Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Movies’

My cats challenge T’Challa for the throne of Wakanda. Black Panther rules!

February 24, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Movies No Comments →

Saffy is T’Chorva. Summon the Dora Milaje!

Drogon is T’Charot. Bring me my armored rhinoceros!

Jacob is T’Chenes. Vibranium claws!

Obviously we love Black Panther and will watch it over and over again. Gripping, joyful, political. The world needs this movie.

We are all Lady Bird.

February 08, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies No Comments →

(While we’re on the subject of parents.)

My mother never tore down my dreams because I wasn’t good enough to fulfill them. She tore down my dreams because they weren’t her dreams. She wanted me to aspire to wealth, security, prestige, and I rolled my eyes at her because I wanted books, art, music. But that’s the job of a parent: to be the voice in our heads that we must learn to shut up so we can hear our own voices.

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird reminds us that you can detest your mother with every fiber of your being, you can loathe the place where you grew up and the life you led, and you will still love them and that is not a contradiction. It is funny, sad, angry, and happy, and every frame of it is true.

John Mahoney as Diane’s dad in Say Anything

February 08, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music No Comments →

Say Anything is one of my favorite movies not just because I wish I had a Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack’s character), but because I envied Diane Court (Ione Skye) her very supportive, understanding dad (John Mahoney) and was wrenched when Mr Court turned out to be a criminal.

Always loved this singing-in-the-car bit. (Context: Mr Court had just learned that Diane got a scholarship to Oxford.) John Mahoney also starred in Frasier as the down-to-earth dad of those pretentious twits Frasier and Niles. Goodbye and thanks, Mr. Mahoney.

Call Me By Your Name: We want to live there.

February 04, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 2 Comments →

Things we love about Luca Guadagnino’s film Call Me By Your Name, in no particular order.

1. First love should be this beautiful. Even the pain is beautiful.

2. The villa in northern Italy, and all of northern Italy, matches that beauty.

3. Timothee Chalamet’s Elio. He feels everything, and we know exactly what he’s feeling. (The final scene is just his face, and it’s enough.)

4. Armie Hammer’s Oliver. We don’t know exactly what he’s feeling, but he’s as beautiful as the sculptures by Praxiteles.

5. Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar as Elio’s parents, the Perlmans. So civilized, so erudite, intelligent and above all, kind. We may love Elio’s parents more than we love Elio and Oliver.

6. The soundtrack which includes Sufjan Stevens, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Psychedelic Furs, and introduced us to the work of John Adams.

7. A movie where people discuss the etymology of apricot. Where a teenager plays Bach as Liszt would’ve played him. Where people speak four languages at home and translate old German tales.

8. Esther Garrel’s Marzia, who understands why Elio disappeared on her, in part because he gave her a book of poetry by Antonia Pozzi. This movie also introduced us to Antonia Pozzi.


To have two long wings
of shadow
and fold them up against your pain;
to be shadow, the peace
of evening
around your faded

9. That speech by Elio’s father Prof. Perlman, which all parents should be required to learn. Here is the text from the novel by Andre Aciman.

In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent. In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!

10. We wish Mafalda was our housekeeper.

We love The Shape of Water for the same reason many people don’t: because it is truly freaky.

January 31, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies No Comments →

Some see a bizarre fairy tale about a mute woman who falls in love with a fish-man, in which the lovers DON’T get transformed into beautiful humans. But that’s the point. Guillermo Del Toro tells us that they’re ALREADY beautiful. (Something terrible happens to a cat, but we understand it in the context of the tale.)

In reminding us of the power of film to transform the drudgery of our lives, it calls to mind The Purple Rose of Cairo. (I know, I know, its creator. That doesn’t diminish the movie.)

My cat Saffy, 17 and 1/2, goes to the dentist

January 16, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Movies, Technology No Comments →

Update: Saffy has recovered fully and is eating twice as much as she used to.

Saffy in her carrier

I’ve just read this inspiring investigative report on the Online Cat-Industrial Complex, and I’m thinking of starting a new career as a feline interpreter. Having lived with cats for 19 years, I have figured out what their facial expressions, sounds, tail positions, ear angles, kneading, poop placement and other nonverbal cues mean.