A weekend with a film festival, a birthday and lots of tea

I was really sad when Gonzo left at the beginning of the month, as I actually thought I wouldn’t see him until December. (We usually manage to see each other every two months – as in: he manages to come visit me every other month.)
But then an invitation to a short film festival, to be precise The One Shot Film Festival, appeared in Mister Cotelo’s inbox: there were two tickets reserved for him and a “plus one” to attend the final screening in London, for which his film Mamma had been selected. Exciting news!

In the spur of the moment, Gonzo asked for holidays again (just after getting back from a three weeks leave) and we booked our flights to London! Most excitingly, the screening fell on the same weekend as my birthday – which meant a birthday with Gonzo, all our friends and lots of tea in our beloved capital of the UK!
I felt very fancy, telling my friends in Rome that I’d be going to London in order to attend the screening of a film I produced in an official festival. I have to admit that I didn’t let an occasion pass to bring it up. Sorry, if I was annoying!

When I arrived in London, Gonzo was already there. We spent the weekend catching up with our friends and the city. (how can so much change in such short time?) I haven’t been to London in almost a year, but as soon as i set foot in the tube, something clicked and all the habits came back.

The festival was really tiny, and we din’t win a price in the end, but it was a lovely excuse to dress fancy and celebrate my birthday! On Saturday, my actual birthday, I woke up to lots of text messages. We had a slow morning and got up late, had fancy London brunch (avocado and eggs Benedict on rye bread – how much London-ier can it get??) and coffee with Andrea. Later we strolled down Oxford street and looked at all the shop windows. For dinner we met up with Isi and Isa and had Hamburgers at Byron, where I met an old work colleague, now manager, who brought us massive desserts! And to top it all off went to the cinema to see Bladerunner 2049. It mightn’t sound too fancy, but I was the happiest girl. For me, it was a perfect day. ❤

Sadly Gonzo had to leave a day earlier than me. But my friends were there to cheer me up. I was spontaneously cast as an extra in a short film, had a bunch of English sweets and cookies and met an Irish actor. On Monday morning I finished my blitz visit in London having breakfast with Isa, including lots of tea and gossip.

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When I got back to Rome, it seemed to me that I was away for at least one week. My little suitcase was full of birthday presents, tea and biscuits and the loveliest memories!

London will always feel a bit like home, as our friends there have long become family. ❤

XX, Angie

Here’s to the dreamers

What a better way is there to spend a Saturday afternoon that in the cinema?

I went to see the matinee show of La La Land today – and I’m over the moon! I am completely in love with the movie! The obvious reasons are: it’s a musical, the camerawork is great, it has an amazing and super vibrant colour palette and it stars Ryan Gosling 😉
No, seriously:

Yes, they sing. But I felt like it was never out of context. Singing as a natural way of expressing oneself is established normal right at the beginning of the film. It’s a world where they sing. I think one has to make the effort and see it as kind of a “parallel world” where singing and dancing is normal, and everything makes total sense. –  Does that make sense?

The story itself is rather simple: it’s two artists struggling with life and everything that comes with it. I am far from calling myself an artist, but I think in all the years dealing with directors, actors and producing short films, I got a bit of an insight. Basically, it feels real to me. Of course the drama level is a bit up, otherwise there wouldn’t be a Hollywood movie, but the characters are well developed and the script has some nice “that could happen to us”-moments. And I’m not talking about the scene where they dance a waltz in the clouds…

I liked how despite it begin a colourful musical, it ends on a bittersweet note and makes you think about life and the choices you make. Even though many of my friends hated the ending, I think it’s one of the best bits of the film. And isn’t there anything worse that coming out of a film and going: “meh, it was ok.”? Well, the finale definitely prevents that. And I like myself a proper after-movie discussion!

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Lo Lo Love,
Angie

Happy thoughts

As you may or may not know, Peter Pan is by far one of my favourite stories. And when I learned that this winter a Warner Bros. was to release “Pan”, an epic prequel to the classic tale, I was more than excited!
The film actually came out on the 18th of October, but for some mysterious reasons I didn’t come around to see it until this weekend. (I want to point out that afternoon showtimes and my super grow-up friends or rather the difficulty of finding someone equally childish magic-minded as me didn’t play in my favour.)

Yesterday Isa and me had a gorgeous afternoon tea with loads of clotted cream and gossip in our new favourite café in Camden. Stuffed with cucumber sandwiches and scones we were deciding what to do next and well, it was only 16:30 – the perfect time to fly to Neverland!

I want to say straight away that the weakest point of the film was probably the script. Although it takes a very lovely spin on the original book by J. M. Barrie, creating a prequel to a story that doesn’t need one, is a very daring task. To be fair, to a certain extent it did really well. I very much appreciated the settings in London during he Second World War for instance, or the presentation of Neveland how it was before Peter’s reign. But other aspects, such as the made-up story of Peter’s parents just didn’t come together very well.

Let aside the not-as-smooth-as-could-be storyline, the film was a feast for eyes and mind! Being set in Neverland basically excuses everything; neverbirds, glowing mermaids, Nirvanan-chanting lost boys, a crystal fairy hive and colours – lots of colours!
From the costumes of the pirates and the indians, the ships and mines, tents and war paint, to the Neverforest and the hidden fairy kingdom: the production design is simply amazing. Everything is so rich on details and unique ideas, one can tell that the makers tried really hard to avoid existing “Neverland clichés” and created a fresh perception of this magic space, where logic and physics as we know it don’t apply and everything is possible.

“Pan” is set in a very different Neverland from the one we know from previous screen adaptations. For a start, the “main pirate”, who steals orphans from London to make them mine fairy dust, is Blackbeard. James Hook on the other hand is introduced as a dashing, self-secure lad, trying to escape the mines and most of all as a friend of Peter – leaving a lovely white space for your imagination to go wild (hopefully not for a sequel of the prequel! *fingers crossed*)

Another little easter egg for those familiar with the book, are names and quotes, very carefully woven into the lines of the main characters as they go along, reflecting the original source of the subject on a different level.

Excuse my rambling, but all I want to say: I loved it! And even thought the story has its flaws, its a perfect magical, whimsical, colourful and fantastic movie!

I do believe in bedtime stories.
XX, Angie