longing for the past at 2am

Hello, person of the planet Earth.

As we’re a few posts into the blog now, I’m starting to shape the idea of what I want it to be. And what was originally meant to be a film blog, analysing films in depth and teaching you a little about meaning in film and stuff like that, is now becoming a personal space on the Internet where I can share my thoughts and hope no one reads them, because they can be a little messy and unstructured.

So, here we go.

I finished a book today – Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. It was an extremely pleasant read and the images in my head were so original and vibrant, I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before. I loved the characters, even though they were flawed in every way possible and they did things that didn’t turn out so well most of the time. They lost money, they lost frogs, they stole cats and they stole clocks (oh! that rhymes!). They ended up with a split lip and a broken leg, they destroyed friendships and they built them back up again. It was raw, absolute and sometimes hard to read.

But that’s what real life is like. With a bittersweet, yet strangely uplifting tone, Steinbeck led us through the story of (among others) Mack and the boys, Doc, Lee Chong and Dora, painting them in such a beautiful and realistic way that my heart ached, cried and laughed with them. After every misfortune that happened to them, they never lost their spirit and they just kept going. Things on Cannery Row are genuine, rustic and most of the times didn’t have the desired happy ending, but felt perfectly good as they were nonetheless. The book ended with a poem, a beer and a soft melancholic feeling, with hopefulness and with the sound of Doc’s music in our minds. And with every good book, Cannery Row now takes a certain place in my heart and it feels like a long forgotten memory nested in the back of my brain. And yes, I want to go to California now.

Other things I’ve been doing these past few days include procrastination and overthinking. A few days away from people can really get the latter going. I feel like I discover something about myself everyday, and these introverted evenings in the company of a good book and thoughts of urgency and missing out feed this self-observance thing very well. So good that I’ve gotten a few base ideas about stories I want to tell and moods I want to convey through film making…

None of which, of course, was suitable for the new project we were assigned at university – a campaign advert.

It’s a good thing I have a pair this time and it’s an even better thing that the person I was assigned with has directed some cool stuff before. I knew he would be a good pair. Of course, as I was getting desperate to find a good topic to talk about for this project, I threw at him the first semi-good thing that popped into my head. And I could see how cringey and unworthy it was the second I typed it in the chat, so, since I had nothing better, I told him he had the full right to hit me up with anything interesting he may have. The next day – he did. I spent today trying to draw a storyboard and to put a script together. Storyboard was a bit hard because it involved multiple hands and flowers, and I’m not the best drawer. Speaking of scripts, I found out that it’s definitely an area I need to work on more. I’ve borrowed a book from the library with tips on how to make your scripts better… But I feel like it may be too advanced for me at this point. So, right now it’s just sitting on my shelf among the other books I keep putting off reading because of various reasons.

And, speaking of chats and typing, I’ve also been thinking about the past a lot latelyIt’s a very odd thing to think about a time when I wasn’t even alive (not in the real sense of the word) – I’m fantasizing about the times where technology wasn’t so present in our daily lives, where people would go to libraries to sit for a quiet read and they would use typewriters and payphones and write letters – and I find myself longing for it, feeling a need to live in these times, to experience life in a more raw way, in a more honest way, to be genuine and authentic. I know things are probably shifted through my nostalgic goggles and that it probably wasn’t as magnificent as it looks in films or pictures or in my mind… But I still long for it nonetheless. I’m almost hoping for technology to become extinct, or at least, less prevalent, so that people could go out more, socialize face to face more, and lead a more romantic and unadulterated way of life.

… Of course, the extinction of technology would mean that I wouldn’t have met some of the greatest people in my life, I wouldn’t have had such an easy way to get into a university on the other side of the continent and it sure wouldn’t be good for my sitcom addiction. So I settled for this – I’m going to achieve my dream and I’m going to live in the times I always dream about… through art. Films and books, and music, art galleries and exhibitions, live concerts – all of these are a sure way to travel through time and to be able to touch the lifestyle that I wish I had led.

And then, after finishing a rusty old book and smelling the dust coming from it, a book as good as (or maybe better than) Cannery Row, I can turn on my laptop and write about it in my blog.

Maybe the universe did a good job putting me where I am in time.

Until next time,
Gabriella

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