My Top 25 Favourite Movies part 1

By now I have watched quite a lot of different movies (especially during finals weeks) and I am a fan of more subtle and philosophical ones. This is my top 25 movies that I have watched and that made an impact on my life.

25.Melancholia

A great movie from Lars Von Trier. The first time I tried to watch it, I just couldn’t – the movie is really slow and it is quite hard to break from all the stress and rush in my daily life. I just couldn’t bare the calmness of this movie. However, I watched it a few months later with a different state of mind and I loved it. The movie is filled with fear but I have never seen fear to be depicted so gracefully.

24.A Beautiful Mind

I have seen this movie quite a lot of time ago but I still remember the beuty of it. A really touching movie about a genius going a little bit mad and fighting it. Makes you think how much can you trust your own thoughts.

23. Devdas

Well, what can I say. If you plan to watch one Bollywood movie – choose Devdas. It is one of the best new Bollywood movies in my opinion. Songs, dances – they are made just perfectly. It is one of those movies where it begins  by being just too sweet. I am not a fan of all the “happy ending” romance movies. But believe me, it’s not a happy ending at all. Suddenly it becomes really dramatic and tragic. Something classic I would say. And I actually cried at the end so probably quite engaging. Bollywood movies are not for everyone – if you don’t like the dances and songs – don’t watch it.

22.The Gold Rush

Classics. It was hard to choose between “The Golden Rush” and “The Modern Times” by Charlie Chaplin. Silent movies are definitely underrated nowadays. It’s quite nice to not have to listen to all the sound effects for once.

21.Womb

A very confusing movie about not being able to let someone go and how the modern days might affect that. It is an uncomfortable movie, I can say that. However it is still and interesting idea and a very sensual way of presenting it.

20.Another Earth

Don’t get it wrong, this is not another alien life movie. It has a whole different perspective. A parallel universe maybe? A philosophical idea of having another Earth, an Earth that is the same as the one we are on with all the people and history. But it is also a story about a bright young girl who accidentally killed two people and can’t forgive herself.

19.I am Dina

This movie is made by a story written by Herbjorg Wassmo – “Dina’s Book”. I really enjoyed the book and the movie did not disappoint me as well. Maybe because it created the character of Dina in a similar way I imagined her. The story is about Dina who lost her mother early in life and everyone knew that the mother died because of her. Growing up with a guilty conscience and an unloving father made her different. And a strong character as well.

18.Monty Python and The Holy Grail

Let’s have something more cheerful now. Monty Python are pure comedy brilliance. And the witch scene is one of my favourites.
A good classical British comedy. This one I am sure – a must watch.

17.Life Is Beautiful

I am not a fan of war and historical movies but this one is just breath taking. Making a movie taking place in the concentration camps during the World War II so sincere and positive – almost impossible.

16.The Big Lebowski

I don’t know what makes this movie so amazing. Maybe it’s just the work of the Coen brothers – the movie is simple, easy to watch and at the same time different. I really don’t have what to add – an awesome movie with really great characters. Not superheroes, not even heroes. Just everyday normal characters.

15.Pan’s Labyrinth

A really great movie, gripping and strong. And I have to add – the Pan’s Lullaby is just perfectly designed soundtrack for this movie. Gives me the chills every time I listen to it. And all the creatures that the girl encounters, all the quests she has to do to save her mother. What can I child do when she can’t fight?

The rest I will post in another post next time. Hope you will find something new and worth watching here. It was hard selecting only 25 movies, I really feel I left out so many great ones.

Cheers,

Copper

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Duality – Tom French’s Blog

Just stumbled upon Tom French’s Blog – such expressive, dark and so alive. Catching the deepest parts of humanity. For those who live in Miami, you can find some of his paintings from the Duality series in SCOPE Art Fair December 3 – 8.
I feel inspired 🙂

Tom french's Blog

Did I mention that the ‘Duality’ exhibition opens this evening?

Heres a few more little tasters of how the paintings shaped up –

tom french_studio 9

Tom French_studio 6

tom french_studio 4

 

tom french_studio 2

There’ll be a selection of hand pulled screen prints available, these individually finished ‘Dualism’ editions (shown below) have come out even stronger than anticipated. You can find one of these up for grabs over on my facebook page here.

Dualism (3) hand finished_with background_b

And to top it all off, these limited packs of postcard sized prints will be given away with all items from this series, until they’re all gone –

postcard pack

 

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Psychology of a Long Distance Relationship

Now when it’s easier to travel than ever a lot of people encounter the issue of a long distance relationship and speaking frankly – many of them fail. It is very hard to keep up with another person when you don’t see him on a daily basis, when you both have different circles of friends, different activities. Drifting apart gets really easy. These are the points that are important in keeping your relationship alive even in a long distance.

1. MATURITY

Couple holding hands

yes, capital letters. Both partners have to be mature enough to understand the value of their relationship and to understand what will be the expenses. Especially if you are meeting a lot of new people in your new place, there is a great chance that you will meet another person who you will find attractive. Or a bunch of people you will find attractive. And it seems ok for a while, but what will you do if they start showing you attention? It is a matter of choice – long distance relationship means committing to each other. If you feel that’s too early for you than… maybe it is?

2. Knowing that the distance is temporary

plans

If you have plans that you will live in the same city or even together after the long distance thing, that’s great! Knowing that you are not waiting in vain helps. Of course it depends on how long will you have to wait – 6 months? A year? Two? Four? Everyone has a limit of their own. Commit to a long distance relationship for a year or two might be too much for some. It’s definitely a long period of time. If you are struggling, the best option is to talk to your partner – it won’t be easy but you both need to know that you are both committed but if it starts to feel like a sinking ship you can still abandon it. It might be painful but it will makes things easier later. Being in pain and acting that everything is ok won’t save your relationship.

3. Trust

jealousy

This one is probably the hardest one. When the trust is strong everything will be fine. However, when you don’t see your significant other, don’t know who is he hanging out with and what is he doing it is very likely you will get jealous. Yes, you have to prepare for that because at some point you will get jealous. Maybe someone will post a picture where your boyfriend is in a club dancing with another girl or your girlfriend hugging a guy you never heard of. And probably it’s nothing big but it will annoy you. My suggestion – don’t keep it. It is better to ask but also be cautious – don’t make a scene out of it. If you manage to ask nicely making it sound playful not angry then probably your partner will even enjoy it – he will know you care. Just don’t overdo it! Blame and guilt won’t make anyone feel better and it will make you drift apart.

Some couples make agreements that they can still go on dates and even have one night stands but this is a risky business. Even if both agree to do this probably one of them doesn’t want it as much as the other. I’m not saying that this is impossible but it might just build up a big baggage of trust issues, jealousy and even blame. If you decide to do this, make some strict rules not only about how far can you go and how often can you go out with the same person but also how much will you talk about it. Remember, avoid any comparisons, don’t go into details and don’t talk too much about it. That’s the easiest way to avoid an argument. However, don’t lie, if you went on a date don’t hide it. Moreover, never miss a “web-chat” evening with your partner for a date. There’s a very big possibility that it will end in an argument. So, make arrangements with your boyfriend/girlfriend beforehand.

4. Visiting

travel

If you can visit, do so as often as you can. It is the best way to keep your relationship strong. However, if you can’t do that often be prepared when you come to visit that it might be a little bit uncomfortable at first. You might not find a lot of things to talk about, you might feel different to each other, thoughts that you’ve changed might become overwhelming. How to prepare for this? Plan some activities that you both enjoy doing. It’s a good way to remember the things that you have in common and to make everything feel a bit more natural.

5. Similar activities and interests

runescape romance

Studying a similar subject, reading the same books, watching the same movies or working in a similar field might help to keep some topics that you can speak about when you don’t have any more questions as “how do you do?”, “what is the weather there?”, “what did you eat today?” and “how is your dog doing?”. You have to find something that will suit you both. If you are both a little bit into games – try regularly playing a multi-player online role-playing game together. If you both like watching let’s say “How I Met Your Mother” do that “together” – at the same time and then you can talk about it after. Anything you can think of will work. Only thing that matters is the idea that you are doing something together.

6. …And the sexual topic
flirting

It’s hard talking about it but this might be an issue. A long distance relationship is an opportunity to shape all the skills for writing dirty messages, having “phone sex” or even doing things in front of the webcam. You just have to make sure you are comfortable with it and that you both want it. It might feel really uncomfortable especially if you are not used to flirting and seducing. Or you find yourself tortured when trying to say or even write something dirty. You can try and some will find it really pleasuring. However, if you are really conservative or shy, don’t push it. And if your partner is pushing you into doing more than you feel comfortable, stop him. You want to make this pleasuring for both of you. Maybe you can make a compromise, making you go out of your comfort zone a little bit but not too much.

Be cautious with erotic pictures or videos of you/your partner – you really don’t want other people to see that. My suggestion – don’t keep those in your phone. Remember that many friends like to scroll through your pictures when you show them something…
For college students: don’t leave them in the most obvious places on your computer as well. Create a folder in a folder in a folder and don’t name it with the name of your partner or any words like “erotic” or “nude”. Especially if you have noisy friends who like to post stupid messages on your facebook when you are out of the room. It is easy to make a search for “Angelica nude” on your computer.

These are the most important points in my opinion. Of course, it will differ from couple to couple. It will be easier if you enjoy having long talks with each other and it will be harder if you are more of a silent type couple. A long distance relationship will require a lot of energy and devotion. However for some it is a way to get to know each other better because you will have to talk about things and you might notice some character traits you haven’t noticed before. So, use this time. Exchange stories of your childhood, your dreams of the future. Don’t focus on the negative how hard it is on you. It will be hard on both of you if even one of you feels that this relationship is just a burden.

Stay positive and strong 🙂

Copper

Does anyone actually need art?

Internet is full of art – pictures, paintings, sculptures, buildings, monuments, movies, songs, symphonies, poems, literature, interpretive dance numbers, animations and so on, and so forth. As an amateur painter I feel overwhelmed – does anyone really need more paintings? Is there still not enough? How can I even know that I’m not doing something that was already made? All these thoughts have left me on a dry period for painting – do my paintings actually matter?

Well, I can always try to make myself feel better and say that yes, it matters to my parents and maybe some friends. And yes, it matters to me, I know that even if I agonize about this, I will still go back to painting sooner or later because for me it is a way of expression. But how to make it matter to others?

It is harder to understand what is art and what is not. Actually, it’s a very complicated question. The meaning of the word ‘art’ became so broad that it is hard to narrow it down. Can you say that something is art and something isn’t? Probably – no. But there’s art with different purpose. I will be talking about the art that is meant to make you think about life and about you values. I am talking about the symbolic art that is always more than it looks.

I am a big fan of such artists as Zdzislaw Beksinski, Salvador Dali, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, Margo Selski, Andrea Kowch, Victor Safonkin and many others. All of these people inspire me to think deeper. Art in the past was very important because many people didn’t know how to read, were not educated. So art became a message that everyone could read. It wasn’t something straight forward. Maybe it was more like a feeling, something subconscious. Churches were built to look strong, powerful, closer to the skies so that people would feel safe inside it and closer to God. And this is only a very primitive example.

I have been listening to online talks/lectures about meaningful art and I was amazed by all of the ideas proposed there. One of then was about the Egyptian Pyramids. A square is a symbol of matter and a triangle is a symbol of spirituality. If you look at the pyramids from above (as it was built for the gods to see) they look as squares that are divided into triangles – matter and spirituality combined. Art was very close to religion and I’m not speaking just of Christianity, I am talking about human beliefs, mythology and even folk tales. A hidden meaning can be found there even without using the squares and triangles. There are certain numbers that have a deeper meaning than just a count of apples. 3 is the number of spirituality (in Christianity – the trinity of God), 4 is the number of matter (in Christianity – 4 evangelists). 7 is a 3+4 meaning the overlapping of spirit and matter (for example there are tales that tying 7 knots on a rope and burying it into the ground will stop your loved one’s soul from leaving the earth), 12 is 3×4 also a mixture of spirituality and matter (12 disciples of Christ, 12 months in a year).

A circle is also a very powerful figure showing the natural order of life, where beginning or ending is not important. It’s a cycle meaning that this how it was before you, this is how it is now and this is how it will be.

So this is some basic figures. Simple, but strong. It is amazing how people could feel it, feel the hard “math” like Fibonacci sequences and the Golden ratio, fractals when it takes us so long to learn it because no one is teaching us how to understand it anymore. It seems that we created an alternate way to understand our surroundings but forgetting that we are a part of it. And the “math” is everywhere. I even read an article that the golden ratio can be found in the uterus of a women in her most fertile years! (article can be found here)

And let’s not forget the symbols of male and female. Sky is considered to be the male and earth is the female. Rain helps the earth to grow life so rain is the act of fertilization. In Greek mythology, the first gods were Gaia and Uranus. Uranus was uncontrollable and he was sexually abusing Gaia whenever he wanted – a total wild male archetype. When Gaia grew tired of Uranus she asked her son Cronus (god of time!) to tame Uranus and when Uranus attacked Gaia again, Cronus cut off Uranus’ genitals and threw them to the sea. As this happened Aphrodite was born – the goddess of love. This shows that love cannot exist without control. This is the same symbol as pillars – holding the sky from falling on the earth and causing chaos.

So, now I’m standing here as a small insignificant person and thinking – how much can I understand? How much can I take from this? These are only few of the major symbols, but they can be used as a basis for other symbols to be built upon. And how can we understand it when we can’t stay even a few minutes without browsing on a smart phone?

There was an idea that being bored is necessary for people to get themselves thinking, creating ideas. But now we are stimulated all the time with TV, smart phones, internet. Now we cannot stand the presence of ourselves for too long and we can’t be bothered to think about our lives, to search for meaning. We’d rather “google” it than try to search for it in ourselves.

So the question is, does it matter, all the hidden meanings and all the spirituality when we get everything that is chewed up for us already?..Try to think about this amazing painting for instance, try to feel.

Another great work of Zdzislaw Beksinski

Tired but happy in my lonely confinement that starts to feel like freedom,
Copper

Some music

As a person who listens to music during most of her free time, I really value “the good stuff”. For me it’s mostly progressive rock/metal bands like Tool, Rishloo and Opeth. But today I wanted to write about a band that I finally got to see performing live in a festival – Stoned Jesus. They come from Ukraine, their genre is mostly stoner rock/sludge. The sound is amazing. During the festival they played one of my favourite songs – “I’m the Mountain”. Mighty Gods. Such a wonderful song. So well written. I think I got high just from listening it (and I think I’m getting a little bit high just from thinking about it as well). Especially live. Give it a try:

I’m The Mountain (Youtube link)

During the concert I just spaced out. It felt like the music was flowing through me (I told you that it felt like being high!). I danced as if it was a ritual, all the people who were at the concerts were connected and performing the ritual together.

So, yes, I get dissociated easily, but this time only showed how consuming this music is. I also recommend to listen to their other songs like “Stormy Monday” or “Indian”. Simply wonderful.

High on the mountain,

Copper

From Analytical Psychology

The works of Carl Gustav Jung always astonished me. After reading his “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” I had a great list of books that I just had to read. Sadly the list is moving really slowly. A month ago I read his “Psychology of the Unconscious” and it opened my eyes to so many things. I really was intrigued by his explanation of neurosis – that it has a purpose to get some sort of a result, for example, a woman afraid her husband might leave her for another has these neurotic phases, pleading her husband to be by her side, to save her, to take care of her and not to leave her. The husband will feel guilty if he had even the slightest thought to leave his wife. He sees how ill she is and how much she needs him. Unfortunately to all the “neurotic people”, at the end this works in the opposite way – after many times when the husband is put into a role of savior and nourishment (a neurotic person becomes like a small child), he will be fed up with it. How long can you act as a mother to a grown up infant? The husband needed a wife, maybe he had a mistress but that happened for a reason as well – maybe just midlife crisis, or maybe the relationship was just getting cold and the husband needed someone to look at him and see a man, not a care-giver. I’m not saying that it is the woman’s fault her husband needed a mistress but I’m saying that the fault might fall on both of them.

So, what did I learned from this? I’m not neurotic, but as a girlfriend, I used to mistreat my boyfriend by blaming him for no actual reason, getting mad at him for no reason and even having some small heart beat issues after that (of course, only when my boyfriend was with me). Saying that “for no reason” I mean, that there was no reason for the reaction of this kind and strength. I mean, that a normal person would react in a less dramatic way, maybe he even wouldn’t react. But I did. And I would always understand a few hours later what happened wrong, so I would apologize and apologize to him for my mistakes. I always thought that my “little neurosis” came as a result from my complexes, childhood problems and that it was a normal reaction for me that I couldn’t change or alter. And it felt like that, I just get so angry that to think straight would become an impossible thing to do. Somewhere deep I would understand that my boyfriend is not the reason, but the thought was just too weak. I would still feel that he is guilty for not understanding my childhood issues and saying or doing something that would make me react like this. After reading the book I understood that I shouldn’t be looking to my behaviour like this:
Some bad stuff in my past —> my “neurotic” reactions to regular things

but I should be looking at it like this:

My “neurotic” reaction —> result: my boyfriend feels really guilty

And I started to be very conscious of my behaviour, I wanted to prove myself that I was not wrong, that it is not about my boyfriend. But it was. One evening we got into a fight, and again I started it for something really insignificant, trying to convince him that behind his actions lies deep hatred for me (my choices made our relationship really complicated, half of the year it is a long distance relationship) and when he didn’t admit his anger, my heart started skipping beats resulting in lose of breath, chest pain and blurred vision. My boyfriend thought that it was his fault for causing me this pain and he was agonizing inside not being able to help me. And when I came back home, everything ended. No more pain or shortness of breath. Then I realized everything – I am causing myself all of this pain, I am making myself ill to make him feel guilty about it, to make him take care of me. And actually, somewhere deep I felt that it is his “fault” that we are together and it is his “fault” if everything falls apart. This struck me hard. I felt really bad, ashamed. I explained everything to him and apologized even more than ever. And since then I am controlling myself. Even if I start to have this “neurotic phase” again, I just stop it with the thought that I can get better results by talking to my boyfriend about what I need and what I feel than making him feel guilty for not understanding that telepathically.

Mine is only a small example what might be causing people to act out like this. I believe that everyone might have a quite different structure and can seek a different result. Or maybe the causes are not so different. Freud explained neurosis through sexuality, Adler through the need of power, but Jung put everything really well into one idea – both Adler and Freud were wright, it is just a point of view, a way to find the system of the behaviour (and different ways are more easily accepted by different people) and then it is easier to search for a solution, for the way to change.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” — Lao Tzu

For the enlightment,

Copper

Free at last

Yesterday was the last day of my summer job. I was working as a waitress-bartender in a small Cuban bar for a minimum wage. It was my first job and I am grateful to the owners – they taught me everything I know about making cocktails and ‘mixology’. However, I am so glad to be out of there. I think I learned a very important lesson working for these people – people with power over others can get carried away easily. Everything depended on the mood of my boss – when he was in a good mood, he talked to me like he was my teacher, tried to share with me his knowledge of how he became an owner from a simple bartender boy. However, when his mood was not as cheerful, he would find how to shout at me or my co-workers, how to insult us. He would gladly talk about how I don’t think rationally, how I don’t understand the way the world works, how I will rot working in a lab earning even less money than I did at the bar. He was the one paying me money so he acted as my owner not just a boss. A few times I grew tired of his insults so I talked back to him just protecting my name not insulting him back. It didn’t work, I don’t really think he listened. So I learned to listen with an emotionless face. I think that scared him a little bit. Or maybe my face was not as emotionless as I thought. People tend to say, that I look angry when I don’t even notice that.

A few days before I left, the cleaning lady/kitchen helper didn’t show up to work. She was a friend of mine so I texted her, was everything ok. She texted me back, that she had some heart problems and was going to the doctor later that day. My phone was standing on a small table were all the waitresses put their stuff. My boss saw my phone light up when the text message came and he saw who it was from. He came to me shouting, that I shouldn’t have business with other co-workers if they start skipping their duties. I said that I just asked her if everything was alright. He shouted that it is not my business and asked me what the cleaning lady answered and would she have a doctors note for this. I said that she was going to a doctor and he left me alone for a while. Then he came back to lecture me that I am naive and stupid to believe that everyone is telling the truth and that by showing my authorities that I actually don’t despise the cleaning lady (the boss and his wife really don’t like her, they blame her for not doing tasks that I see her do everyday…) I prove them of being not loyal. At the end he just told me that people are never equal, she is a cleaning lady because she didn’t have aspirations in life and because she didn’t work hard enough to reach for something more. And that is her fault. Why others should help her now?.. I just nodded and got back to work. Yes, this was the hateful part of my boss, probably he was not accepted by his friends in school or abused by his father. Otherwise it’s really hard for me to understand that anger for others, that deep necessity to be better than others… Anyway, after our little ‘discussion’ I found out that during lunch time (when the whole bar is crowded with people) I will have to wash the dishes and boss’s wife will be in my place. This wasn’t the way I imagined a waitress’s work, but I didn’t argue. After that I got some more assignments – to clean the bathroom’s sink, to sweep the floor and even to clean some waste from the repairing of the sinks (macroflex, if you heard of it), that stuck to the skin of my hands and took two days to peal off (the boss gave me some gloves but they were with holes and helped only a little bit).
My normal duties were very broad – from just regular waitress-bartender stuff like attending customers, making cocktails, taking orders, cleaning the bar’s surfaces and etc. to carrying heavy tables every Friday to the kitchen (the tables didn’t fit through the doors, so we had to lift them in a very uncomfortable way) and carrying them out on Mondays or cleaning up after the boss (if he makes himself a drink in the bar, he always leaves every utensil he used dropped anywhere he liked at the moment). I did everything the boss or his wife asked me. But maybe I crossed the line where I should have just stood up for myself and said “no”? How much do I have to sell myself? Yes, I needed a job, but I didn’t need it so desperately. They could have fired me for not obeying and the other employers would know that I was disrespectful, lazy or something similar. And shouldn’t I defend my co-worker if she is falsely blamed?

I know that a lot of people deal with this. And I am definitely sure that my boss was not as terrible as many others are. So the society forces us to obey, nothing new. If your job is important to you, you cannot overthrow your boss’s power. You depend on him.

I’m glad that some people don’t get lost in authority and still act as human beings with their employees. I promise to myself, if it happens to be that I get some power over other people, I will resist becoming a monster as much as I can. It’s easy to get used to let out your anger on the people who are “below” you when they can’t fight back. And it is hard not becoming too soft when your employees will start to use you as a weakling, so it is easy to “overdo” trying to be authoritative.

Can I change my boss? No. But I can change my own opinion about leadership. I hope that if my next boss is similar to the first one, I will do better dealing with him the same way as with others who channel their anger on innocent people – don’t give them the pleasure by becoming a victim, by letting them put you down. I will still stand for others and, yes, naively hope that they would stand for me as well. Maybe they won’t, maybe they will, but I will be able to feel not as a worthless sold-out but more as a truthful person. I know that people have reasons for their actions, some maybe are similar, some different. But having a reason doesn’t make you innocent of your crimes. You can understand others, know that they are just weak, trying to defend themselves, but it is hard to forgive.

Where do you put the line between your values and obeying?

Finally free and jobless,

Copper.