Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Movie Biography: Paul Newman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Changes in 2009

(2006, 2007, 2008) Wow, 2009. Seems like just yesterday that 2009 happened. I'm not kidding. I blame this on high school. High school is so short that everything goes really fast. Sometimes I feel like I started just yesterday, but then I realise that I'm one year out from finishing. It is quite scary. Anyway, 2009:

  • The first day of 2009 was extremely good. Why? Because I saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the first time. And that introduced me to the hotness that was Paul Newman. Now, I was really sad when he died in 2008, but at that point, I wasn't really aware of who he was. When I saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I literally saw the most perfect looking man who ever lived. Not to mention that his performance is this huge melting pot of angst, masculinity on the edge and a general distaste in living. The way he reacts with Maggie is so fascinating to watch. You know how those Tumblr people like to say that a certain good looking person made their "ovaries explode"? I know it is a bit extreme, and I don't think it really happened, but that's exactly how I felt when I saw Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Needless to say, I was in love with him for most of that year. Even so much so that my mother went halves with me on this Paul Newman boxset...which to this day I've only watched two out of the five films. I should really get going on the rest. 
  • Ah yeah, high school happened. I honestly don't remember too much of the early days, although I soon realised that high school was better than primary. What was pretty awesome, though, was that my tutor group (you may know that as a form room or homeroom or something like that) was in the Drama room. I was determined to make Drama my favourite subject since at that time I wanted to be an actress, so having my tutor group in Drama was just meant to be. When you're year nine, though, you have little seven week modules of all of the subjects (excluding the core ones like English, Maths, Science and Social Studies, which you had to take), so in the future you'd know which ones you'll be interested in taking. I didn't get to take Drama until the very end of the year, which was a bummer. And it was only seven weeks. I have taken Drama ever since, though, and it is my favourite subject. I did take Speech and Drama, though, which was an extra class kinda thing. I did a speech on classic movies (I was oh so predictable in those days) and a monologue as a mother who has just lost her son. I managed to get a Merit, which is the second highest grade. Back in those days, I used to be such a Drama freak.
  • Continuing on my quest to be an actress, I took part in the local production of Grease. Those were the best days of my life. Even though I was just part of the chorus, it was so fun to dress up and sing and dance and stuff. I did love being up on stage and stuff. Especially because it was one of the biggest hit shows that Dannevirke ever had.

    • This was the year when Leonardo DiCaprio became my favourite actor. And it was all thanks to What's Eating Gilbert Grape, which I taped off the TV when it was playing in the middle of the night. A long time ago (2007, I believe), I saw the final 20 minutes of Titanic and proclaimed Leonardo DiCaprio to be my favourite actor. Because 20 minutes was all it took back in the day. However, once I saw his performance in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, everything changed. Basically, you've just got to see the performance for yourself to understand how great it is. I didn't know that Leo was capable of such a performance...or looking like a 12 year old when he was really 19. I watched pretty much all of his films after that, and he actually did become my favourite actor. He probably still is. Even though he's chasing after dat Oscar.
    • I suppose 2009 wasn't a very good year because my parents split up. Which means that for the first time in my life, I got to move house. And then I moved house again later in the year. Alas, when my parents were in the process of splitting up, my favourite movie suddenly became Revolutionary Road. Sinister, huh? Seriously, that movie ripped me apart, especially with Leo's face at the end. I then read the book, and wrote an essay on it for a school exam. You know, while everyone was writing normal essays on teenage-oriented books, I was obsessed with Revolutionary Road. I haven't seen it since those dark days, though. I don't think I could really handle it. 
    • The first house we moved in was just a very temporary house, which we got the rent on for quite cheap since the house was also for sale. I adored that house. It was way too big for my mum and I, but it was so nice. The only problem was that I wasn't allowed Blu-Tack on the walls, which meant that I couldn't have any posters. And I had really nice posters of Revolutionary Road and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that I wanted to put up. We kinda just cheated and put them up anyway, but then we took them down whenever people came to look at the house. I'm big on having my walls plastered with posters. As you will see later this week.
    • When I was playing netball, I sprained my ankle and tore some ligaments. I think what happened was that someone stopped me while I was trying to run, and my ankle twisted in this really weird way. It was agony. What made it worse was that I went for a hot shower, which you never do with such a fresh injury. I was lying on the couch, trying to convince myself that I didn't need to go to the hospital. My movie of choice for this occasion? Road to Perdition. I now only associate that movie with the agony I was in. I did end up going to the hospital though, and a whole year of physiotherapy and other treatments followed.
    • I did a REALLY big project on classic films. Most people did projects that only required them to do a poster, but no, not me. I did this huge 50 page report on everything from silent films right up to the 1950s. It was insane. I actually don't think I've ever done anything as large as that since for school, which is sad because I did this in year nine, where you don't get anything for doing stuff.
    • As you well know, my horse Katie got given away in this year. The day after Michael Jackson died. And you know what? I would have been able to say goodbye to her had I not been watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that afternoon. Not that I knew she was getting given away. Life, it is a funny old thing sometimes.
    • I started the blog on October 21st. This was after I saw Let the Right One In on the 18th, and I felt like I should write about that film. For a few weeks before then, I had tinkered around with writing reviews in this book which I called my "Movie Book", starting with reviews on W. and (500) Days of Summer. The truth is though, and most of you don't know this, is that I actually started the blog in January. I had written half a blog post on something - I do remember Angelina Jolie being a part of it - but had decided not to post anything. In October, though, I decided that watching three movies a week wasn't enough, so I wanted to watch a movie every day. Upon hearing about the plot of Julie & Julia, I thought I could blog about it. So I started this blog, even though I only had internet at my Dad's and I was only allowed the computer for a certain amount of time. I think it is quite interesting how this blog came to be, when I feel like I was on a different planet in those times.
    • My favourite movie of that year became Michael Jackson's This Is It. For the life of me, I don't understand why this was now. The movie isn't all that special. I think it was just the fact that we ordered our tickets so far in advance, we had this big night out, and it felt kinda epic. For weeks all I could think about was the "Earth Song" sequence. And yeah, that's all I have to say about that.
    • The Hangover quickly outrun This Is It, though, and became my favourite film. No jokes, I actually claimed it was my favourite film for a long time. It was just so funny back in those days. And then I saw it 50 billion times.
    • I started writing for the paper on the 11th of December with a review of The Proposal. Those reviews were awful. But people seemed to like them, and I was so excited to see them every week. I really stuffed up that thing, but more on that in 2011.
    • That year closed out with movies like Inglourious Basterds and District 9. I loved those movies to death. I still do.
    • I also became an insomniac, which trickled over into the next year. At our new house (which is by a cemetery, too), people thought that the previous owners still lived here, so they'd come knocking on our windows at 1am. Being the paranoid person I am, I stayed up every night in fear that they'd come back. I could sleep at Dad's house (luckily), but not at Mum's. I tried everything from tiring myself out as much as I could during the day and drinking "sleepy tea" (man that stuff was disgusting). One thing that reminds me of those days is 3rd Rock from the Sun, since it was always on at 5am and I'd be awake to see it. Good times.
    Phew, that was long. Any movies that you loved back in the day but don't anymore? Why/how did you start blogging?


    1. I really like these. I still haven't finished watching What's Eating Gilbert Grape, even though it has Johnny Depp in it. Also really really need to watch Revolutionary Road.

      Heh I loved Pearl Harbour because of my Josh Hartnett obsession- dark times.

      I started blogging because I saw my friend's blog and thought I could do something similar. Of course hers was an artsy, fashion, poetry type blog and I struggled for a year to write about something I actually care about. Yours was one of the first film blogs U ever saw and I'm very grateful for that. Taught me loads.

      1. Thanks! You must see both of those films. They're really good.

        LOL, Josh Hartnett. I wonder what he's doing these days.

        Awwww, that's lovely! I can't remember when you started reading the blog but I hope it was after the dark days of 2009/2010. Your blog is aces now!

      2. I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I hope you post again soon.
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    2. Why did I start blogging? Cos I'd had a stroke and after time spent in hospital recovering I had all the time in the world to watch all the films I wanted. So why not blog about them too. Funnily enough, I started mine just the day before yours.

      1. Wow - that's an interesting story. And wow, what a coincidence!

    3. We are so alike! Revolutionary Road is one of my favorite movies ever (others including Benjamin Button and Life is Beautiful), I'm in love with Michael Jackson, and Leo is one of my favorite actors. And I understand the 'Paul Newman' thing. Same thing happened to me with Anthony Perkins after I saw Psycho. :)

      1. Haha, nice! Man...Anthony Perkins. Aside from being really creepy, he was really good looking in Psycho.

    4. That's funny how people can relate to a certain movie during a divorce. When my parents split, I always watched American Beauty and told myself "At least we're not this fucked up." lol

      1. Haha, I saw that film a long time after and I was thinking the exact same thing!

    5. When I was a teen and my parents were on the brink of splitting up, I related to Ordinary People. I think movies and books are wonderful therapy, in various ways. I'm sorry about the divorce and the loss of Katie.

      This is a terrific bio -- this feature just keeps getting better and better. ;-) I love Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Gilbert Grape!

      1. Movies and books are wonderful therapy, and they definitely helped me slide through those times.

        I'm glad you're enjoying it!

    6. Ah, 2009. The year my slight interest in movies turned into a full blown obsession. (First sign of that? The first film I saw that year was On the Waterfront, which is now one of my all-time favorites.)

      The year was loaded with all sorts of acclaimed films of Hollywood's yesteryear. I got acquainted with many names of the past. (Several I might have fallen in love with.) All in all, it was a good year.

      Oh, and it was also went I started blogging too.

      1. On the Waterfront is fantastic! 2009 was the year I fell out of those yesteryear films. Which was strange. I think that's because there was such a lack of them at Blockbuster that I just stopped worrying about them.

    7. In 2006, I saw "Zoom" with Tim Allen SIX times in theaters. Now, I'd probably give the film a 5/10. I loved it back then though.

      I started blogging because I wanted my own "place", like so many other movie lovers had online. Since I started blogging more frequently a few months ago, I've had a blast. :)

      1. Haha, that's kinda like me with Racing Stripes. But six times? Wow!

        It is great, isn't it?

    8. Awesome, you are a Paul Newman fan! I hope you have seen Cool Hand Luke, The Sting and The Towering Inferno. Fantastic films he is GREAT in!

      1. I have seen The Towering Inferno, which is my mother's favourite film. I love it!

    9. Oh, I love these series, we get to learn about you and discover interesting tibdits, like the Paul Newman or living by the cemetery ones. 2009 was a pretty full year for you, wasn't it? I'm glad you started blogging
      I started it because...well, because I saw A streetcar named desire, fell in love with it and Marlon Brando and realized I liked writing about films, so I said, why not?

      1. Haha, yes. I'm glad you like knowing about those things!

        A Streetcar Named Desire is fantastic! I'm glad that brought you to the blogging world.

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