Sunday, May 29, 2011

A stranger

music: Leonard Cohen - Once More With Felix

I miss this stranger.

(It turns out tv can still be a source for (pop) cultural discoveries. I've just watched Sounds of the Sixties on TVR Cultural. I cannot believe I didn't know about this show - it's such an amazing collection of memorable tv performances!)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


music: Little Dragon - No Love

Clubul Vitatoxiformidable se afla într-o clădire din centrul oraşului. N-aveai cum să nu-l vezi, pentru că siluete de boxeri, de alergători sau de aruncători de greutăţi ocupau, însoţiţi de o săgeată, trotuarele din vecinătate. Am intrat. Lambriu pe pereţi, mochetă sintetică verde, tavan vopsit albastru, plante de plastic lucios, totul era conceput anume ca să sugereze natura. Băieţii şi fetele din personal aveau nişte mutre expresive, cum vezi pe panourile publicitare imense din oraşele mari: chipuri senine, zâmbitoare, bronzate, relaxate, care au o idee angoasantă despre fericire: corpul e totul, iar bătrâneţea, un coşmar.

Ca să ajung la biroul managerului, am fost condus prin săli de forţă. Toate aparatele alea de tortură, toate fierătaniile alea gemând de greutăţi care de-abia mai lăsau un locşor pentru corpurile asudate ce vin să sufere, ar fi putut, mă gândeam eu, măcar să emane un farmec pervers, să invoce demonii cărnii. Nici pe departe. Nichelul era rege, iar vărul Muşama îi era supus. Locul îşi pusese amprenta asupra oamenilor: femeile, măcar alea cărora li se mai putea spune aşa - nişte făpturi uscate, ciolănoase, fără sâni şi fără fund, cu un bronz maroniu-închis ca al bătrânilor marinari, numai că al lor era dobândit la solarul frecventat cu religiozitate -, purtau direct pe trupurile goale, atât de atletice, încât deveniseră complet neademenitoare, nişte costume mulate în culorile acelea fluorescente de pe indicatoarele care semnalizează un şantier în lucru ori locul unui accident. În ceea ce-i priveşte pe bărbaţi, toată masculinitatea lor părea să se fi refugiat într-o pereche de sâni hipertrofiaţi pe care îi disculpau lăsând să li se bălăngăne fără suspensor în şort sau pantaloni ceea ce le justifica apartenenţa la sexul tare; restul corpului le era umflat din nu ştiu ce motiv, antrenamentele, prostia sau înfumurarea, iar încheieturile membrelor îngroşate rămăseseră singurele locuri din corp care, din nefericire, nu putuseră să se umfle ca un sufleu. Totul mustea de vulgaritatea voioasă a imbecilului convins că are dreptate.
- Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Secta Egoiştilor

(because my research on body image didn't end with the end of my academic research)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sabotage. The May edition

music: My Morning Jacket - Holding On To Black Metal*


(I stopped watching Grey's Anatomy a long time ago because I think it jumped the shark with Izzy's love-making ghost à la Ghost, but that! right now! Still, I'm glad I can find it in me to laugh about the fact that I've come across those screenshots on a teenagers's tumblr blog and many more like those, that I feel I can relate to, which once again brings me to this conclusion: I'm a late (emo) teenager haha.)


I don't know what weird nostalgic-melancholic wave has hit me again, but I've been going through some old little nothings of mine and abandoned journals, fully aware that by doing so I can only fuel my depressive mood. Add that to listening way too much to Jay-Jay Johanson and you've got yourself an emotional sabotage.

from a letter I never sent

Does the reader, remembering what was said some pages back, care to ask how I answered these letters: whether under the dry, stinting check of Reason, or according to the full, liberal impulse of Feeling?

To speak the truth, I compromised matters; I served two masters: I bowed the knee in the house of Rimmon, and lifted the heart at another shrine. I wrote to these letters two answers - one for my own relief, the other for Graham's perusal.

To begin with: Feeling and I turned Reason out of doors, drew against her bar and bolt, then we sat down, spread our paper, dipped in the ink an eager pen, and, with deep enjoyment, poured out our sincere heart. When we had done - when two sheets were covered with the language of a strongly-adherent affection, a rooted and active gratitude - (once, for all, in this parenthesis, I disclaim, with the utmost scorn, every suspicion of what are called "warmer feelings:" women do not entertain such "warmer feelings" where, from the commencement, through the whole progress of an acquaintance, they have never once been cheated of the conviction that to do so would be to commit a mortal absurdity: nobody ever launches into Love unless he has seen or dreamed the rising of Hope's star over Love's troubled waters) - when, then, I had given expression to a closely-clinging and deeply-honouring attachment - an attachment that wanted to attract to itself and take into its own lot all that was painful in the destiny of its object; that would, if it could, have absorbed and conducted away all storms and lightnings from an existence viewed with a passion of solicitude - then, just at that moment, the doors of my heart would shake, bolt and bar would yield, Reason would leap in, vigurous and revengeful, snatch the full sheets, erase, tear up, re-write, fold, seal, direct, and send a terse, curt missive of a page. She did right.
- Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Unfortunately, Reason never re:writes my letters (emails). I'm afraid all my nervousness, insecurities, and blurry mental patterns transpire into the emails I write. To whomever. And I hate it that even in writing I can't manage to remain somewhat composed.

* The fact that I can still enjoy stuff reassures me that I'm not a clinical case, not yet anyhow - I'm loving Circuital, the new My Morning Jacket album. Go listen to it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bang Bang

music: Regina Spektor - Eet

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) as the soundtrack for two love triangles:

Une robe d'été (François Ozon, 1996) [clip] {version française}

You can watch the entire short at for free till June 30.

Les amours imaginaires (Xavier Dolan, 2010) [trailer] {versione italiana}

"Heart-breaker, that's you!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Je suis spellbound

music: Love Letter to Japan mixtape

Even though I should be grateful I can listen to so much music for free (and legally!), the huge amount of new music releases is overwhelming. I don't have the patience to listen to dozens of albums and in the end find maybe only one or two that I like. The sifting process is very tiring and I end up finding no joy in listening to music. So far, the only 2011 albums I like are Kurt Vile's Smoke Ring For My Halo and tUnE-yArDs' w h o k i l l, and of course Bright Eyes' The People's Key, duh.

Since I've been neglecting the music department, I guess it's no wonder I'm only listening to the new Jay-Jay Johanson now. I don't believe in much, but I do believe in love at first listen, and Spellbound is exactly that. It's a whisper, and I love that about JJ's music. It's also depressing, that's true. But I like depressing. Lyrics like that reassure me that my mental patterns don't spell out c-r-a-z-y.

I just hope that sm in Cluj will be inspired enough to organize a Jay-Jay Johanson concert here. There. I have M's ticket stub from that one time JJ gave a concert in Bucharest, and I look at it wishing I had been there, but the truth is I wouldn't go to Bucharest just for a concert (unless it's Conor we're talking about) (I did that once, for Leonard Cohen, and it turned out ok, but it was enough). So, sm please organize a Jay-Jay Johanson concert in Cluj, pretty please!

Jay-Jay Johanson - Dilemma

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love Letter to Japan. A mixtape

music: Shiina Ringo - Honnou

Love Letter to Japan [YouTube playlist]:

  1. Akiko Yano - Funamachi uta (Part II)
  2. Shugo Tokumaru - Lahaha
  3. Hiromi Uehara - Desert on the Moon
  4. Shiina Ringo - Yami ni furu ame
  5. Afrirampo - Miracle Lucky Girls
  6. Luna Sea - Rosier
  7. Nana Kitade - Kibo no kakera
  8. Blue Hearts - Linda Linda
  9. Inoue Yosui - Yume no naka e
  10. Ippu-do - I Love You
  11. Boris - Pink
  12. X-Japan - Kurenai
  13. Yukihiro Takahashi - My Bright Tomorrow
  14. Flipper's Guitar - Love Train
  15. Fairchild - School, Beauty, Days
  16. Yuki Saito - May
  17. Sadistic Mika Band - Dansu wa sunda

Bonus track: Turning Japanese

(I hadn't made a mixtape in a really long time.)

(The image I used for the mixtape is a photo of two pages from Taschen's Japanese Beauties + a doll I got sometime during my bac exams, back in '05. You know what you have to do to view it large.)


music: Madeleine Peyroux - Between the Bars (Elliott Smith cover)

School really fucked me up. I don't have any exams or anything like that, yet the level of anxiety is the same as it was around this time last year.

Of course:

having to write an essay about fear for my dad's exam can't help.

writing crappy texts for Dilema and not knowing how to fix them can't help.

and just not knowing what the fuck I'm supposed to do in general can't help.


I've just sent a bunch of links to CC for her study breaks, among which one to Mélanie Laurent's video, En t'attendant. I didn't quite like the album at first, but it has since grown on me. I still think the album in its entirety is disappointing, but somehow I find myself listening to it again and again. Maybe because that French mélodie sounds soothing. And of course the video for En t'attendant is trop kawaii.

(Update: Well, I've just blogged this, and a new Mélanie Laurent video is out: Kiss, tourné dans l'usine de films amateurs de Michel Gondry.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

La fête au village

music: Arms and Sleepers - The Architekt

Godard sur le festival de Cannes 1962 (via Les Inrocks)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tiny litlle thing

music: Suicide - Ghost Rider

Normally, I should/would like to dedicate an entire post to The Moth Podcast and write extensively about the amazing stories they feature. But the truth is: I lack the energy. Besides, how could I write about The Moth, which I haven't listened to that much, when I didn't even write about This American Life and Pop Culture Happy Hour?! Till the day I clear my head so that I can write about these podcasts, just keep in mind that I highly recommend them.

I really enjoyed Sheri Holman's Moth story, Rescue Mission (embedded above), and I hope you, accidental reader, will give it a listen. This story has some of my favorite elements: small town girl moves to the big city, the bum, the temptation of suicide. And as it is the case with pretty much all the stories featured both on The Moth and on This American Life, Rescue Mission is very well told.


From the series Oh Wow! I Had No Idea This Was Online: Samuel Beckett's Not I, brilliantly performed by Billie Whitelaw.

"so disconnected . . . never got the message . . . or powerless to respond . . . like numbed . . . couldn't make the sound . . . not any sound . . . no sound of any kind . . . no screaming for help for example . . . should she feel so inclined . . . scream . . . [Screams.] . . . then listen . . . [Silence.] . . . scream again . . . [Screams again.] . . . then listen again . . . [Silence.]" (You can read the entire play at

+ Julianne Moore's performance (dir. Neil Jordan) (I like Julianne Moore, and I'm sorry to say that her performance is nowhere near as strong as Billie Whitelaw's.)


And finally, from the series How Come I Didn't Know About This Band: Suicide. I'm listening to their first album right now, and I'm loving it. Plus: they have a song called Che (the lyrics don't paint a very flattering picture of Che, but I like the song anyways because it sounds incredibly good).

Suicide - Che

Suicide - Ghost Rider (live)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Still Life

music: Ane Brun - Lullaby For Grown-Ups

Sanxia haoren/Still Life (Jia Zhangke, 2006)

A surrealistic image in an otherwise grim socio-economic context.

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 5: sunwind

music: Dan Berglund's Tonbruket - The Wind and the Leaves

(a lame and unoriginal experiment with movie maker. audio: 'the wind and the leaves', dan berglund's tonbruket)

(everybody's complaining about the weather, but I'm actually glad the heat wave is being postponed)

(note to self for next year: do a little smth to celebrate cinco de mayo)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011