English

Writer’s block.

Every now and then writers fall into the no man’s land where inspiration seems to be missing. This could be happening due to many reasons, of course, but I think the most common ones are: lack of reading, lack of writing, and lack of living.

A great deal of what we write is based on what we’ve experienced in our lives. It’s natural then not to feel we have the capacity for developing a new story, or giving life to new characters if our own lives have become a product of routines, and no time for ourselves, no time for emotions.

Life can be a feast, a celebration for the senses. You only need to know how to live. I’m not saying that’s an easy task. However, if you feel drained, like your own demons are eating your energy, or unhappy, or even not motivated to get up in the morning, it becomes obvious that there’s a problem.

Here comes the awareness that a change must follow in order to restore the balance.

Get away from the words. Get in touch with the world, with nature, with yourself. Go outside and wander, talk to strangers, or go to your favourite café. Spend some time with people who fill you with positive energy and inspiration. Spend some time on your own. Start a new book, finish an old one – or go to the book store and read a bit of everything. Listen to some music, then listen to the silence. For in the silence you can reconnect with yourself and your heart the easiest. It’s not silence that has all the answers – it’s you. Silence simply makes you listen, makes you aware of the questions and then leads you to their answers.

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Movie review

Gravity.

‘Gravity’ is not just a movie, it’s a whole experience.

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‘Gravity’ opens with a floating scene of Earth and space and all the beauty a camera can fit into an image, or series of images, taken out in the vast universe. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer, and Matt Kowalski, an austronaut, are facing the same destiny of destruction when the Russians blow up their own satelite to cause an attack of debris, flying fiercely at bullet speed. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, left adrift in space thanks to anti-gravity, they are trying so desperately to save their lives after this crucial catastrophe. However, the horror doesn’t end there. After a series of unforunate events, Clooney’s amusing character disappears into space and Sandra finds herself completely alone, devastated, trying to figure out an escape plan while running out of oxygen.

What do you do when you’re left all by yourself, having nothing but your survival instincts conquered by fear and your oxygen slowly slipping away? How do you fight with the outer world that doesn’t seem to be helping you? And, most importantly, how do you overcome the state of weakness of your own inner world?

How do you stay strong when the challenge of surviving has become impossible?

From the sense of helplessness to the rebirth of hope, from the loosened courage to the recollected adrenaline rush of feeling alive, ‘Gravity’ goes into an exploration of how far the human spirit can go and survive. Or is it limitless the potential we as human beings have?

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Movie review

First Rule of Fight club.

The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club! 

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We live in a world where people are slaves to the material belongings and the need to constantly buy more and more. We know the prices of things, but we are not aware of their actual meaning or value. We no longer appreciate either the little things in life, or the relationships we’ve developed with each other. We are used to taking things for granted and we don’t care if our lives pass into the framework of routines as we simply don’t realize it.

Why do we spend so much time building a material world around us, when all that really matters can’t be bought? Is life complicated, or are we making it that way?

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact.”

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Movie review

Amour.

There is nothing sadder that the thought of how inevitable growing old is. It is not the idea of having wrinkles and gray hair that is scary though, but the fact that we would start to feel redundant in this world of transience. 2012_amour-e1356862996838 Austrian screenwriter and director Michael Haneke, probably best known for his movie “The White Ribbon”, creates another film whose purpose is to provoke. His work, usually defined as “disturbing”, deals with the problems and failures of the world we live in. A bit different than his usual dynamic style, however, “Amour” is a silent, sincere and stretched look at the adulthood. It is a movie that absorbs both your attention and emotions, keeping them focused on the subject long after the end. “Amour” tells the story of two people who are together, both in good, and in bad, in their inwrought destinies. George (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anna (Emmanuelle Riva) are two retired musicians. Their daughter (Isabelle Huppert), also a musician, has abandoned the home nest and now lives abroad with her family. Having their love tested through the years as a couple in their eighties, they now have to face the greatest challenge of them all. When Anna has a stroke, half her body gets paralyzed, and George has to be constantly around her, looking after the worsening state of her fragility: a task unbearable at times.

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English, Prose, Short Story

Monogamy.

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‘Honey?’
‘Yeah?’
‘When do you think people get sick of each other?’
‘I suppose when they have nothing else to say to each other.’

His words made her think. It had been ages since she last talked to her best friend. She called her parents occasionally, but all they ever said was, ‘Oh, you know, we’re okay.’ In return, she would reply that her life’s okay too. She helped in the kitchen of a local restaurant as a part-time job, most of her colleagues too proud to talk to her. The rest of the time she would spend either trying to write poetry, or doing the duties included in the description of a loyal housewife. Her husband, a lawyer with his own office, had started coming late for dinner lately, always making up excuses. All she could think of was he’s working too hard, her mind full of pity.

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Prose, Short Story

The Motivational Reinforcement.

Sarah is studying psychology. Every week she misses at least one of her 9am lectures. On those occasions, she comforts herself with three to five spoons of Nutella. The so-called ‘positive reinforcement’ is a technique she learned in her first year in university. It is basically a method that rewards a behavior to encourage it. So when Sarah misses one of her lectures, instead of being faced with ‘negative reinforcement’, which is to receive a punishment for her behavior, she takes a reward in advance. Thus, she bribes her consciousness to feel guilty next time she considers skipping yet another lecture. She calls it ‘the motivational reinforsement’. So far this method has proven to be successful half of the times but that seems to be enough for her to continue following the same routine; the only drawback being her gaining extra kilos every week. Nonetheless, further research is to be conducted towards this innovation of psychology.

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English, Prose, Short Story

Spicy.

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She loved spending her afternoons cooking pasta. Penne, spaghetti, bucatini, capellini, fettuccine, tagliatelle. She had them all in a fine collection, stuffed in a big kitchen cabinet.

Every now and then she would offer to cook for us as an invitation to have me over for the night. She would greet me with ‘Ciao, amore mio!’, and a big kiss on my mouth. From friends during the day, we would quickly shift into lovers as the moon took place over the sun.

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