as much as this one did. I can’t wait to read it again because I know that this is one of the books I’ll see differently each time I read it.

The story is about Victoria, an orphan who just turned 18 years old so she’s being thrown out of “the system”. Every other chapter is about her new life where she tries to live on her own but in between are chapters about her childhood that slowly give the reader more information about the way Victoria functions. While she lived with one of her foster-parents, Elizabeth, she learned to speak the language of flowers. That is… she got to know flowers and the message behind them. The language of flowers was a popular  way of communication in the Victorian era, kind of like a secret code. In the future I’ll definitely keep adding to the fascinating knowledge of flowers I accumulated whilst reading the book. If I am ever unsure what a flower means – I can just look it up in the handy list on the last pages of the book.

Normally I try to point out in my posts exactly what I liked in the novel I am reviewing but it’s hard to know where to start with this one… I just loved everything about it. From the beautifully written and detailed descriptions of everything to the characters I got to understand so well. From the cover (of the Icelandic translation) and the beautiful font used for chapter numbers to the feeling I got from touching the pages of my paperback copies. From the way the book had me in tears at a certain point to the way that I got annoyed with Victoria at a certain point… but the one thing I think I liked the most was the timelessness of the story.

I know that I haven’t done the book justice and probably never could but  I want to say that it is simply beautiful so just read it, you’ll see what I mean. To end this on a reference to the book, if I had to describe it with a flower I would probably pick a Trillium (Skógarlilja) which, according to the book, means “humble beauty”. Just look at it…

Trillium

I recommend this novel for all the romantics out there and just… everyone who can read:) I give it 5 stars and I’m off… to google Vanessa Diffenbaugh and see if she has written anything else for me:)

That’s it for now…

The Cherry Orchard

As you can see in my previous posts I just love going to the theatre. A theatrical experience almost never fails to thrill me. Last season I went to see 14 plays! But this year, my boyfriend pointed out that I didn’t have time for as many so I only have 5 shows planned for this season. I find it likely that I’ll be able to squeeze some more in my tight schedule… fingers crossed.

A few weeks ago I saw the first play of the season. The play was The Cherry Orchard in Borgarleikhúsið theatre. The play is written by Anton Chekhov, a Russian playwright. The play is really a tragedy but it is performed in a comical way. I know that might sound confusing but there really is no better way of putting it – the plot is tragic while there is a lot of life in the play. The story is about a family that is losing its estate and the old and beautiful cherry orchard that is on it, due to debt and squandering of money. It starts with the return of Madame Lyubov to her home, but she has been abroad for several years. Lyubov is a sad woman that has survived a great loss in her life. Although she is about to lose her home she thinks of herself as rich and loves spending money on beautiful things for herself and her daughters, expensive wine and she also gives money (she doesn’t have) to those in need. Time and time again, mr. Lopakhin tries to help her help herself but she doesn’t listen to him. She is not a bad person, she just doesn’t realize how bad things are or realizes but doesn’t care. Other memorable main characters are her daughters Varya and Anya who have subplotted love-affairs or lack of love affairs. Also the old, and slightly crazy, servant of Madame Lyubov’s brother and the disaster prone clerk, who is never far away. I read somewhere that the characters are all symbolization of different forces in the rise of the middle-class in Europe and while that is an interesting view, I know nothing about the situation in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century so I just enjoyed the story as it was presented for me.

So, what made this experience great? The music in the show played a big part for me. There were three musicians that appeared on stage, the characters did not hear them but in at least one scene they could sence them. The musicians carried their instruments around, accordians, drums and even large bass instruments. The music was kind of… well Russian I guess… and really added a lot to the play. I loved the way the cherry orchard itself sounded when the “wind” blew through them. I did not particularly notice the lighting inside the house but outside it had a pink/purple glow that underlined the beuty of the orchard. The setting and props were beautiful, I especially liked the use of the hall. One thing I found weird was that the room where a most part of the play took part was the old nursery… they even held parties in there… so that’s a bit odd. One thing that I have to mention was the curtains. Instead of the normal velvety curtains of the theatre there were beautiful purple chiffon ones with different sorts of white crocheted lace doilies. They must have taken hours to finish and I heard that the producers asked women to make them and get tickets instead. That is awesome!

Overall a fun show that leaves you with something to think about – I can’t imagine that a single soul left the theatre untouched by the final scene… tsk tsk….  I’d recommend The Cherry Orchard for all adults who are not afraid to try something else than comedy in the theatre. I give it 4 stars.

Thank you for reading this post! I’m currently reading a great novel in which I learn a lot of life and flowers… stay tuned:)

Inception

Posted on: 26.12.2010

Just finished watching Inception. I bought it but made a decision to save it when I was told that the novel I am working on had vague similarities with the idea of the film. I wanted to finish writing my own plot and drain myself of my ideas before they were influenced by another idea. A bit like the plot of the movie actually;) As it turns out the movie is nothing like my story. There are two very small similarities but the concept is very much different. So I can breathe again:)

The movie was absolutely mind-blowing! It felt like a sci-fi but there was action and some fantasy and drama. A little romance would have been a good addition I think.

It took awhile to understand and get with the plot but when you did it captured your mind and kept it throughout the film. And it did not ruin things to have at least three extremely hot male actors to look at! In my head the plot was very well explained and didn’t leave any unanswered questions, apart from the obvious one that is:)

The best movie I have seen in a long time! 5 stars 🙂

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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