Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Childhood’

Every movie we see #6: The Babadook is a Bring Your Own Monsters horror feast.

January 08, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Movies 2 Comments →

3. Torn Curtain. In one of the Hitchcocks we’d never seen, Paul Newman plays an American nuclear scientist who is apparently defecting to East Germany. His plan is nearly foiled when his sniveling secretary/fiancee Julie Andrews thinks he really is defecting and follows him to East Berlin.

“Somehow we couldn’t believe Paul Newman was a nuclear scientist,” we told Noel. “Hitchcock must’ve known it, too, because when Newman writes equations on the blackboard he doesn’t show them.”

“But if Paul Newman circa 1965 looked at you, would you believe it?” Noel said.

“We’d nominate him for a Nobel Prize. May tao palang walang chemistry with Paul Newman: si Julie Andrews. He had more chemistry with Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy.”

“And Marlon Brando!” Noel reminded us. Look it up.

4. The Shop Around The Corner. This jewel by Ernst Lubitsch, the template for every single romantic comedy in which the lovers hate each other at first sight, has never been surpassed.

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Our sister was flummoxed when our 8-year-old niece told her, “Mommy, Frozen is sooo last year.”

“Why?” we asked. “What is It this year?”

“My point is, she said ‘sooo last year’.

“Then show her the Indiana Jones movies and tell her they’re sooo 30 years ago.”

“I’m afraid she won’t enjoy them and I’ll weep.”

6. The Babadook

There’s a monster in The Babadook, a creature out of a children’s storybook that looks like a coat and hat hanging on a rack. It’s not that scary, but after the Australian director Jennifer Kent has had a half-hour to mess with your head, you’ll be primed to jump at every knock on the door. Like the most effective horror movies, The Babadook provides the plot and atmosphere and lets the viewers scare themselves. Bring Your Own Monsters! The result is a clever and visceral horror feast, a compendium of terrors beginning with the one that cannot be named: the fear of not loving your child.

If anyone knows when The Babadook will open in local theatres, give us a holler and we’ll do a full review.

“Dear Satan”–this is what happens to children who can’t spell

December 23, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood No Comments →

Each year, due mostly to minor misspellings and very poor penmanship, hundreds of children’s letters are sent to Satan, Dark Lord of the Underworld. Always in the market for the souls of innocents, Satan will often take the time to respond.

Dear Satan,

What I really want this year more than anything is a Barbie Dream House. It’s pretty and pink and I will keep it in my room near my bed!

Merry Christmas,

Allison, Age 6



It really should go without saying, but I will not be getting you this so-called dream house because I, of course, do not want to. But I will suggest this: buy it yourself. Simply take two or three dollars from your mom or dad’s wallet each day (adults never know the exact amount they have) and soon enough you’ll have your useless and silly miniature house. (Although, really, it’s Barbie’s body you should be working to attain.)

Why you and so many others feel the need to tell me your age is something that will forever baffle me.


Satan, Infinite

Read it at The New Yorker.

And now, Thor vs Santa! (A historical grudge match, Santa Claus being based largely on Thor the god of thunder. What a gyp, Chris Hemsworth could be turning up at our houses on Xmas eve.)

Coloring books for clever kids or adults who need therapy

August 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, Childhood, Sponsored 2 Comments →

Crayons, 96 colors, Php409 at National Bookstores

Your crayon coloring technique says a lot about you. As a kid we would press the crayon heavily onto the page, leaving a thick layer of color, and then we would scrape off the layers so the color would look light. Why didn’t we just color lightly, then? We don’t know.

We went through several boxes of crayons that way. You know those 48-color sets that came in a box with a built-in sharpener? We kept sharpening the crayons till nothing was left.



Why didn’t we have these coloring books when we were kids?





Coloring books, Php295 at National Bookstores

Proper shoes

August 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood No Comments →


Most of our footwear are sneakers and boat shoes, so we decided to get a pair of “proper” shoes for events attended by grown-ups and such. We searched high and low, and tried on dozens of pairs. The shoes had to be waterproof, with soles that would give us traction on rain-slick sidewalks because we are clumsy.

docs w cat

Having dispensed with the formalities of searching for the right shoes, we bought the ones we wanted in the first place: Doc Martens ladies’ brogues in pewter. We prefer heavy shoes that keep us firmly anchored and make us feel capable of trampling everything in our path. And Docs do last forever. (Unless they are worn by our sister, whose feet can break any footwear. Sasquatch!) We have some boots nearly 20 years old that we plan to wear again so we’re having them cleaned.

Not having bought Docs in nearly 20 years, we had forgotten that the first few times you wear them, your feet will hurt like a sonofabitch. Some people recommend wearing them in the shower so the water will soften the leather (Are you kidding?), or pounding them with a hammer. We don’t want to damage our beautiful brogues so we wear them for a few hours at a time, refrain from walking great distances in them, and mummify our feet in bandages.

Cinemalaya X review: Super Nova

August 08, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Movies 1 Comment →


When we were kids, we tuned in every week to a TV show called Chicks to Chicks. The very title marks it as an artifact from the early days of women’s liberation, when attractive women were routinely referred to as young chickens. It was the martial law era, so any discussion of politics or unpleasant realities that did not fit the Marcos-approved image of the New Society was suppressed. Sex, however, was all over TV and the movies. Chicks to Chicks starred Nova Villa and Freddie Webb as a feisty housewife and her hunky husband who ran a modeling agency. Inexplicably, the models (Carmi Martin, the late Maria Teresa Carlson) lived in their house and went around in their underwear. Each week the wife would suspect her husband of cheating on her, but everything would turn out to be her lecherous brother Chito Arceo’s fault, and the couple would make up and take a shower together. This show ran throughout our childhood.

Read our review at

She never wanted to believe

July 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Music, Science, Television 2 Comments →

…even when she was kidnapped by extraterrestrials.

While watching the Scully video, this started playing in our head.

We think of it as the Philippine Science High School anthem, not that “Crests and troughs of the sea of life that flows/Thy light our beacon be” crap.

Speaking of science, here’s the trailer for The Imitation Game, in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing. He also played Stephen Hawking and is currently Sherlock so he must get a pick of the big brain characters. Because he has the facial shape of a Zeta Reticulan.

He’s not that into you, Keira!

You realize he was the villain in Atonement? Secondary, if you count Briony as the main bad guy.