Sunday, 20 June 2010

my blueberry nights

My days have been strawberry and my nights have been sleepless due to my daughter's severe cough. Despite that cough, I managed to watch My Bleberry Nights - the film I'd planned to see a long time before.
The film was not a disappointment. I generally like films in which plot is secondary, and in which the plot is made, to a large extent, by pictures, by objects that make the inner points of reference and give rise to a new system of metaphors and symbols, which are meaningful not only to the characters, but also which the audience is invited to share. So, the film is like a chamber music concert, creating this closed-circle impression, when you get this feeling intimacy with the characters, and the film makers as well.

And it is Jude Law who steals the show, not the actor that I used to like much before. He shows a powerful array of simple expression tools, to start with his face and finish with his Mancunian accent ("me mommy told me"), pleasurable to listen to against the American English of the others. Rachel Weisz + uses her beauty, but it doesn't take long till you stop envying her that. Natalie Portman puts her cheekiness at stake, her youthful insolence, which is appealing, but I'd seen it in Closer already. And Nora Jones, unfortunately, must have been auditioned to the film by mistake. From the beginning to the end, her face remains dull, uninteresting, expressionless. Even though Jude Law makes up for this void, her inability to show emotions, except from the initial rage, gives the film a flaw.

But I can help it, I simply imagine Wong Kar Wai to have chosen Audrey Tatou instead. Her acting would have made a nice counterpart for Jude Law's nuances. But maybe then the film would be too cute to watch.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

trying my hand at system solutions

I've been to a seminar about system solutions today.
If I was to summarize what are system soultions and system thinking, I would say, this is big-picture thinking, looking at a problem from a distance, taking a panoramic view especially at the problems that seem too complex and to intertwined into one another ("messy" or "wicked" problems) that you feel you can no longer handle them in a simple cause&effect manner.
What I like most in it is not only, and not most, the kind of analysis - or meta-analysis - that you have to conduct, and then synthesise the effects into coprehensive graph or set of interrelated pictures. What I like most about system thinking that it demands cooperation. It is based on brainstorming and synergy. Everyone can contribute, and the rules result from, and aim at satisfying, everybody's needs.
During the seminar today we played strategic games and that was truly insightful. If I get the chance, I'll go again.

Friday, 4 June 2010

You can find my review of "The White Ribbon" - Michael Haneke's movie - here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

the bright side

I'm trying to resist this rather natural inclination for complaining about the weather. After all, it is rather banal and even though you pour out a n umber of words that would somehow match the unusual amounts of rainwater, you're left as helpless as you were before. In short, complaning doesn't help.

I was ready to adopt another manner, of taking things as they are and making the best of them. So, I could buy myself colourful patterned wellingtones, or black stiletto wellingtones which should be available by now. I've already got a stylish large white umbrella, with "Paris" written on it in silver print, which some Italian delegation left at my husband's corporation.

But I feel that whatever I do, I don't think I'll be able to stand this omnipresent dampness much longer. Reminds me of my dear Frank McCourt and his memoirs, when he describes Ireland:

From October to April the walls of Limerick glisten with the damp. Clothes never dried: tweed and woolen coats housed living things, sometimes sprouted mysterious vegetations. In pubs, steam rose from our bodies and garments to be inhaled with cigarette and pipe smoke [...]

So there is some bright side to look up to - in Poland this amount of damp is only an anomaly. And with the dedication to all my students - minus the nihilist streaks (life's not a piece of shit, after all:)