2014

One playlist of favourites and highlights, every month during golden 2014.

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January

Music

Flowers

Orange Roses

“Orange roses are the symbol for desire, enthusiasm and passion. “

 

Film

Such a hard choice! I’ll write a top three for this month, I can’t pick just one…

ABOUT TIME. Long time not seeing a lovely comedy like this one. Characters tiptoe through the story with a superb tenderness. A movie that talks of family, of its love, of constant discovery how the world can amuse one, two three times while travelling back in time. I adore it, simply as.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. A magnetic movie. Utter ordinary plot, extraordinary acting, outstanding music. Is Llewyn  a villain or a just miserable, failed musician? You keep wanting to take a side during the screening, but you stop the catharsis to enjoy literally everything on screen. I bet the first thing you do after watching is to buy the OST.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Catchy, catchy, catchy. Amusing 3 hours (3? Really?), never off-topic, glossy colours and brilliant characters, featuring Leonardo IdeserveanOscar Di Caprio. Out of moral compass, Jeez what drugs, ambition and sales skills can do.

 

Artist

For the bravest I have found quite an interest in Polly Morgan, a British artist who works with taxidermy. Her website will be pnline soon at http://www.pollymorgan.co.uk/, but you can peek through her works on Instagram.

Polly Morgan's

Polly Morgan’s “Carnevale”, 2011

Food

I had lots of fun preparing (and eating!) a very, very personal, lighter version of the Irish Chicken Pie, with whole wheat bread instead of puff pastry, then the chicken in cubes, sliced mushrooms and leek gracefully cooked in water and white wine, plus a bit of fresh sour cream at the end. Yum!

See you next month!

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February

Music

On the playlist:

  1. Sweet Hearts
  2. Damien Rice
  3. The Naked and Famous
  4. Fleetwood Mac
  5. The Lumineers
  6. Desire
  7. Elbow
  8. Modena City Ramblers

Flowers

It’s all about tulips! My favourite flowers of all time.

tulips collage

Did you know that the meaning of a tulip is “perfect love”? I didn’t, but it makes completely sense to me. I have always loved their simple, geometric shape, the variety of colours, and what the happy feelings.  This flower comes from Turkey, and has a peculiar historic fact, one that every political economist must study: Tulip Mania. In 1637 tulips caused the first economic bubble in capitalism, does that ring a bell, Mr. 2008?

Film

NEBRASKA. When I read the title, the first thing that crossed my mind was Bruce Springsteen. The Boss published that album before I was born, but in it there is one my favourite quote “Everything dies baby, that’s a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back”.  Before even watching who was the director or the cast, I had an imprinted feeling, a quite nostalgic, filled with bleakness one, of what I was going to watch.

I read then it was a road movie, but this is so limited as analysis. Yes, it involves a road trip and it seems like the last father & son journey for the protagonists but it is mostly thanks to the landscape in my opinion: The more nature is wide and endless the more the American local people feel lost, stuck and pretty unmotivated to change.

Great use of non professional actors, I loved the choice. Villains are so well exposed by: the vile words, the silly behaviours, the countryside/small town in recession vibes.

Fatherhood, brotherhood, resentment and affection, all exposed in b/w. It’s a special movie, don’t miss it.

Book

I feel very sensitive regarding the general topic “addiction” and when I heard about actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passing away I was pretty upset, as many of us. I started then to soak my curiosity and read more articles about drug abuse and addiction when I found an interesting, blunt point of view by journalist David Carr. He wrote a book, an investigative reportage of his previous life full of meditative moments, especially about how abuse can change not only the perspective, but also memory. I am still reading it, and it can have some cruel and upsetting passages, but so far it is very interesting.

Title ”The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of his Life. His Own.”, 2008.

Radio

I take a bow for This American Life. I am totally in love and devoted to these totally free, totally spot-on podcasts. Public radio yes please! Topics are always interesting and catchy is the way they present them, and a theme gets deeper, smart analysis, including personal and others’ experiences.

The result is one hour podcast with no dull moments but only high entertainment. You walk out of the listening with a bit more of understanding and knowledge, too. I think one of my favourite episode was “#317: Unconditional Love” but also I remember a pretty smart “#508 Superpowers 2013”. Worth the time.

Tv series

Stand up for a nice British comedy, a 6 episode tv series on BBC Three. Not a I-want-to-make-you-laugh-y’all comedy or a laugh track comedy, just a simple story, handled by a semi-villain semi-failed with an impressive beer belly and dry humour, a wannabe rocker, unemployed 30 something, in real life comedian Nick Helm. The plot goes around his relationship with sister and nephew, his lovers, a constant strive to land a career in music and get back with ex-girlfriend by doing the less possible and getting in trouble, especially with women. Errol, the nephew, one brilliant character, plays both the protagonist’s antagonist and the ally. You can see how the connection between them is real, and gets to acute sparks of puns and fun in their conversations and ‘adventures’.

An interesting aspect is that the man can sing, and he fabricates some ludicrously funny songs like “I like like you” or “The diarrhea song” and my favourite of all times: “No Survivors

Artist

This month my favourite artist is by far Andy Gilmore and his geometric, kind of utopian vision. He has a website, updated every day http://crowquills.com/ go and check him out!

gggggg

Photo

It’s not the best picture I took this month. It’s the one that made me think a lot. I captured a moment on a large street that goes to Alexanderplatz, Berlin, a grey Sunday morning. Regardless the quality (cheers mobile phone), I was attracted by the face coming out the demolished building, that was going to be swallowed by the traffic. I hope you’ll like it.

Processed with VSCOcam

Food

A very healthy choice with the last pumpkins available at the market: pumpkin cream soup, made with onion, pumpkin, pepper, hint of salt, nutmeg and a spoonful of butter, all mixed together when the vegetables are well boiled. Gut und gesund!

See you next month!

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March 

– Music –

On the playlist:

  1. The Wombats
  2. The Strokes
  3. The Chordettes
  4. The Darkness
  5. Hoodie Allen
  6. Johnny Cash
  7. Gianna Nannini
  8. MGMT
  9. Dod Is Dead
  10. The Flaming Lips

– Flowers –

For my birthday I got some tulips and sunflower seeds (hopefully I’ll talk about them next month!).

I bought for my room a seasonal addiction: Narcissus. They are a fascinating plant: the name comes from a Greek myth about a beautiful man, so self-absorbed to get in love with his own reflection on water. What a ridiculous end: he drowned trying to catch his own image…. Now, I am not saying that I am so vain, so egocentric, but I really wanted something bright and happy and vaguely beautifully self-standing as I am (aka it was my birthday, of course I was being vain and egocentric).

– Film –

I must confess I had a hectic month, so this category is not well furbished. My bad for not seeking a great movie.

Under the label “Teenage Mutant Turtle” I watched the sci-fi action movie Divergent, meh, not bad, but I wait for The Maze Runner I guess, to be more entertained (and feel younger again).

Under the label “I remember of you” (somehow affiliated to TMT above) I watched Veronica Mars, the movie. I remember watching it on tv when it was a tv-series, a long time ago (“we used to be friends”..). I liked the movie, just liked to be honest, nothing fancy but I was satisfied to give it a try especially to check by myself the impact of crowdfunding in the Hollywood industry. For the same reasons, plus a special love for Braff, I will watch Wish I Was Here when released.

Under the label “Yet another Indie movie” I watched the wonderful August: Osage County, highly recommended, the actresses are so good you want to donate them a kidney, except the fact you hate them because they are so good acting you are really thinking they are so trouble-minded, not good people at all like. Chapeau.

Under the label “Leftovers from the Oscars” I watched Gravity and it was an evening I was quite tired, but it didn’t hit me as much as I wanted to (meaning I feel asleep, so unprofessional). I understand the potential and I am going to watch it again in the future, pinky promise.

– Book –

I did some travelling and safe brought with me one of my favourite Stephen King’s book: Cell.

  1. Reason why I love Stephen King: he explores your inner mind, digging into your feelings and fear. He can speak and enlighten with a thrilling pace about good and evil, and the protagonists are both heroes and enemies, especially -at the beginning- of themselves. Moreover: it is hardly boring to read, and you can easily get addicted to a 500 page novel, finding then a 100 page book quite short and dry. To end, you get transported into the story thanks to an instinctive affiliation with the protagonist’s personal alphabet, that uses always invented customised words or sentences. Genius.
  2. Reason why I love Cell: every time I read this book, after contemplating why (or thanking that) it is yet not a movie I am ecstatic. The novel hits straight in the tool we use the most nowadays, the mobile phone, and shows a society that has become alienated, violent, robotic: the phoners, a new race. I don’t want to spoil further, but what you think it is a tragedy might in fact turn in the next era of human being, with the alienated others guided by the powerful, smart and evil The Raggedy Man, who wears a Harvard hoodie (symbols everywhere my friends).

Post-Edit: it turns out it is going to be a movie in 2015. Wet eyes. Fangirlin’ Mode ON. Big expectations too.

 

– Radio –

The Cracked Podcast: I love this podcast because it is the radio correspondent to one of the best evening  you can have with a group of friends, while having a lovely, long dinner followed by a glass of red wine or two; where the dialogue is never boring, and conversations, like time, fly easily.

The kind of evening you are amused and informed at the same time. Best time ever.

I recommend episode Dumb Movies They’ll Study in Future History Classes and Why People Born After 1995 Can’t Understand the Book ‘1984’ but there are so many others soooo good to be true. Try it now!

– Tv series –

True Detective won my heart at the first episode, and the season finale, on March 9th was the perfect ending. Everybody has talked about this tv-series, the totality with an agreed satisfaction. I don’t want to be redundant, but -bar the plot- I loved it mainly for:

  • Philosophical thoughts, full of anthropology, theology and sociology. Shiver of intellectual joy.
  • The über catchy intro song, by The Handsome Family. It does make the difference to have a great song along, indeed it does.  
  • The alienated place with a humanised weather: wet, cloudy, moody, irrational sky over a depressed, post-industrial Louisiana area. That landscape reminded me of a music movie Crossroads,  where sweat and blues, religion and music  were king protagonists.

*Spoiler alert* Bonus point: it goes straight to The Good Wife, episode 5×16. Oh my. I don’t follow tv-series gossips so my reaction to Will’s brutal departure was beyond my own expectation. Meaning it hit me so much to cry a lot about it. Will was a pretty interesting character and now that a week has passed by I am grateful for his commitment to the plot until the end. Goodbye Mr. Lawyer, you left at the right time.

– Artist –

For a weird combination of alcohol, inspirational mountains and wet foggy weather my town has being home of artists and celebrities. Fact. If you don’t count for a matter of modesty the creative typing this post, you can count on the talented cartoonist and illustrator Marco Bellotto, who delighted my blog with a beautiful cover picture. This is not enough: This month I would like to introduce you painter Mattia Noal. I know Mattia since childhood, and he has always had a great smile, an acute point of view and creativity.

I love his paintings and I hope you love them too.

still life – die Spieler

still life - die Spieler

still life – die Spieler

– Photo –

I was in Paris and I took this picture while on a platform dans le Metro. It was pretty damn funny, the professional chic you expect only from magic Paris. Lush.

Halo Biatch

– Food –

Birthday celebrations with macarons: sweet biscuits in different colours. So fancy, so happy, so snob Paris!

Macarons

See you next month!

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April

– Music

On the Playlist:

  1. The Cure
  2. Nightbox
  3. Ben Folds
  4. Said The Whale
  5. James Vincent McMorrow
  6. Stealers Wheel
  7. Fabrizio de Andre
  8. The Libertines (cover)
  9. Hot Chip
  10. LCD Soundsystem

Flowers

It is officially Spring in Berlin, but I spent most of my month in Norway, where the leaves were still to come and the official flower of the month was still the Narcissus (sooo February-March mate). Before leaving I bought some new plants for the kitchen and I chose a perennial, strong, not fussy flower that I prayed to survive in spite of my  roommate. Yay, it worked. Hail to Chrysanthemum something-ending-with-emum, vulgarly miscalled by me as coloured wild daisies.  The name, from ancient Greek, means ‘golden flower’. It has been cultivated in Europe and China since centuries, and it has an infinity of sub-derivatives (like 35), that’s why maybe I don’t know the proper full name of my plants. Still, I appreciate them for colour, endurance and companionship skills.

flowers

Film

The good news is that this month there was the annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York, and new movies are on my way to entertain-amuse-move. Flat plain month, in my opinion. Yes, I had not so much time on my hands (or a good internet connection) to watch something. Anyway… some short, short, acid review.

Hateship Loveship The actress protagonist is very good. The rest? Not enough.

That Awkward Moment Write down this name: Miles Teller. He is good. Sometimes already too good for comedies like this one, or action futurist movie like Divergent. An example might be The Spectacular Now or Rabbit Hole. High expectations about his professional future, but I think I am right.

Nymphomaniac: Vol. I Sex. Gracefully wrapped up in torn feelings of sickness (mind it, feelings, not morality crap).

Book –

Things I buy at the airport. Cappuccino to-go, possibly with a muffin (I avoid the sandwiches, because they never look happy. Call me picky). A bottle of water. A Brit magazine full of gossips, or a book if I have enough money (and I don’t bring along a safe S.King’s one from my selection). I spend quite a good time travelling now, and found out that spending some money in the limbo between security and plane improves exponentially the trip, nerves and general tiredness. I usually go for an easy choice, a funny or interesting novel, no strings attached. This time I bought The Rosie Project, by Australian Graeme Simsion: a love story between Don a professor of genetics,  socially and romantically not wired for the society, (borderline autistic with Aspergers, as you understand from the first chapters) and Rosie, a fierce woman, still f***ed up by her childhood. The novel evolves with Don finding the way to “wire” and both to understand the concept of love. It is an enjoyable read during travelling indeed.

Radio –

Shout out to 99% Invisible! Reasons to enjoy their podcasts:

  • they are just the right timing: 20 minutes circa, time to go from place x to y for example, without losing concentration. Never a word more, love it.
  • Nice topics involving design, as seen from an historical and sociological point of view.
  • There is always a topic involving also the modern days, keeping it fresh and interesting.

Go and listen to an episode, you won’t regret that. I suggest as a start Episode 104: Tunnel 57 about Berlin tunnels between East and West Berlin, dug by brave students.

Tv series

I am going to start this section with a shout-out to the American version of “Sirens“, it’s under comedy but has a very cynic way and nice characters too, short episodes running around paramedics. Watch the trailer and give it a try if you fancy.

The big protagonist this month is British drama Broadchurch!! I loved the crime story, how the investigation evolves towards the citizens of the small village, everyone with a simple life and hidden secrets. What I loved the most I think was the photography. Great choice of frames and lights, take a bow for the director of photography. I have a visual example to show you: at the very beginning we see a murder of a 11year old kid, falling off a cliff in the night: there is an intense use of black and bright dark blue across all the episodes.

Beginning

Beginning

The tv-series arrives at the end using very bright and lighter shades of blue, as you can see from the picture below.

Final

Final

I really recommend a Broadchurch marathon during the coming weekend, you won’t regret it!

Artist

Hunt Slonem has spoken to me. In a silent approach I saw a multitude of colours and animals, and I saw a silently screaming composition: it is powerful painting there. The series with Bunnies, but mostly the series with Finches have spoken to me, in a majestic way. I love this artist. Please browse her website to find out more, and maybe find the closest gallery or event where to see the artworks in person.

“Finches”, 2014

Photo

Nothing warms my heart more than to watch the sculptures by artist Vigeland at Frognerparken, Oslo, during a sunny day. Melting.park

Food

Being busy is fun to me, but not when it comes to finding time to eat. To eat means to cook that means more time. I have found a quick solution in toasted rye bread, smashed avocado, a hint of salt and one of pepper. Lush during rush hours.

avocado

See you next month!

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May

Music

On the Playlist:

  1. Billy Idol
  2. The 1975 (Young Ruffian Remix)
  3. The Clash
  4. John Butler Trio
  5. Jake Bugg
  6. Bombay Bicycle Club
  7. Damon Albarn
  8. Palma Violets

Flowers

My choice this month must go for sure to carnations. I chose them at my local supermarket without any expectation, just because I instantly admired the tall slim stalks and a very pretty blush pink colour. I have been enjoying these flowers for the past 3 weeks and they are still rocking in my room. Delightful! Originally from the Mediterranean area, they have been symbolised in Christianity with crucifixion, Virgin Mary and death, but apart from those symbols carnations are a very elegant and resilient flower, a graceful showstopper everywhere.

IMAG5313

Film

I picked three completely different types this month to talk about.

The crown must go to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson wowed me, beyond his use of symmetry and colours and the obsession for a controlled acting I was amazed, this time, by the story. Highly recommended.

I spent lots of hours watching movies regarding music, no particular reason. The one I might have enjoyed the most, maybe because it was the first time I watched it, was Spike Island. It is not the best movie I have watched talking about concert or whatsoever, but it’s pungent, very teenager-ish and quite funny. The scene during the concert at the beginning of song “Resurrection” is ace. If you feel rock’n’roll and very Brit inside it’s your movie for a night.

Tracks caught my attention while I was looking for something like a drama/adventure. It’s a biography about a trip in Australia a young girl took across the desert with camels and her dog (I loved the dog). The rhythm left me a bit unimpressed, so some dialogues, but the overall impression is good, great if I consider the photography. I didn’t see that spirituality the director was trying to achieve (or maybe I saw it a bit forced), but I managed to daydream OZ very much also after the end of the film.

Book –

I promised I wouldn’t have done it again, yet I am writing about a Stephen King’s book (if you don’t know what I am talking about scroll down now until the March Playlist and see). Well, to be honest it’s a Richard Bachman’s book, called The Long Walk. I was curious to read what King wrote when he was still at uni, under his pseudonym… The style was not yet great but the idea and development, well I loved it. The novel is set in a not so far future America with a supreme charismatic leader (of military pedigree); 100 young boys must compete in a walking contest….you can never stop, or decelerate, otherwise you’re dead. Creeepy, and pretty  into sociological behaviours between the boys –  the Leader – the soldiers – the citizen watching the contest. A great read.

Radio –

Music lovers out there! It’s your month. My favourite podcast to talk about is Sound Opinions. It is great radio, well explained and the hosts are excellent to make you feel passionate especially about different types of music from your usual cuppa tea. I am particularly enjoying when they make their own playlists, because 9 times out of 10I don’t know the group. They are never bossy, but highly engaging also with phone callers or during interviews. Very interesting radio, with a fair positive outcome.

Tv series

I went a bit down this month, meaning I picked a tv-series from New Zealand! The story is always the same: boy meets girl. But buy is a 24 bartender with a unused college degree in accountancy and a very messy home/shack, and the girl a 39 single woman with three kids and a not so profitable business activity. The characters are well written and it’s an enjoyable comedy, bar some very cliche’d moments. Hello Kiwis, this is Val, watching and enjoying Step Dave! Trailer here:

Artist

Hey, it’s Springtime, what’s greatest than flowers? I know it. No, it’s not tequila. The right answer is Rebecca Louise Law’s flowers. Just go and visit her website to start drooling dreams.

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 22.33.44

See more pictures here 

Photo

I love poppy fields…yeah ok, who doesn’t? Is there anything more “Summer is coming” than admiring a poppy field? Well I live in a big city and I was happy to stumble on a pavement to this view…I had to take a pic…oh snap poppies!

Urban Poppies

Urban Poppies

Food

One of my recent discovery is that I can bake tasty cakes without a huge amount of sugar (not a fan of sugar, sorry peeps).

I started getting into the world of baking a cake with fresh fruit (dangerous for amateurs/beginners like me) and maybe got lucky with my very first Peach cake…still lot to learn, but delish! .. and next time I’ll try to bake an American peach crumb pie, wish me luck!

IMAG5442

See you next month!

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June

Music

On the Playlist:

  1. Josh Records
  2. Allie X
  3. Maxïmo Park
  4. M.I.A.
  5. Bastille
  6. Metronome
  7. Jared Evans
  8. Hot Chip
  9. M83

Flowers

Yellow lilies, symbol of aristocracy, are the best flower to keep next to you in June. Simple but unique, rich in history and meanings, it’s the perfect combination to enlighten a room. I know that in English the word is abused in such a huge variety it’s quite difficult to understand how special the flowers I picked are, but I hope the picture can help!

Yellow Lilies

Yellow Lilies

Film

I feel like cheating on this part of “favourites”, because I hardly found any new-released movies to be super amazing or amusing.

Anyway…

The only one I truly endorse this month is Bad Words, because it sends politically-correctness down the pipe. The plot gets lost at the end, but Jason Bateman swearing against kids is priceless if you’re having a bad day around.

I watched  the super commercialised The Fault in Ours Stars, and didn’t cry; I didn’t because I smell an invented semi-reality where everything runs to the bittersweet end. I do believe, anyway, that the book is better (and maybe a better start) and that it was overall a nice movie for the average teenager girl who spent the past years only with Twilight posters on the room’s walls. Big improvement, indeed.

Jason Nash is Married is supposed to be a nice movie, but gets a bit frustrating when you (too soon) understand that nothing will change much. 6-. Did you watch it? Too harsh?

Book

I have a list of book to read and empty pockets.

How can you forgive me? This is a list I really like of new books to read. I’ll make up to you in July, I promise. http://www.bustle.com/articles/26263-june-2014s-best-books-10-must-reads-youll-want-to-start-asap

Radio

I started listening to Spilled Milk last month while looking for an entertaining short podcast about food. While I don’t fully recall it an informative radio program it is an interesting insight about what Americans eat (granola, green juices, grilled cheese and many more).

The hosts are really loveable to listen to, because you can tell they have a great time recording the episodes, plus they cook before and taste everything while talking (sometimes also with their mouths full 🙂 )

Tv series

Fargo got my complete attention few weeks ago, while I was home and complaining about all my tv-series over for Summer.

It is highly addictive and surrounded by great actors and catchy scenes. They say the genre is Drama/Crime, for me it’s just the background to one of the greatest dark black comedy ever. More please!

Artist

No artist selected this month, but something better: I attended Art Basel. I enjoyed all the contemporary art vibes expanding from the Swiss city and LOVED IT! If you don’t know what Art Basel is, it’s basically the most important place to be to see, buy if you’re lucky enough, contemporary art. It happens three times per year, in HK (May, March from 2015), Basel (June) and Miami Beach (December) and there are usually other exhibitions and fairs related.

During a weekend I was lucky enough to visit Art Basel, Unlimited, Volta 10 and Scope Basel. A full report is coming soon in this very blog.

Here are some numbers of the success: http://www.artlyst.com/articles/art-basel-45-retains-its-supremacy-in-the-art-marketplace

Last year I went to the one held in HK, here is a video I made about:

Photo

I took some good photos in Basel, but this one in Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin, is my favourite one. Wild Berlin.

tempelhof

Food

My very personal Summer white pizza (no tomato sauce) recipe:

  • 400gr. homemade whole wheat dough
  • grated zucchinis on the dough (first thing, be generous)
  • mozzarella
  • a hint here and there of gorgonzola dolce (small pieces)
  • origano (yes, oregano in English)

And… Buon appetito!

See you next month!

~~~~~~

July

– Music –

On the Playlist:

  1.  Punk A – Vampire Weekend
  2.  Warm On A Cold Night – Honne
  3.  Do Me a Favour – Artic Monkeys
  4.  I’ve Got You – Meadowlark
  5.  Fred Astaire – San Cinco
  6.  Harlem – New Politics
  7.  Waiting for You – Gemma Hayes
  8.  Jay Z Empire State of Mind Remix – Pretty Lights
  9.  Wide Awake – Josh Record

 

Flowers

It’s Summer! Berlin turned in a hot, hot oven, quite unexpected for a pretty long time, so the only consolation was to soak in one of the many lakes across the forest and Brandeburg. Not bad, let me tell you. What a great feeling the warm weather, running in shorts, using sandals. I felt eternally blessed. For this and many other reasons, no fresh flowers this month, but an amazing mini chili pepper plant! It’s raising the bar of prettiness like exponential, that cute rascal. Have a look of those bicolor hair. Loving its hot company.

DSCN6041

Film

A music one (yes always thinking of music, that’s me) Janie Jones. It has a very delightful OST- one song by Gemma hayes is in my July Playlist- and the story is pleasant too, about a narcissistic rocker that finds out he has a child, who needs him more than ever.

A classic one: Stand by Me. Oh I love this one. No need to tell the plot, just watch the trailer if you have no idea what I am talking about.

What I wanted to talk was Boyhood. The first time I read about it I thought of my brothers. I saw them growing up, one particularly was a shy boy hiding behind my legs, now he is a positive, engaging young adult, making his way to the world always with a smile. But I still haven’t had the chance to watch the movie. I feel in August I’ll be more lucky…

Book

I read just one book, picked up in a rush at the airport. As usual, my strategy to keep myself awake while on high miles, avoiding tiredness and headaches: to read something easy. I have a list of book in English I want to read, yet no money. So at the airport I really wanted something easy, but a bit more meaningful. My choice (low price/lukewarm interest in the plot the variants) went for Cecilia Ahern’s “How to Fall in Love”.  Despite the title (don’t stop to the title, please), it is a love story, but in a more general way: the protagonist has two weeks to convince a complete stranger that life is worthy, saving him for a suicide attempt. It was a pleasant read, sometimes still too much of a easy-girly-novel, but I am happy to suggest it if you see it at the airport.

Radio

Song Exploder’s first episode takes “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service – FYI: GREAT SONG – and destroys your little heart with emotions.

Every episode the podcast explore a song by making it “explode” in all its particles: it allows you to have an insight of instruments, constructions but also influences and choices made by the composer. It is an exquisite project and I am proud to back it up here. Please visit their website and listen to the episodes, do it for me, then we can talk about it together: songexploder.net

Tv series

I am not ashamed in saying that I am hooked on Power. Usually not my cuppa tea, this series is a, imho, a good mix of drama, violence, drug and sex. I like how the protagonist Ghost, is twisted between trying to find an exit with his nightclub and having success as drug magnate. In New York. Hey in New York I said. Background lots and lots of hip hop, as you all asked.

Artist

I’m still coming back from the binge with OTTO PIENE here in Berlin (here some pics and thoughts) but I managed to select Eric Zener’s series “Water”, for an amazing underwater, vaguely upsetting Hyperrealismus.

eric zener

You can check his portfolio here.

Photo

IT MUST BE A PICTURE FROM MY AUSTRIAN TRIP.

This is me looking at the world, from Halstatt, Austria.

DSCN5888

Food

No food coma provided in this part of the post. Sorry.

It was too warm so I focussed on light quick food with a happy presentation along. The result? Yummy light white yogurt with fresh berries, peaches and almond corn flakes. So good, so fresh, so healthy.

See you next month!

~~~~~~

August

Music

 

 

On the Playlist:

  1. I’ll be fine by Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes
  2. MIasma Sky by Baths
  3. Don’t let me explode by The Hold Steady
  4. In Nothing by SeaWolf
  5. Talk (demo) by Henry Hall
  6. Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
  7. Miracle Mile by Cold War Kids
  8. Birmingham by Shovels and Rope
  9. I Wanna Dance With Somebody cover by Bootstraps
  10. Song for Zula by Phosphorescent

Flowers

I’ve had no flowers at home, but enjoyed finding lovely combinations in bars.

This is from a famous spot in Berlin-Mitte, Mein Haus am See. Aint they just lovely?

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Film

Yes, i watched Boyhood, yuhuu! Long waited, absolutely loved. Such a charming, yet natural story and progression of the plot. A very graceful narrative, I highly recommend it, it’s a long one, but time flies at the cinema.

I watched heaps of old (5 to 10 years back) movies, and yet I can’t remember the titles. My utter bad. I’ll try for next month to write titles down.

I remember One Week, because inspired me to read a book of poetry, that you’ll find below: One Week, Canadian road movie, nice photography, narrative with a lack of grip imo, but pleasant to watch in the end. And boy, Canada is really a stunning country.

I watched a preview, too. The longest week is a nice comedy set in New York, about a rich spoilt, tremendously superficial man and his hard, hard week without parents’ money. Forget the noblesse oblige, enjoy the -vain- ride, it’s amusing.

 

Book

Poems, by Lord Tennyson, was a very enriching read. The poem “Ulysses” is sublime. Here the passage/end I love:

 

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

 

Another interesting book I read was The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) by Chris Hardwick, the bloke that hosted Talking Bad and Talking Dead, after respectively Breaking Bad and Walking Dead. It’s a honest tell. I found an article he wrote with a generous extract from the book, for your pleasure: http://www.wired.com/2011/10/mf_hardwickexcerpt/ You’re welcome.

Radio

Feel like you want to listen to the Queen English accent while learning something philosophical?

Philosopy Bites is what you need in your life.

Short essays and interviews, with a large explanation of the topic at the beginning, to catch up when you don’t know about it (for me 90% of the time). It’s currently unfunded, if you like you can also support by donating. 

 

Tv series

I am currently doing a House of Cards – Marathon. It’s not as good as Breaking Bad or True Detective, but it doesn’t get far from there. Boy, politics can be so dirty. Human minds too. It’s a great show to understand the difference between power and money and the games between them. Spacey and his Southern accent are ace, Wright plays a superb wife.  What a great couple of actors.

P.S. There is an episode of “Song Exploder” where the original soundtrack is studied. Unmissable! LINK

Artist

I saw Barbara Houwers on Saatchi Art Online and I love how the human figures are abstract yet so descriptive via the colours. Don’t you love it too? Check her website http://www.barbarahouwers.com/en/work/paintings/

artist

Photo

I found this hidden pic on my memory card. It’s from Austria. I love the focus in the middle of the forest and the blur dissolving around the green. I wanted to share it with you, even if I didn’t properly shoot it this month.

fave pic

Food

I had the great task to reproduce for a friend’s birthday a child memory: I made a delicious crostata with Nutella.

First time trying, I am a veteran with pastafrolla, the butter dough, but I managed -by hazard- to make it soft and not dry at all. Nutella at heart is still like a mousse. Great accomplishment. The hard part comes now: can the recipe be repeated and become one of my “best seller”? Sorry, no pictures 😦

See you next month!

~~~~~~

September

Music

 

On the Playlist:

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Flowers

I bought this cutie, an Erica plant, on my way home, one sunny afternoon. September in Berlin has been quite generous in sun and degrees, but I wanted to start thinking of Autumn and Winter too. I find the combination of my small palm with the Erica a perfect balance to explain what September is to me.

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Film

Mmm I watched loads of movies in September, not many blockbusters. Some that I most remember are:

Begin Again with Keira Knightley andMark Ruffalo, nice music comedy, with the bonus point that you can see a Adam Levine in it too. Acceptable +. Charlie Bartlett is a teen movie with an interest in psychiatry. Yeah why not. Barefoot is a nice rom-com, if you like the genre it is not all that bad. The station agent: we are getting better in after-work movie choice. This film is quite an interesting, indie one. I especially enjoyed the characters, more than the story.

Book

I am currently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, after I watched the tv-series. I was absolutely attired by the Scottish accents and charme that the series have, the book is a bit more intense, but I am not a big fan of the style the author decided to go with, that I sometimes consider a bit too “light”. Oh, the book is part of a series. Lots to read if you like the genre.

Radio

Podd Socks is labelled “Aussie Comedy Podcast!”. It is realised pretty irregularly every week, or not. It is childish, a bit silly at times, never informative yet pretty entertainment. It is also the power of  good friends chatting free with a microphone. I’m not writing much more because they don’t like it.

Tv series

I’d like to stay ‘down under’ and pick a great tv-series: Please Like Me.

It is so transparent, brilliant and I love everything about it. The second series, moreover, is off the charts. Have a look at the pilot episode and start a Please Like Me marathon now!

 

Artist

Anselm Kiefer is currently at the Royal Academy in London with one of the most beautiful exhibition you can possibly imagine. Anselm Kiefer is a wise, spiritual artist that I love deeply. I don’t have pictures, but a precious link for you all:

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/anselm-kiefer

Go and see him.

Photo

From my mobile gallery: Autumn’s beginnings in Berlin. What not to love about it, I say.

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See you next month!

~~~~~~

October

Music

On the Playlist:

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Flowers

I did something crazy, based on my, hmm, craziness and the fact it was pretty cheap. I bought a small pine. Pine like the nordic tree, I am not pining for nobody worth to pay. This is the new entry in my household.  A bit of fact about it:

– Pines are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees growing 3–80 m tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m tall.

– The bark of most pines is thick and scaly, but some species have thin, flaking bark.

– The branches are produced in regular “pseudo whorls”, actually a very tight spiral but appearing like a ring of branches arising from the same point.

– The spiral growth of branches, needles, and cone scales are arranged in Fibonacci number ratios.

Now, how cool does all sound?? Let’s see around Christmas time!

small pine

Yes , it’s small. since when do measures count? Additionally, completely out of focus. Point&Shoot camera broken. :/

Film

Ok, things here are getting more interesting. It was a good months to watch new movie, imo.

Gone Girl was pretty much The Movie of the month. Thriller, suspense, a weird love story, an excellent Ben Affleck. the actress didn’t convince me completely, though. Maybe it was just me.

The Judge, despite its length, is a drama worth to watch. I liked the dynamics of the family, and the relationships between brothers, and their different attitude towards the father, the judge.

This is where I leave you is another one I appreciated, a kind of sour comedy. maybe it’s because I really like Jason Bateman, maybe because it’s another movie with a lot of siblings. 50/50, let’s say.

Wish I was here boy if I was expecting something great out of that Kickstarter campaign. I like it, but not so much. I didn’t feel like special, even if I could tell it was a very personal film for Braff. The chemistry between him and Hudson is nonexistent, for starters, see the scene in the basement.

Book

I am still reading the +800 pages book of last month, and frankly neglecting it. My bad. I have two book in the pipeline that a colleague of mine suggested, though. One is The Lean Startup, that sounds really interesting, the other one is The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, the debut book by Malcolm Gladwell. I need to read them, asap.

Radio

I believe this month Radio Podcast hits the roof and more in appreciation by myself.

On October 3rd I started listening to a new podcast, the first spin-off of the beloved This American Life (I spoke about it in the February section, scroll down to read and get links to some episodes). The name of this brand new podcast was “Serial“. Now, Serial is the story told at the radio by consequential episodes (you can’t start wherever you want, you need to start from episode one) dissecting a murder investigation and its consequences that happened in Baltimore in 1999. A girl died, her ex-boyfriend was incarcerated for life. This story-telling is so intense and gripping, yet clear and informative you can’t fall in love with it. And think about it. And talk about it. And discuss about it. And read everything about it, especially discussion. Yes, affirmative, I am obsessed with it. Just do me a favour, subscribe to it (iTunes or Soundcloud, for free, of course) and tell me all your opinions.

Website: (episodes, notes, pictures every week on Thursday) serialpodcast.org/ 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/serialpodcast

Reddit (for feedbacks and opinions) http://www.reddit.com/r/serialpodcast

A podcast about the podcast by Slate Magazine (yes, that happened): Serial Special Spoiler 

Tv series

The Good Wife is already at the 4th season, and its beauty has never faded. It’s a good one, built around drama, but in also a kind of also dry humour I might say. It’s a good watch, especially from season 2 on. It’s pretty much evolved from the trailer, and in a very great way.

That’s all for now…

See you next month!

~~~~~~

November

Music

On the Playlist:

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Film

 What If  … romantic comedy? indie something movie about love? I liked some witty sentences from the Brit, until I understood they were clichè-ish sentences that he had to say because he was an Englishman in New York. Then I hate when the trailers say already everything about the story. So if you still want to watch it go on, and as a drinking game count how many times the female protagonist opens her already-big eyes wide.

Two night stand if you read this monthly column you know why I watched it. I really like Miles Teller. So I am going to watch and support every movie he’s in, until he will start to do only great movie. Anyway this comedy is actually funny, a bit girly, but hey it appears I’m a woman.

I watched, can I say it?, The Theory of Everything as preview. I really enjoyed it. That is the kind of love story I want to hear about, the love between two, the struggle, the overcome, a final. Highly recommended, when it comes out.

Book

Another aspect I lacked. No books. This is bad… yes, I read Medium and other blogs and online newspapers but it is not the same, absolutely as NY’s resolution this is in my list. However, I’m flying soon to the UK where I’ll buy some good books, so that my December will be better, I promise.

 

Radio

Listener from Day 1, even if I know it is not something to brag about, since there are other 5ml and more people that listen to this podcast, but whatever. Serial is the podcast of the year. It follows a journalistic reporting of a murder happened in 1999 in Baltimore, United States.

It is everything you want from story-telling: the story is poignant, the narrative is gripping and the level of addiction is beyond possible. People are going crazy too, thinking they can solve the case and throwing out many thoughts and hypothesis, especially on Reddit. There is also a podcast about the podcast, and parody about the podcast and also about the podcast of the podcast. To get into the madness yourself, just subscribe.

 

Tv series

This Autumn has been the most disappoint one in terms of tv-series. Nothing new worth of mention. This month I just kept watching some that are not so worth writing about: Revenge, Parenthood (the most disappointing final season they could have ever written) and The Mindy Project, for a laugh.

Little in the closet I keep my passion for Made in Chelsea, it’s brit and forced. A posh fake, but it has its sparks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4PQHVJWNKA… Disputable taste, I know.

 

Artist

A Chinese artist this month: DALeast. The picture I am sharing is from an artwork in Poland, but he recently worked on a wall in Berlin too, in Bülowstrasse. His animals are the sweetest creatures ever. By clicking on the picture you can read more about him too.

DALeast-LodzPoland-photo-by-Marek-Szymański.-

 

Photo

Well, it must be a picture about the 25th Anniversary of Berlin Wall. I wrote a blog post about it, if you miss it and want to check it out, LINK.

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See you next month!

~~~~~~

December

Only music this month.

On the Playlist:

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 17.21.03

See you soon!

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