Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for August, 2011

As if you needed another reason to love Ryan Gosling (while despairing at the human race)

August 25, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Men, Movies, Places 3 Comments →

via Vulture

Here he is in real life, breaking up a street fight (more like an intense argument) in St Mark’s Place in New York. Apparently the men are fighting over a painting. People are standing around watching them, including the girl taking the video. Ryan is wearing a striped tank top and rolled-up pants, an ensemble that would be tragic on anyone but Ryan. You’re a mensch, mwah, we will watch all your movies, is Drive going to be shown here? We’re already training our brains to process the sight of you and George Clooney onscreen at the same time in Ides of March.

Now that we’ve ascertained there is at least one decent gorgeous man walking the earth, let’s talk about the person holding the camera. Giggling and shrieking at the sight of Ryan Gosling is not just understandable but right. Except that she was thrilled even before he appeared. She was thrilled to be watching a violent episode that could’ve gotten very ugly.

In these situations it would be foolhardy to intervene (unless one is a star who presumably has had fight training), but you can’t just look on and giggle. You report it, you get help. But she and her friend watched the fight as if it were a scene from a reality show on television (and she was watching it on a screen, her camera’s). Reality shows have made reality seem artificial. (Corollary: Good television makes the artificial seem real.)

To underscore the…disconnectedness of the videographer, the video is entitled “st marks place fight with Ryan Gosling yes i stood there ..why would i wanna get hit in the face??” Note the casual obtuseness. Oy.

Eye see you

August 25, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing No Comments →

My friend spotted these glasses in Covent Garden while shopping for his trousseau.


One Day: Accurate estimate of how long this movie feels

August 24, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 9 Comments →

Emma and Dexter, 1988

One Day is based on the bestselling novel by David Nicholls, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as Emma and Dexter who hook up on graduation day in 1988, end up sleeping together literally, and decide to stay platonic friends. The movie looks in on them every year on the same day, 15 July, for two decades.

We have not read the novel, but its readers assure us that it is more than a gooey tale of two dolts who take 15 years to get together when they know and everyone within a ten-kilometer radius knows that they belong together. It’s been described as “one of the most perceptive books of our age“, “the chronicle of wasted youth, rich in emotional nuance and period detail”.

Unfortunately the movie seems content to stay a gooey tale of two dolts who take 15 years to get together when they know and everyone within a ten-kilometer radius knows that they belong together. Not “What they’ve lost”, but “Will they end up with each other? Will they? Will they?” The novelist adapted his own book, so we can assume no disrespect was intended towards the material. No, the disrespect is directed at the viewers, who are presumed to be the kind of saps who would enjoy this (According to the grosses, they didn’t).

Director Lone Scherfig’s previous film An Education soared on true wit and a star performance by Carey Mulligan. This one aims low—its target is cuteness—and falls on its face. Are there no British actresses who could play Emma? That way the accent wouldn’t be the issue it’s become with Anne Hathaway in the role. Anne Hathaway is lovely, Jim Sturgess is lovely, both are fine actors, but they have no chemistry. No chemistry, no zing, no movie.

Without the context provided by the novel, the last 15 minutes seem like a desperate attempt to make the audience feel something. It’s not so much a resolution as a hostage-taking.

We have had it with romances in which the heroine is in love with her best friend and waits and waits for him to come to his senses. That’s not romance, that’s masochism.

Dexter and Emma circa 2003

* * * * *

In the movie they play a game called Are You There, Moriarty? This is how it works. Two players are blindfolded and seated facing each other, arms outstretched, holding hands. In the other hand they hold a rolled-up newspaper. They take turns saying, “Are you there, Moriarty?” then trying to hit their opponent on the head. The opponent tries to avoid getting hit. It is very stupid, and hysterical when you’ve had a few drinks.

* * * * *
Unrelated: Was that Paul Weller in a restaurant in Greenbelt at lunch today, or was Kermit hallucinating?

Way too relaxed in Cagayan de Oro

August 24, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Places, Traveling 2 Comments →

Last week I was in Cagayan de Oro to cover a food festival and get a little writing done. The minute the plane landed I felt so relaxed, so laid back and stress-free, I got no work done whatsoever haha.

The city as seen from Room 302 of Pryce Plaza Hotel.

This was my third time to stay at Pryce Plaza. It’s a fine establishment, the food is good and reasonably-priced, the service is polite and efficient. The rooms are in need of renovation. There is too much beige in the world as it is.

Tom Waits’s Private Listening Party

August 24, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Music 2 Comments →

Hey sick person, the album is out on your birthday.

Plus: Chloe Sevigny meets Chloe Sevigny. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Monday night in the tropics

August 23, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Places No Comments →

Having agreed that immaturity is the secret of eternal youth, Noel and I proceeded to have merienda for dinner: champorado at dilis, pinaputok na gulay at prutas, then ginisang monggo at chicharon. Then we sat outside and shared a bottle of cabernet while rain lashed at the awning. It was very Somerset Maugham.