Wednesday, 21 December 2016

December Playlist: My Angel, Flung Out of Space

When it comes to Christmas, it is inevitable to hum along to the dulcet tones of Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas that seems to follow you everywhere. I mean, what is Christmas without some extremely bad karaoke attempts at singing the "YOUUUUUUU" part of her song.

However when I was thinking of what to post as my December playlist, I suddenly remembered an old playlist as Mariah faded into the background. It was a playlist that I had created after reading The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. A truly exquisite book. Using the warm and magical feelings of Christmas as the backdrop, Highsmith portrayed the blossoming romance between Carol and Therese in such an intimate and tender manner.

I watched the film during my winter university break and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara excelled. It was so easy to get lost in Todd Haynes' heartfelt directing, the film's dazzlingly portrait of love  and the actresses' unspoken words.

The playlist was compiled in a way that followed the storyline of the book from Therese's sudden descent into newfound feelings to the agonies of heartbreak to the magnet-like effects of love between two individuals.

Listen here.

Jenny x

Also featured on Gem Magazine.

Collages, gif and playlist was made by me. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

November Playlist: Down to Earth

Made for Gem Magazine's November theme: Center(ed) 
A playlist based on remembering that it is important to put yourself admist chaos and how liberating (and a bit scary) it can be. 

Listen here.

Jenny x

Collage was made by me. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Film Recs: Love Has No Bounds

LGBTQ+ content is something that is still not readily accepted and heavily presented in mainstream viewership. It is important to celebrate these creative works, be more open- minded and have the opportunity to explore all types of love. There has been gradual change over the years and I only hope that it will blossom even more. After all, diverse representation is important especially to those in their young, vulnerable years who may find themselves in what they see on screens. To know that they are not alone and that who they are is something that cannot be taken away from them.

Below, I have listed my own personal recommendations of films that I have come across which I had found to be incredible and in need of higher appreciation. I am still learning, still growing and expanding my ever- growing list of films so if  you have any suggestions, please tell me! 

Girls Like Girls. Dir. Hayley Kiyoko, 2015. 
It's official: Hayley Kiyoko is the reigning Sapphic queen of lovely anthems and incredible story-driven visual accompaniments. Her recent music videos have been filled with rich story- telling, championing girls who love girls. Girls Like Girls is where it all began with Kiyoko's stars being former actresses from Disney. Through Kiyoko's strong directing, she provides a soft lens into the protagonist's discovery that she has feelings for her best friend. Kiyoko guides us into her initial uncertainty through her lingering gazes and unspoken words until it culminates into a dramatic finale of realised feelings. 

Milk. Dir. Gus Van Sant, 2008.

I remember when my friend, Mia recommended this film to me. Stemming from our renewed love for James Franco after watching all of Freaks and Geeks in a matter of days, it was only natural that we would start watching as much of his filmography as we could. Milk was of the ones that stood out to us and oh, did it make us cry. And he wasn't even the main star of the film! Milk is a powerful portrait of Harvey Milk who became the first openly gay elected official of California. It details the emotional tolls that comes from his passion for political activism and his determined passion to keep fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. The biographical film exhibits the amount of the pain and bravery that comes with fighting just to receive the same basic human rights like everyone else and the importance of banding together to keep the fire going.

Blue Is The Warmest Color. Dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013.
The French are known for their often explicit portrayals of sex and romance in their films. Blue is the Warmest Color is not exempt from this however, its captivating prominence comes from its intimate portrayals of the triumphs and pitfalls of romance in its great coming-of-age love story.  It follows Adele who evidently gains no satisfaction from her relationships with men. Her world begins to change when Emma, the beautiful girl with blue hair passes by and it is as if she has found her missing puzzle piece. The film is essentially two films in one that bring both emotional halves of Adele's journey into one beautiful and blue haze. Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux play their roles so magnificently, bringing raw emotion to every scene whether it be through the silent or loud moments. 

Naissance des pieuvres (Water Lilies). Dir. Celine Sciamma, 2007. 
A promising debut of Celine Sciamma whose aesthetics are very Sofia Coppola- esque. Water Lilies is a French moody coming- of-age tale of the complex and confusing nature of coming terms with your sexuality especially during your tender teenage years. It is an intimate peek into the sexual anxieties of young teenagers who are still exploring and coming to terms with their sexualities.  Set against the backdrop of synchronised swimming and a seemingly endless summer, Sciamma highlights the angst and often heartbreaking moments of being confused with who you are.

The Price Of Salt (1952) by Patricia Highsmith / Carol. Dir. Todd Haynes. 2015. 
For those who have read the book, can we all just agree that Therese has no chill at all when it comes to Carol? Ha, anyways, moving on, The Price of Salt is such a lovely read and during its time of its release, it was highly praised for its unconventional storytelling. i.e. A lesbian love story that doesn't end in tragedy! Christmas has always been considered as that 'magical time of the year' and for Therese, a worker at a department store who falls in love with the alluring and mysterious Carol who wanders in with her ~iconic~ fur coat, looking for a present for her daughter, it truly is. From "Don't you know I love you?" to "My angel, flung out of space," this book will have you tugging at your heartstrings. (Also, the film is divine! Cate and Rooney does the book so much justice.)

But I'm A Cheerleader. Dir. Jamie Babbit. 1999.
Before everyone fell in love with Natasha Lyonne's 'Nicky' from Orange in the New Black. she starred in a sweet little film where a cheerleader realises that she is attracted to girls much to the dismay of her parents thus, their decision to put her in a 'reformation camp.' Don't worry, the film is not as morbid as it sounds. But I'm a Cheerleader is a look into the beautiful journey of somebody finally knowing who they are and embracing their true selves told through bright colour schemes and satirical comedic moments. Directed by Jamie Babbitt who is renowned for directing episodes of the iconic feel-good Gilmore Girls and starring Ru-Paul, himself, you know that you're in for a fun ride.

Tangerine. Dir. Sean S. Baker. 2015.
Tangerine is not your average Christmas film. It follows the unapologetic and hilarious protagonist, Sin-Dee who is a transgender sex- worker. She commences on an adventurous (and cuss-filled) Christmas Eve rampage to track down her unfaithful pimp boyfriend, Chester. Among the chaotic buzz of the streets that she walks through, there is a softness that weaves itself throughout the fast- paced narrative. Despite the plot being driven on her finding Chester, the shining gem of the film lies in its raw depiction of Sin- Dee's relationship with her best friend, Alexandra. We see their relationship unfurl over the course of eventful hours - all its painful moments and its tender ones. We see their skies flaring with vivid tangerine colours before gradually, settling into soft lilac moments where nothing seems to be certain. Tangerine is a simultaneously dazzling and dizzying that does not shy away from portraying L.A.'s sex- trade subculture and exhibiting the agonies of heartbreak whether it be from a lover or a friend.  

Jenny x

Collages were made by me. .

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

I made this video a while ago when I was feeling a little bit lost and broken. It was one of those dreaded, long nights where the minutes ticked by ever so slowly. I was just lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling as if I was urging it to go ahead. Swallow me up. I dare you. 

I could feel my demon throwing tantrums in my head. I could feel her bitterness seep into my soul and I was so tired. So tired of letting her ravage my mind. Taking my light. I was just so tired of being fucking tired. As a result, I started to furiously type in my notes on my phone (that's modern- day angst for you haha) in a bid to vent my frustration.

The video is a little message for myself. I have to remember to take care of myself. I need to remember that I am important and that I am of value. I can't and I won't let her win.

Watch below:

Jenny x

Also featured on Gem Magazine.

Words and video were created and edited by me.

Music belongs to the fantastic Blood Orange. The track is 'Chosen' from his 'Cupid Deluxe' album. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Spooktober: A Visual Moodboard

Jenny x

Collages were made by me. Happy Halloween 2016! WooooooooOOOOoooo!!

Monday, 17 October 2016

I See Stars Where There Used To Be None

TW: Mention of self- harm

Being 15 was not a great time for me. Call it teenage angst, call it whatever you please but I truly felt like I was losing almost every inch of my damn self as the months dragged on. Happiness slipped through my fingers, almost as if they were saying Hey, it was fun while it lasted but you knew that this was only temporary, right?  I was a ghost. There but not really there. I was inhabiting an intense energy that slowly began to course through my body, leaving my stomach in knots and my mind in a dangerous haze. Before I knew it, I had fallen head- first into a black sea and no matter how many times, I tried to come up for air, the waves would just keep coming.
It was painful to realise the extent of the turmoil that had harboured inside of myself. I could see it in my empty eyes. Lack of appetite. Missing days of school. Unspoken words buried deep in my throat. Fingertips pressing a sharp blade against my skin. Lines etched onto my arms. Things I used to love seemed to have no magic in them anymore. I hated what I had become and that only made it worse. I wished that the world would just open up and swallow me so that I could stop hurting.

For a long while, all I could think about was putting an end to it all. More and more unwanted tenants made a home in my head. There were so many of them and yet, I had never felt more fucking alone. I had to get them out. I needed to get them out. They were draining me, scooping up everything I loved, taunting me and I was so tired of it. I was so exhausted of playing my own crippling mind games.

No more crying. No more. Just breathe for once. Breaaathe. 

Gradually, stars began to twinkle in my starless void as I festered my negative energy into creating. For sure, I was no Picasso but that didn't matter. For what seemed like a long time, I had something to fuel me. Art was like some kind of magic that healed my wounds and eased my mind. It pulled me from an abyss that had seemed bottomless and never-ending.

Once I started to draw, collage, write... just create, I was consumed by a totally different energy that was quite overwhelming until I realised how much I loved it. The waves were finally beginning to calm and it was as if I had sprouted a pair of feathered wings. Although remnants of past ghosts linger and bad days still come uninvited, creating has given me some kind of purpose.

Whether it was everyday or every few weeks, this was what kept me going. It made me feel alive. And it still does. In times of despair, love and passion through the power of creativity is what we live for. Music, books, art, films... They speak directly to our souls and unites us. Without it, what are we living for?

Also featured on Gem Magazine's Gemhood Clube section.

Jenny x

Collages and gifs were made by me. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Spooktober: UNTRUST US ♫

Since we are now in one of the greatest months of the year (sadly, we don't celebrate it that much here in Australia but whatever), I thought I would share this little ~spooky~ playlist that I made a while ago. Just to kick things off on this blog.

 I made it after watching Donnie Darko for the 2nd time. Although I was slightly less confused than the first time that I viewed the film, I found myself still in that same strange daze. Why was Donnie wearing that stupid man suit? Why was Frank wearing his stupid bunny suit? What exactly happened in those 28 days? Why 28? Why not 29? Or 30?

The songs that I had compiled were birthed from this odd feeling where things just don't seem to be right. Songs that you can't help but find yourself being pulled into their weird, alluring trances.

Listen Here

Jenny x

Drawings were made by me.