Sounds of Music

Songbook: A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep

I come back to Emmy the Great often and while her voice is normally nothing like the voices I like, she does incredible things with it. Also, most of her songs are miniature stories and I love me a song that tells a story.

“A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep” by Emmy the Great

Album: Virtue

Year: 2011

Category: Recent-years favorite

Why it rocks:
It turns the problematic story of Sleeping Beauty into a meditation on a woman’s domestic life. The melody keeps changing, reflecting the changing mood of the woman, sometimes contemplative, sometimes frantic. I like how it plays with the plant imagery and other elements to build a truly gothic atmosphere. The pulsating drums create the urgency of the song. And there are small inside jokes, like when the husband is quoted, the music quiets and for a moment a rattlesnake sound appears.

Favorite bit of lyrics:
It has a lot of small gems which add to the sense of mudane gothic, like “I will stay and watch the days go past / And I’ll see how the plants advance / And they turn on what they know” or “But I swept until I couldn’t sweep / And this house is still alive”.

Favorite moment:
There are a few but I like when the “Come back, come back…” introduces the hypnotic part of the rhythm.

Best for: House cleaning. Seriously though, for contemplating traditional gender roles in marriage.

Listen here.

Rotten Tomatoes

Mildly Enthusiastic Review: Sex and the City (movie)

Once I finished the six seasons of Sex and the City proper, I figured I’d re-watch the first movie that followed in 2008 because I had a (wrong) impression that it completed the characters’ stories.

er-sexandthecitymovieSex and the City (the movie)

Category: Movies

Find it on: IMDb

What it is:
A continuation of the show made in 2008 to the great excitement (and then disappointment) of fans, it tells the further story of the four friends but mostly of Carrie’s failed attempt at marrying Big. However, it mostly serves as a thinly-veiled vehicle for product placement.

How I found it:
I watched this movie soon after it came out and while I didn’t love it, I didn’t pay attention to how bad it actually was.

Summary judgment:
Wow. I don’t so much mind the flat story and the bad jokes but the world view I found downright offensive.

Best things about it:
The clothes have gotten so extravagant as to become a form of art and I like the visual part of the whole thing (except for Parker’s general look).

Worst things about it:
I guess to me the worst part, and the most surprising one, was the body shaming the women subject one another to. They criticize one another over weight-gain and body hair, not the kind of supportive friendship the show sold us on, and not the kind of message I’m comfortable with from a franchise masquarading as “feminist.”
On a more general level, the writing fails hard. Everything drags as if they needed to fill the space between advertisements (for Starbucks, for Mercedes-Benz, for all the fashion brands) and didn’t quite know how. Carrie’s marriage drama feels so contrived you just want to tell her to get a hold of herself: throughout the entire movie when we’re supposed to feel sorry for her I kept wanting to shake her because yes, the whole thing was her fault and didn’t merit all the hysterics.

Other pluses:
✤ Carrie’s potential apartment is pretty, I guess, and the library where her wedding doesn’t happen looks great, too.
✤ Charlotte’s mutts. Yes, scraping the bottom here.

Other minuses:
✤ I always found it surprising how Miranda is one-sidedly villified over her anger with Steve, who cheated on her. I feel she has every right to be angry and the film never acknowledges that. In what world is Big’s transgression worse?
✤ Ugh, the terrible jokes. It’s like somebody belatedly remembered the “comedy” part in the romantic comedy and added the funniest thing of all, diarrhea.
✤ Yes, Samantha’s sex object of a neighbor looks good but this kind of reversed-male gaze (I’m not sure if it’s called female gaze in a case like this, when it’s objectifying a man) made me really uncomfortable.

How it enriched my life:
It didn’t. The whole thing should’ve ended with the show. This is such a clear, unneccessary money grab.

Fun fact:
Apparently even Cynthia Nixon doesn’t like the “happy ending” of the movie? It’s an internet fact though so don’t hold me to it.

I’m never watching it again. Also, guys, I did see the second movie back when it came out but it was so abysmal that even this movie seems okay by comparison so I’m not re-watching or reviewing it.

Recommended for:
Completionist fans of the show who don’t mind having their good opinion sullied. Also, people who don’t know the show but like really empty, mediocre romantic comedies without much humor or romance.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Next time: The Dud Avocado


Getting Married Feels Like Easter

Posting has been less regular than I planned because last Friday we got married and, let me tell you, it’s a hassle.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth it, but there is much to organize that I didn’t account for because in general we wanted something very, very simple. This basically meant no all-night wedding with dancing and ridiculous fun-and-games – and boy, were we glad we skipped that because I’ve no idea how people manage not to drop from exhaustion around midnight. We only had reception dinner for family, which was fine except in the middle I found myself not hungry at all and generally worn. But it passed and the rest went just fine.

On the next evening we organized a small get-together for friends in a club where I used to go dancing with a friend (hello, J) all the time when we were students. And dance we did, most of us, quite a lot, except I had remembered the place as quieter away from the dancing floor. Unfortunately, our tables were just above the floor, which meant a good vantage point for those who wanted vantaging but very poor conversation conditions. You could only talk with one person at a time, which resulted in many fragmented conversations and I do wish there’d been at least five of me to be able to spend more time with everyone.

Saturday was frankly a little stressful for that but Friday, when the actual ceremony took place, less so than I’d expected. Even though we had to work like crazy the week before wedding and didn’t have time to concentrate on the details, everything worked out sufficiently well. When people asked me if I was stressed, I actually wondered why I would be. And I only had one bridezilla attack just before leaving for church when I decided my dress didn’t fit as it should but, mercifully, there was no time to dwell on that. I feel sorry for those who overplan their wedding though, because I can’t even begin to imagine how stressful that must be. Had I bothered about the color of napkins during dinner and the flower arrangement in the church, I would probably be curing a migraine up till now. But going with the flow as we did, we found the chocolate-brown napkins just fine and didn’t mind when the priest knocked over the flowers and spilled the water all over the floor during the ceremony. As he did.

Even though I don’t usually do that, I’ll post you a picture or two once I get them from the photographer, whenever that might be, because that will make more sense than describing my dress – and nothing in the whole affair caused so much trouble as the dress, so it’ll be worth mentioning.

So far my vast experience of married life is not so different from my experience of (old) maidenly life – which is to say, it’s been really good. I’m really grateful to everyone who came to wish us well and made the whole thing grander. And the best idea we had was to ask for bookstore vouchers instead of flowers. Today our first package of books came and it actually feels like Christmas to get so many books at once.