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Archive for the ‘Childhood’

Star Wars as spaghetti space western

April 09, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Clothing, Movies No Comments →

guerre stellari

This is our new favorite T-shirt. We acquired it at great cost. Not that it’s expensive, but we had to lose in order to get it. Recently we challenged Rene to a Don’t Buy Anything Contest, in which the player who refrains from spending anything in a store wins. We thought we were a shoo-in, since we weren’t feeling covetous at the time. Our mistake was setting the challenge in Uniqlo, where it is difficult for us not to buy anything because the stuff is so practical and the prices so sane. We could ignore the collaboration with Ines de la Fressange because the dress requires ironing, but this Italian Star Wars T-shirt…

“Isn’t this brilliant?” we cried. “Luke and Leia look like characters in those Italian sword-and-sandal flicks. We don’t recall Luke Skywalker getting topless in Star Wars.”

“Or bottomless,” Ricky pointed out. “He’s not wearing pants.”

The shirt is even more brilliant than we thought! We’re going to wear it till it falls apart. According to the Museo Fermo Immagine blog, the movie poster illustration is by the Sicilian artist Michelangelo Papuzza.

The bloodless vampires of childhood

July 22, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Movies No Comments →

We had no idea what The Reflecting Skin was about; we only got a copy because Viggo Mortensen is in it. In this instance our shallowness paid off: The Reflecting Skin is weird, gorgeous, and not likely to be forgotten.

Childhood is frequently depicted as the most wonderful time of anyone’s life: it’s over too fast, and then life is downhill all the way. But that’s because it’s viewed through the lens of nostalgia. This 1990 film written and directed by Philip Ridley presents childhood through the eyes of a child, and while it is certainly full of wonder it is also terrifying and brutal.

Little Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) lives with his worn-out parents in the rural American Midwest in the 1950s. They await the return of their eldest son Cameron (Viggo), who had fought in the Pacific. Given that WWII has been over for years, you have to wonder what’s taking Cameron so long—and then you realize that amidst these golden fields of gently swaying wheat under endless blue skies (beautifully photographed by Dick Pope), there is nothing. But through a child’s eyes (accompanied by Nick Bicat’s haunting Handel-esque score), this sun-bleached world is teeming with monsters and angels.

Cameron: Why don’t you go play with your friends?
Seth: They’re all dead.

There is a spate of killings in the area—the killers appear to be a gang of youths going round in a Cadillac. Seth is convinced that the murderers are vampires; his prime suspect is a widow (Lindsay Duncan) who lives alone with her husband’s personal effects, animal skulls and weapons from whaler ancestors. We’re never really sure. You could view The Reflecting Skin as a nightmare of childhood, or as a vampire movie without the fangs and blood (If you can imagine a cross between Tree of Life and Fright Night).

Then Cameron finally comes home and falls in love with the widow.

The pace is stately, but every frame radiates foreboding. How could we miss this film when it first came out? Now we have to see it again and again.

Parents make amazing R2D2 birthday cake with Princess Leia hologram. Kids don’t get it.

June 23, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Movies 4 Comments →

via Geekologie.

Last week we spotted this in the window of a toy store:

lego death star

The Death Star. In Legos. For just under Php40,000.

We hate the child who gets this for a present. That child will lose the pieces within days. Then again, the child who gets this Lego Death Star probably won’t get to play with it. He or she is merely the excuse for buying it. It’s for the parents ha ha. (That’s what kids are for.)

Do you remember your dreams?

April 22, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Psychology 4 Comments →

romanmuradov
Dream diary by Roman Muradov, via biblioklept.

We don’t seem to. We’re sure that at some point in our 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night (This is our real talent, sleeping) we have dreams, but when we wake up we usually don’t remember a single one. Which is too bad because the few we do remember would make some weird short stories. We’ve tried ordering ourselves to recall our dreams, and keeping a notebook by the bed, to no avail. (On the other hand we remember stories our friends have forgotten they told us years ago.)

But if we get up after dawn to go to the bathroom and then go back to sleep, we remember the dreams we have in the next 2-3 hours.

The dream we remember most vividly is the one where a vampire flies into the kitchen while we’re having breakfast with our parents. We had it when we were 10 or so. In the dream the vampire grabs us, and in our terror we look at our mother and father, and they wave, “Buh-bye! Buh-bye!”

Cut-rate memory madeleines: Egg pie

February 15, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Food 8 Comments →

egg pie

Egg pie! We haven’t had egg pie since the school cafeteria. When we spotted this at the supermarket we had to get it.

It tastes exactly as we remember: the slightly cloying flavor of custard encased in cardboard. We took a bite and remembered the small stationery store on the ground floor of our grade school building, where we went almost everyday to sniff erasers. And the chaos at the canteen at recess time, when hundreds of little girls would shout “Manang manang manang” at the beleaguered attendants behind the snack counters. And the ire of the teacher when we corrected her spelling of “yacht” and she tried to intimidate us by summoning the dictionary.

Other cut-rate madeleines: Hi-Ro, Hello, Mallows, Flat Tops, Curly Tops.

Actual madeleines are sold at Brasserie CiCou in Greenhills. Butch says there’s a Japanese bakery near Metropolitan Avenue Makati that makes madeleines, but they’re more Murakamian than Proustian.

Grimm and Grimmer

February 08, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Childhood 7 Comments →

Grimm and Grimmer

On the left, Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales, translator uncredited, published by Barnes & Noble in 2012. Nice dark green faux-leather binding, gilt-edged paper of the kind used for bibles. Gorgeous full-color endpapers, gold ribbon page marker, and best of all, the classic illustrations by Arthur Rackham. 722 pages, 211 stories, with an introduction by Jane Yolen.

On the right, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, a new English version by Philip Pullman. Regular cardboard hardcover, dust jacket cover art, newsprint paper (of a better quality but still newsprint). No endpapers, no illustrations. 405 pages, 50 stories, with an introduction by Philip Pullman. There’s also a brief commentary by Pullman at the end of each tale, citing sources and alternate versions.

They cost about the same, Php1,100 at National Bookstores. Your choice depends on whether you are an Arthur Rackham or Philip Pullman fan.

rackham_frog2
The Frog King illustration by Arthur Rackham.

In the green book, The Frog King starts like this:

In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face.

In the Pullman translation, the complete title is The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich.

In the olden times, when wishing still worked, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest daughter was so lovely that even the sun, who has seen many things, was struck with wonder every time he shone on her face.

Who is Iron Heinrich? He appears in both versions—in the green book he is called Faithful Henry—as the frog king’s faithful servant.

…when he’d learned that his master had been changed into a frog, he was so dismayed that he went straight to the blacksmith and ordered three iron bands to put around his heart to stop it bursting with grief.

goes the Pullman translation.

Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness.

says the older translation.

Both versions differ from the one we remember having heard countless times while growing up. The princess never has to kiss the frog; on the contrary she picks him up and throws him at the wall, and when he lands he is a handsome human prince. We don’t recall ever hearing of Iron Heinrich/Faithful Henry. If there’s a love story here, it’s between the enchanted prince and his loyal servant; the princess is just a brat who gets lucky.

Where did the frog-kissing business come from? Who told little girls that if they kissed enough frogs they might land a prince? Who tacked on that “moral lesson”: She was nice to the slimy amphibian so she was rewarded! Wheee! They need to get their asses kicked.