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gaming list

2020 Gaming List

In case you haven’t read my 2020 Reading List, here’s the deal: A while ago I updated this sweet little site of mine with reading, watching and currently playing lists respectively. I did so quickly and I did so in an attempt to give this blog more shape and to get a better connection to everyone who may stumble upon it.
Well, I felt inspiration strike this morning and I want to do this a little differently, now: Instead of adding specific titles to the list I’m gonna go more by concept and ideas and general categorizations. This way I hope to expand my horizons a little bit.
The world of media is huge and plentiful and there may be books I’ve never heard of before. I may only find them by opening myself up to broader options. It may also help me get some recommendations by people who are more familiar with the things I have not yet discovered.
So: Here’s my new and improved reading list for 2020 and some rules you may or may not want to follow but that would make this more of a challenge.

So the deal with the 2020 Gaming List is basically the same: I try to collect movies I’d want to watch not by specific titles but by more conceptional categories.
This is going to be a very short list, since a lot of games take a long time to finish. I might add some in the future.

Rules

  1. If you feel like it, feel free to join in or create your own list. I remember these sort of monthly challenges from my time as a book blogger and I thought it would be a nice idea.
  2. I try and keep this list updated by what I’m currently playing, what I’ve played and the links to the posts regarding the pieces I’ve played. I may also add or remove entries as inspiration strikes.
  3. Entries shouldn’t double.
  4. There used to be scoring systems for these sorts of things to track your success and compete with others. This isn’t really set-up as a competition. You can however track your success however you want and I would love for you to share your games with me!
  5. Please leave recommendations for either of my picks, for new entries or for plain enjoyment. I’d love to see them.
  6. You obviously have to finish the whole game for it to be considered played. You don’t have to play your way through the entire series, though.
    I know this is kind of hard to do with continous games, like Harvest Moon or Multiplayer titles. I’m not sure how to rearrange the rule, though.
    I do think that you need to play a game for a certain time, to get a feeling for it but I cannot quite put a number on it. Feel free to make suggestions.
  7. Not sure about what I’m gonna do with things I quit – which happens quite often – but I may open a list of rejects below or make a new post at the end of the year with a total and some sort of resumee.

2020 Gaming List – Picks

  1. A game made by a single person
  2. A flash game
  3. Something off itch.io
  4. A dating sim
  5. A strategy game
  6. A linear game
  7. A point-and-click-adventure
  8. A multiplayer-game
  9. Something with a rare gameplay mechanic
  10. A game primarily made by women

So … these are my contenders for my 2020 gaming list. I know I’ve started this one a little late into the year but it felt like too good of an idea to put it off for 9 months.
Like many people in these trying times I am currently stuck at home so this might be a nice idea to keep my mental sanity up.

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Other posts

Thoughts on Verdant Skies
Thoughts on Actual Sunlight

movie watchlist

2020 Movie Watchlist


In case you haven’t read my 2020 Reading List, here’s the deal: A while ago I updated this sweet little site of mine with reading, watching and currently playing lists respectively. I did so quickly and I did so in an attempt to give this blog more shape and to get a better connection to everyone who may stumble upon it.
Well, I felt inspiration strike the other morning and I want to do this a little differently, now: Instead of adding specific titles to the list I’m gonna go more by concept and ideas and general categorizations. This way I hope to expand my horizons a little bit.
The world of media is huge and plentiful and there may be series out there I’ve never heard of before. I may only find them by opening myself up to broader options. It may also help me get some recommendations by people who are more familiar with the things I have not yet discovered.

So the deal with the 2020 Movie Watchlist is basically the same: I try to collect movies I’d want to watch not by specific titles but by more conceptional categories.
There will be some more entries on here, since the effort put into watching a movie is a little less, at least time wise …
Since it’s my first time doing things like this (at least when it comes to non-books) I am still figuring this out and am a little unsure about it. I might add in new ones later.

Rules

  1. If you feel like it, feel free to join in or create your own list. I remember these sort of monthly challenges (for reading) from my time as a book blogger and I thought it would be a nice idea.
  2. I try and keep this list updated by what I’m currently watching, what I’m already through and the links to the posts regarding the pieces I’ve read. I may also add or remove entries, as inspiration strikes.
  3. Entries shouldn’t double. P.e. I wanna watch a film about mermaids and one inspired by mythology. These should be two different ones.
  4. There used to be scoring systems for these sorts of things to track your success and compete with others. This isn’t really set-up as a competition. You can however track your success however you want and I would love for you to share your finished series with me!
  5. Please leave recommendations for either of my picks, for new entries or for plain enjoyment. I’d love to see them.
  6. Not sure about what I’m gonna do with things I quit – which happens quite often – but I may open a list of rejects below or make a new post at the end of the year with a total and some sort of resumee.

2020 Movies Watchlist – Film Picks

  1. A French film
  2. An Italian Film
  3. A film belonging to Magical Realism
  4. A black-and-white film
  5. A Film Noir
  6. An animated feature that is neither Disney nor Ghibli
  7. A film directed by a woman
  8. A film starring amateur actors
  9. A musical
  10. A film based off of a video game
  11. A film by a queer director
  12. An eastern-european film
  13. A film about mermaids
  14. A film inspired by mythology, that isn’t christian, roman, greek or egyptian
  15. A film from the 90es
  16. A film from the 80es
  17. A film from the 70es
  18. A rom-com
  19. A German film
  20. A film about the circus
  21. A film with a train
  22. A biographical picture
  23. An adaption
  24. A film a friend recommended to me – Cleo 5 á 7
  25. A film made for children
  26. A film about space
  27. A very poorly made film – Tarantula
  28. A horror classic
  29. A western
  30. A new release

2020 Movies Watchlist – Shortfilm Picks

  1. A film belonging to Cinema of Attractions
  2. A film directed by a queer woman
  3. A film with a twist
  4. A film made by students
  5. A film with practical effects

2020 Movies Watchlist – Documentaries Picks

  1. Something that isn’t true crime
  2. Something about business
  3. An unknown story
  4. A film about films
  5. A film about nature

These are my picks for now. As with the reading list, I am open to recommendations, both for the rules and for new picks!

Social Media

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You might also like

Thoughts on The VVitch
Thoughts on Portrait of a Lady in Flames

series watchlist

2020 Series Watchlist

In case you haven’t read my 2020 Reading List, here’s the deal: A while ago I updated this sweet little site of mine with reading, watching and currently playing lists respectively. I did so quickly and I did so in an attempt to give this blog more shape and to get a better connection to everyone who may stumble upon it.
Well, I felt inspiration strike the other morning and I want to do this a little differently, now: Instead of adding specific titles to the list I’m gonna go more by concept and ideas and general categorizations. This way I hope to expand my horizons a little bit.
The world of media is huge and plentiful and there may be series out there I’ve never heard of before. I may only find them by opening myself up to broader options. It may also help me get some recommendations by people who are more familiar with the things I have not yet discovered.

So the deal with the 2020 Series Watchlist is basically the same: I try to collect series I’d want to watch not by specific titles but by more conceptional categories.
There’ll be a little less entries on here, simply due to time constraints. Watching a series can take – depending on it’s length – a lot longer than a book.
Since it’s my first time doing things like this (at least when it comes to non-books) I am still figuring this out and am a little unsure about it. I might add in new ones later.
I also have some stuff to watch for Uni … I’m trying to combine it but the Series for school obviously go first.

Rules

  1. If you feel like it, feel free to join in or create your own list. I remember these sort of monthly challenges (for reading) from my time as a book blogger and I thought it would be a nice idea.
  2. I try and keep this list updated by what I’m currently watching, what I’m already through and the links to the posts regarding the pieces I’ve read. I may also add or remove entries, as inspiration strikes.
  3. Entries shouldn’t double. P.e. I wanna watch a telenovela as well as a Latin-American show. While both can be novelas they musn’t be the same show.
  4. There used to be scoring systems for these sorts of things to track your success and compete with others. This isn’t really set-up as a competition. You can however track your success however you want and I would love for you to share your finished series with me!
  5. For something to be considered “watched” you’d have finish all seasons. That’s why I am setting this up as a yearly project and am putting up a smaller number as with books.
  6. Please leave recommendations for either of my picks, for new entries or for plain enjoyment. I’d love to see them.
  7. Not sure about what I’m gonna do with things I quit – which happens quite often – but I may open a list of rejects below or make a new post at the end of the year with a total and some sort of resumee.

2020 Series Watchlist – Series Picks

  1. A childhood favourite
  2. A series you wanted to finish for a long time
  3. A telenovela
  4. A Latin-American show
  5. A cartoon – The Hollow
  6. A K-Drama
  7. An anime
  8. A series that has been based of off something else
  9. A series inspired by real-life events
  10. Something I feel like I’d hate it (but hopefully turns out good!)

2020 Series Watchlist – Webseries Picks

  1. A series created by one person
  2. A true passion project
  3. An old classic, newly adapted
  4. Something in a language I’m not fluent in (No German, no English)
  5. Something fandom-related

2020 Series Watchlist – Documentaries Picks

  1. Something that isn’t true crime
  2. Something business related
  3. A documentary about a (not-so-)famous woman
  4. A documentary about somebody famous from my home-country (I’m German and I am counting out everything Nazi-Related … I kinda want to find something positive and somewhat obscure)
  5. A documentary about food

These are my picks for now. As with the reading list, I am open to recommendations, both for the rules and for new picks!

Social Media

Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram
Instagram – Art

You might also like

My 5 favourite comedy shows
Panama Travels Archive

reading list

2020 Reading List

A while ago I updated this sweet little site of mine with reading, watching and currently playing lists respectively. I did so quickly and I did so in an attempt to give this blog more shape and to get a better connection to everyone who may stumble upon it.
Well, I felt inspiration strike this morning and I want to do this a little differently, now: Instead of adding specific titles to the list I’m gonna go more by concept and ideas and general categorizations. This way I hope to expand my horizons a little bit.
The world of media is huge and plentiful and there may be books I’ve never heard of before. I may only find them by opening myself up to broader options. It may also help me get some recommendations by people who are more familiar with the things I have not yet discovered.
So: Here’s my new and improved reading list for 2020 and some rules you may or may not want to follow but that would make this more of a challenge.

Rules

  1. If you feel like it, feel free to join in or create your own list. I remember these sort of monthly challenges from my time as a book blogger and I thought it would be a nice idea.
  2. I try and keep this list updated by what I’m currently reading, what I’ve read and the links to the posts regarding the pieces I’ve read. I may also add or remove entries as inspiration strikes.
  3. Entries shouldn’t double. P.e. I wanna read a book by Isabel Allende, one in Spanish and one by a Latin-American author: I can read three books by Isabel Allende to fulfill this but I cannot put down the same book for all three.
  4. There used to be scoring systems for these sorts of things to track your success and compete with others. This isn’t really set-up as a competition. You can however track your success however you want and I would love for you to share your reads with me!
  5. Please leave recommendations for either of my picks, for new entries or for plain enjoyment. I’d love to see them.
  6. You obviously have to finish the whole book for it to be considered read. You don’t have to read your way through the entire series, though.
  7. Not sure about what I’m gonna do with things I quit – which happens quite often – but I may open a list of rejects below or make a new post at the end of the year with a total and some sort of resumee.

2020 Reading List – Book Picks

  1. A book by Isabel Allende – Fortuna’s Daughter on it
  2. An Afrofuturist book
  3. A book about the apocalypse
  4. A non-fiction book
  5. A book in Spanish
  6. A book by a Latin-American author
  7. A screenplay
  8. A novella
  9. A book about a cult
  10. A book by a female author
  11. A book by a queer author
  12. A children’s book
  13. A book about animal training (cause I have a pup and I would love to learn more)
  14. A book written by Octavia Butler
  15. A young adult book
  16. A book by Jane Austen
  17. A book written by an author unknown to me
  18. A romance novel (so scared of that one)
  19. A book well known in a different country but not mine (I’m from Germany)
  20. A book published this year

2020 Reading List – Short story picks

  1. A story about a mysterious town
  2. A story about the unknow
  3. A story written by an amateur author (p.e. on tumblr, wattpad, etc)
  4. A short story about an animal
  5. A short story with a twist

2020 Reading List – Article Picks

  1. A scientific paper
  2. An article related to my studies
  3. An article completely unrelated to my studies
  4. An article from before 2000
  5. A satirical or “fake news” article

So … these are my contenders for my 2020 reading list. I know I’ve started this one a little late into the year but it felt like to good of an idea to put it off for 9 months.
Like many people in these trying times I am currently stuck at home so this might be a nice idea to keep my mental sanity up.
Please feel free to join, send your recs, etc and check out my social media (you can also contact me there!)

Social Media

Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram
Instagram – Art

Other posts

My 5 favourite comedy shows
Panama Travels Archive

Post of the Month – February 2020

A wounderfull day to whoever is reading this. You may remember a little thing I started last month: I was going to collect all the things that happend in my life and on this blog in one article. Well, I haven’t forgotten. I just got tied up.
Yes, March is almost over and I still have not written a Post of the Month – February 2020. The last one and a half months were quite weird ones to be honest.
February has been fairly eventless yet stressfull, March was similar. It is hard to explain, but let me start, where all stories start: At the beginning.

Posts that (finally) went up

Even though I am still struggling with keeping a current and constant uploading regimen I was a little more productive this month:

I revisited a movie I watched in January: The VVitch and collected my thoughts into an article found here.
A very creepy dive into the human psyche yet probably not a film that will keep me up at night. Still: I like its play with the viewers mind and Eggers Lovecraftian way of dealing with the unknown.

I also (finally) finished a post I was working on ever since I saw the film in November (I think): Thoughts on Portrait of a Lady in Flames.
It was quite an emotional ride for me and I lot of feelings came back up. This French film is absolutely gorgeous. It is a very quiet film, wich then leaves a lot of room for the viewer to reflect a little.

I also uploaded my Mabel Pines Cosplay Gallery with all the pictures from Connichi 2019

Post of the Month February 2020 – Uni and personal stuff

Why was February so stressful even though there was nothing going on? Because it was exams time! Well … I was surprisingly relaxed this time since I only had three and a couple of papers and projects. Honestly, I find the latter to be a lot less stressful than a full on exam. Sure, you can still fail and sure there’ll be a grade … But I get to work on it at home, on my own. I get to plan everything I’ll do and I get to do it on my own time.
Exams are super regulated and it means regurgitating a lot in a little time. I feel like they don’t really say a lot about a persons knowledge and ability … It’s just simple regurgitation, but maybe that’s just me.
I made it through most and I only got my Maths grade back so far so I’m still waiting for everything else.


Since we went into exams, we also stopped having classes which meant I’d spend a lot of time at home. I did go for a couple of walks at times or hang out with some people but otherwise this time was pretty chill.
Weirdly I didn’t really get to watch many new things and I am still playing Witcher and Persona 5. Almost done with both, though.

I did sound and also went to starr in another small project for Valentines day, which you can watch here.

Since I wanted to use my free time properly so I signed up for some language classes at my Uni. One of which was Italian. So for the last week of February I went to class every day.
I was actually inspired by “Ladri di Biciclette” in film history class. It’s a nice language but I probably prefer Spanish, still …

Post of the Month February 2020 – Cosplay

Yes! Finally something to report: I was planning on going to LBM this year (in March) so I got very hard to work at my Persephone (Lore Olympus) Cosplay:

I was almost completely done before March …. I never got to wear it since the convention got cancelled due to the current Corona-Situation.

The cape was made from an old pattern I already had cut out since I had made it before. The fabric used was this cute and fluffy fakefur with sequins and rosé coloured lining. I usually like to line my cosplays. i know of some people who don’t but to me it just feels better on my skin. I also want to better my skills and learn new things so doing things properly is what gets me there.
That said: I regret it every time. Lining is a bitch. It’s slippery and it annoys the shit out of me.
Same goes for the fakefur. It looks so cute and it is so soft but oh boy … I’m still peeling fuzz out of crevices I never wanted it to be in …
The cape also doesn’t fall as well as it would with a proper coat fabric but I made it look quite ok.

Can we talk about the dress, though? I love it so much! I adjusted a pattern I had, added the cutouts and the high collar and made it out of a fabric I got from my grandma. She used to be a seemstress and still has so much fabric left in her basement. It has little flowers on it which seemed perfect for Kore.

I also made a broach from fimo and added some pearls.

The last post of the month:

January 2020

Social Media

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Instagram
Instagram – Art

5 Of My Favourite Comedy Shows

Good evening, online friends. I hope everyone is well and good and most importantly: healthy.
Life is currently a little frustrating due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the connected (and in my eyes more dangerous) mass panic.
I’m fine and so are my close ones but I am a bit frustrated and low on energy right now. A lot of things I was enjoying or looking forward to got cancelled and it’s just taking it’s toll.
I try to get back on a posting regimen, though so I though I’d mix it up with some light entertainment and a post that doesn’t require me to put in as much enegry as I normally would have to.
I am sorry it’s not wholey what you’d wish for or expect but it’s what I am capable of right now.
It also feels like a nice way to get to know each other: Here are 5 of my favourite comedy shows, why I love them and why you should or should not watch them, according to what you’re looking for right now.

Jane the Virgin

Creator: Jennie Snyder Urman (based off the Telenovela Juana La Virgen)
Seasons: 5
Episode Runtime: around 40 Minutes
Mood: Heartfelt, Soft-and-Cuddly, Romantic
Good for: When you’re looking for something to binge with a friend or something to surprise you and rethink your preconcieved notions

Jane the Virgin is a show I never expected to like. Especially not as much as I do these days! I am not big on romance and I am not big on drama. I like low-key funny shows with strong story and character development.
So the American adaption of a Telenovela really doesn’t sound like a particularily good choice for me. It didn’t help that the TV channel running it over here seemed to be especially make it out to be about romance and the classic love triangle.

And it is. But there is so much more to this show. I started it as a boredom watch and I got completely caught up in it.
Now: Jane the Virgin has its good share of romance and its good share of melodramatics … yet that’s part of the charme. The show is so much more!
It intelligently subverts genre tropes adds element of magical realism.
Every character gets time and care to be reflected on and to evolve, so do the plotlines.
And: It is amazingly diverse! I’d even blame it for my interest in learning Spanish (though there were other factors), reading Isabell Allende and starting to write again.

It follows a young religious latina woman – Jane – who has promised to keep her virginity until marriage. Then one day, she gets artificially inseminated by mistake. Her gyn – the father’s sister – went through a particularly rough breakup the night before. Not only that but the father is also her current boss, whom she’d had acrush one years earlier.
Their lives now get woven together while each of them still is in a more-or-less commited realtionship and a dangerous drug lord is on the lose.

That’s a lot. But it’s also very much worth it.

Whether you’re looking for a smart and self-aware show or just want to cuddle up and cry a little: This show’s for you.

Arrested Development

Creator: Ron Howard, Mitchell Hurwitz
Seasons: 5
Episode Runtime: around 20 Minutes
Mood: Crazy, Offbeat, Hilarious
Good for: Something to actually watch and enjoy, smart and subtle humour, something to make you feel better about your family

If you know actual real-life-me, you know that there are a couple of things I will actually never shut up about: Arrested Development is one of them. I talk about it so much, I even talked about it during my entrance exams for my current college course. So I make it at least a little responsible for know academically pursuing my madness.

Now, granted: The show’s particular brand of humour probably isn’t for everyone and I feel like it demands attentive watching to fully endulge it. But it is so worth it. What makes it so brilliant are the many thought out setups and payoffs and callbacks to earlier jokes that make the seasons all form one big joke. That magic has faded a little over the last two seasons, though.

The show follows the quirky and ruly unique members of the affluent Bluth family who have to handle chaos and mishap after their patriarch get arrested for fraud.
And while responisble Michael is trying to rebulid the business his self-obsessed family members make his job harder by the day.

Archer

Creator: Adam Reed
Seasons: 10 +
Episode Runtime: around 20 minutes
Mood: cleverly stupid, off the rocker, plain fun
Good for: A somewhat boozy evening with friends

Archer is a deliciously stupid show. But it’s also amazingly smart. I am usually not a fan of “offensive-to-be-offensive” humour that many adult animations carry themselves on. And Archer does that … But it does so in a very self-aware and critical way. That makes it a great watch for people who just want to lean back and enjoy something silly, while also offering some entertainment for pseudo-intellectuals such as myself.

The show follows the members of a spy agency on their daily escapades – professional or personal all while offering satire on the genre.
I have recently done a rewatch and I need to say: I actually prefer the later seasons. They change the spy-setup a little and start experimenting with other genres.
There’s many callbacks and easter eggs as well as fourth-wall-breaking-jokes and of course references to the parodied genres. Which I love.

Parks and Recreation

Creator: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Seasons: 7
Episode Runtime: around 20 minutes
Mood: Quirky and Fun, Comfort View
Good for: Galentines Day, duh!

Michale Schur has a great hand for character creation. I’ve never seen a show of his which didn’t makeme fall in love with every single character in an instant.
Now, granted most people probably already know most of his shows … I’m not early to that party. But I’d still love to put out the reccommendation.
Following the different workers of an Indiana town’s public Parks and Recreation departement, this show will always be a comfort watch for me.

GLOW

Creator: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
Seasons: 3
Episode Runtime: around 30 – 45 minutes
Mood: Girlpower but by actual girls
Good for: All sorts of different people

Where do I start with GLOW? I like watching it and I like waiting for new seasons, who seem to be coming out seemingly rarely, given it’s a Netflix production. But that’s a good thing! Every season seems to be amazingly well thought out and not rushed – other than those coming out every six months.
What I also love about GLOW is that you can very much feel that it’s been made by women for women, without most of the silly “Girlpower”-pitfalls most female-oriented yet male-made products display. I love that and it helps with conveying meaning.

GLOW is about community and love in all its shapes and sizes. It’s about different lives that somehow found together.

The show follows a failing actress who, responding to a casting call, ends up doing a wrestling show with all sorts of different women. While they seem different at first they grow closer, without giving up themselves.

It’s also set in the 80es without that actually being a huge point of marketing. Like, the show actually manages to be endearing without constantly reminding you of its setting and hoping for you to love it due to pseudo-nostalgia (Unlike other shows in Netflix’ repertoire).

Please check out some of my other posts

Some videogames for women (and anyone who’d wnat to play them!)
Thoughts on actual sunlight
Thoughts on Portrait of a lady in flames

Or pay me a visit on Social Media

Twitter
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Instagram
Instagram – Art

Toko Fukawa Cosplay

Toko Fukawa Cosplay Gallery – XMasCon 2019

Gosh … I have so many memories connected to my Toko Fukawa Cosplay.

First off: Danganronpa is my sister’s favourite Video Game and she is the one who actually got me into it. Fun Fact: She actually hates Toko Fukawa.

Secondly: I wore it to German Xmas Con last December and I entered it into my first Cosplay Contest.
I didn’t win but everybody who did did so incredibly deservedly. To me it was more about overcoming my fear and actually joining! And I made a lot of great friends! If you have some time to spare please check out @nappingmooncosplay and @sobbingcloudscosplay on Instagram – they were two other Danganronpa Cosplayers involved in the contest!

And thirdly: The whole costume was just made by me. I altered some patterns, DIYed a little … And I got so much amazing feedback online! The Danganronpa Cosplay – Community is pretty amazing! I love you all.

Now, without me going on forever: Here are my Toko Fukawa Cosplay pics:

  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay
  • Toko Fukawa Cosplay

Pictures were taken by @pomme_de_fucking_terre
Edited by myself

I will hopefully update this gallery in the future since I still have some pictures on my phone.

Please check out some of the other galleries

SheRa
Kiki
Mabel Pines

Or pay me a visit on Social Media

Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram
Instagram – Art

Mabel Pines – Connichi 2019 Cosplay Gallery

Finally: Here are my Mabel Pines Cosplay pictures all collected in one gallery.


Edit/Pic by @michiruangelika on Instagram
Bill @straci_san on Instagram
Dipper @xx.kouta.xx on Instagram

Some Pics were taken by a friend (no Social Media)
Some were edited by me

If you want to know more, please check the notes underneath the pictures.

Please check out some of the other galleries

SheRa
Kiki

Or pay me a visit on Social Media

Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram
Instagram – Art

Thoughts on Portrait of a Lady on Fire

I am a huge art buff … And I would probably consider myself an artist as well. Not on a professional level but still. I love creating (Also: Check out my art/penpalling Instagram: @mupfinsmiley_art) and I think it’s one of the most amazing yet most human things to occupy yourself with …
The french film Portrait of a Lady on Fire uses this most human of all things to tell an equally human story.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Director: Céline Sciamma
Writer: Céline Sciamma
Year: 2019
Country: France, Italy
Cast:

Marianne – Noémie Merlant
Hélouise – Adèle Haenel
Sophie – Luàna Bajrami
La Comtesse – Valeria Golino

Length: 121 min

IMdB

Plot Summary

Young artist Marianne is summoned by a rich Comtesse to paint a wedding portrait of her daughter. She is to spend the days with the young lady – Hélouise – pretending to be her gouverness while secretly painting her.
Her subject is about to be wed to a young man, yet the plans have been made against her will. She does not consent to the painting of her being made and shipped to her further groom, since she nows it delays the impending and dredded event. Therfore the secrecy.
The two women however grow ever closer which makes the coming goodbye ever so bitter.

The Importance of Art

As I’ve already alluded to in my introduction: Art is amazing.
It can be cathartic, traumatic, beautiful, ugly, purposeful, without goal … Yet it always stays one thing: Human.

There is something inherently human about creating. We can’t do wothout it. Whether our creation follows a strict goal – like early tools – our just exists to be pretty. It is something humans cannot do without.

Weirdly enough, creation is also something that is hugely associated with the divine as well. There’s some audacity associated with taking it for yourself. Positive and negative.
People have been celebrated and ostracized for creation. They have been elevated to gods and they have been cast down to hell.

And yet: It is not very clear why we create art. There is no reason for it. No reason for us to write, draw, compose, dance …
There is no reason for us to create images of ourselves – there’s no need for us to know our outer appearance, to keep it locked up on paper – there’s no reason for us to create abstract versions of our world, no reason to go completely concrete.
Art serves no purpose. Our survival isn’t linked to it.

Sure: There are theories – anthropological, evolutionary (look into that, it is really interesting) – art draws us in and so does the artist. So maybe art is just another way to woo a partner? To show affection? To show love?

It doesn’t matter in the end: Art is so important, yet so pointless.
Ever importance why try to attribute to it is pure creation and construction itself. And therefore arbitrary and just another illusion.

Pictures are nothing but illusions

Talking about illusions: Since creation has always also been associated with the divine and a right reserved to gods there has always been some stigma towards creations by humans. And as a human-made creation, pictures fall straight into that category.
There has always been some suspicion towards pictures: They’re mere illusions. They seem to show reality, yet what thery’re showing isn’t real. And it newer will be.
Of course there’s pictures well aware of their own dilemma and there’s stories dealing with that exact problem…
Yet none of that solves it.

And it is the exact problem Héloise’s husband will face once he recieves her portrait. All he has of her is an illusion.
Yes, sooner, or later he will hold the real thing – reducing her down to exactely that – but his initial contact with her will always be fake. Something that my define their relationship.
A picture can never hold up to the original. There will always be things off about it, even if ever so slightly. Yet that leaves room for … interpretation. Fantasy. He can conjur an image which she will never be able to reach. A relationship built upon an illusion will itself become nothing more.

Ce n’eci pas une jeune fille en feu …

Marianne is stuck in the exact opposite position: She has known the real thing, seen past the illusion she herself cast, yet she is still left with nothing.
The picture she keeps is nothing but look back. It’s of a situation past, a situation that will never come back. A situation she will forever bee caught up in.

Héloise is the only one who will know what lies beneath, yet she will always be in danger of getting tangled up in either one of those illusions.
It is unclear, whether she has moved on completely and accepted her role or whether she is as caught up in her past as Marianne is.

Community in Solitude

For a while the young women are being left alone on the island. The Comtess has to attend some important business elswhere.
This is when their relationship truly develops.
A lot of things happen to the two women and the maid – Sophie – during that time.
Left to their own devices, left with a group of strangers, they start to grow close.
An openess is created between the characters that probably would have never happened, if they weren’t left alone for some time.
Instead of succumbing to loneliness and solitude, the form a bond.

The three women even join in on some festivities with the locals.
So far we haven’t seen that. For the most part, I didn’t even know there were other people living on the isle.
All three have been caught up with themselves, chained to solitude … yet they manage to overcome that. Together

For a moment – time stands still and a happy ending seems possible …

No escaping fate

Fate, however is inescapable. And as the countess returns, so do the problems.
The portrait has to be finished and the women have to go their separate ways eventually.
Hélouise has to get married and Marianne returns to her shop.

Memories are fleeting

On their last day together Hélouise wants Marianne to draw themselves for each other and she obliges.
The drawing she produces however is made with pastels and chalks. Materials that aren’t very much made for eternity, unlike oils or acrylics.
Anyone who has ever used pastels will know, that they only loosely add pigment to a surface and are easily smudged.
The husband, the person, who supposedly has no strong connection with Hélouise gets the eternal portrait, whereas her true lover … gets a fading memory.
The more often she’ll look at the drawing, thouch it, tries to be close to her love … The more faded it will become … The less she’ll have of her until nothing remains.

Is this, why Marianne decided to produce another picture? Of amoment, she wants to have in her mind forever? Even if. The face is barely visible and it seems as if she has already forgotten … smudged it.

In the end all that stays is the idea, the memory, the thought … Until you can’t even be sure about your own mind anymore.

The movie leaves us on a very unclear, yet melancolic note.
Marianne spies her beloved at the opera, yet she can only see her from afar.
Does she see her, too? Do both women share their thoughts? It is unclear.
Or is their memory smudged already?

Loudness in the Quiet

Portrait of a lady on fire is a very calm movie, a very quite film. Much in tradition with French films there are very few non-diegetic sounds. There is some music sometimes, but it almost always turns out to either be part of a scene or sound very natural, like a storm howling or the ocean screaming.
And the movie holds back on dialogue as well. It leaves room for its characters to breathe, to develop … And it leaves the same space for its viewers as well.
Sometimes that might seem a little … long-winded, yet I never felt as if though the pacing was off.

There is a certain loudness hidden within the quiet. While the movie stays quiet, the thoughts start reacing, dancing, drumming, screaming. There’s room for thought and emotion and there’s the quiet that allows them to get loud and run wild.
Same thing goes for the characters as well: The loudness doesn’t stem from them talking, the loudness stems from them moving, expressing, feeling. Even though there is nothing said, in the literal sense – the images still say it all while still leaving you alone with your thoughts.

As always …

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Thoughts on The VVitch
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Thoughts on The VVitch

I finally got to watch a movie I’ve had on my watchlist for some time and I have some thoughts … So here are – without further ado – my Thoughts on The VVitch.

The VVitch

Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers
Year: 2015
Country: America, Canada
Cast:

Thomasin – Anya-Taylor Joy
William – Ralph Ineson
Katherine – Kate Dickie
Caleb – Harvey Scrimshaw
Mercy – Ellie Grainger
Jonas – Lucas Dawson

Length: 92 min

IMDb

The VVitch – Plot Summary

After being banished from their community a puritan family settles out to make their own future.
The seven incredibly devout family members settle near a dark, mysterious forrest and try to fend for themselves. After a while their crops start failing and what should have been a new life full of hope and success turns sour soon: The family turns on each other, blaming it all on the witch living in the nearby woods …

The VVitch – New England Madness

I have never been to New England. I know nothing about New England. But it sure feel like it’s a beautifully creepy place to visit. Why is that?

New England horro seems like a staple of American culture to me. Now, remember: I am not American and this is an outsiders view … But: Edgar Allan Poe was from Massachusetts, Stephen King from Maine, Lovecraft from Rhode Island.
The area seems to have a draw that no creepy crawler can resist. And to be fair: Whenever I look at pictures (Again: Never been) I see beautiful, almost fairytale-esqe architecture, vast oceans, gorgeous forests … And it all seems to hide deeper mysteries beneath. I see inexplicable depth, a close-knit, inpenetrable blanket of trees and fog, hidden corners …

No wonder the whole area seems not only mesmerizing but also very creepy. Mystery is always a flirt with the unknown and as – New England resident – H.P. Lovecraft once said:

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

H.P. Lovecraft

Now imagine – me, having never been to New England – can just sit here, google up some pictures, do some research … I can take away some of its mysthique. Now imagine not beeing able to do that. Imagin having to set out into the unknown, having to forge your own path … Not knowing what to expect leaves room for ones imagination to run wild. And that leaves a lot more room to fear.

Religious Insanity

Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places.

H.P. Lovecraft

I am not particularly religious. In fact, I’d consider myself an atheist. And that’s cool. It’s also cool, if you’re not. All are welcome here.
You know what’s not cool? Considering yourself better than others because of your religion or lack thereoff. Excluding people because of not according to your beliefs. It divides communities, however close-knit they may be.
It can even become dangerous when people start putting their religion above their own sensibilities and gut feeling.
Wen rules become extremism, all hope will be lost.

Such is for this family. In the end, they end up killing each other, one by one, not being able to break out of the rule system they are caught in. Even with Thomasin who (watch out, Spoiler) in the end survives and wanders off into the woods to join a coven of witches, now being supposedly free, just joins what is probably going to be a new community with all new rules. Both witchcraft and satanism have turnt into their own religion or hat least have some religious influence these days.
Thomasin leaves her roots, the oppressive system she grew up in, just to follow a new set of rules. What seems like emancipation may very well be just a new form of enslavement.

We’ll never know. In fact we’ll never even know if all of her experiences were even real (More on that further down). Maybe she has not just lost her old community but will now be left allone, trying to manage the hurt and isolation with the only thing she knows, without returning what hurt her so in the beginning: Religion.

Seven Deadly Sins

The film’s family of protagonists consists of seven members, who are all devoutely religious, yet seem to let out a far darker, far less loving side of themselves as soon as the story takes hold …

Now, I’ll venture into some more interpretation-y territory here. These posts have never been intended to be full on essays, reviews or scientific papers but more to mix all of the above and as a chance for me so sort some of the many thoughts and feels I sometimes have about movies. And I had many, many thoughts on The VVitch and its characters particularly:

While watching I noticed something and got talking to my friend @pommes_de_fucking_terre.
There were exactely seven family members. Seven, being an incredibly symbol-heavy number in most mythologies; With all the religious imagery in the movie there was one set of sevens, that would come to mind instantely:

The seven deadly sins

Thomasin – Greed

Thomasin, the oldest teenaged daughter and – for the most part – the audiences stand-in.
She seems to be the least content with her puritan life, longing for more.
Thomasin is the one who has the most pressure pushed upon her, having to wokr hard, help her mother, watch the children … While getting the least payoff.
Being a girl and all, she is also the one with fewest opportunities for her and her family: They’re all cut-off from their community; Even if she wanted, there’d be no way for her to follow the path usually cut out for young women at the time: Marriage; since there’s no one around to marry.

Thomasin regularily butts head with her parent, particularly her mother and gets in trouble often, even if there’s little she could have done to change certain situations.

She is isolated even within her community – a situation that grows worse, after the baby vanishes – a fact that is even more exaggerated by the dress she is wearing:

The light purple gown seems to not really go with the grey, dark and dirty environment we find our protagonists in.
Usually clothes of puritans, farmers, people who’d work close to and with soil would be of darker shades. These were easier to clean, easier to dye and not seen as gaudy as more brightly coloured garments.
All the other characters do so. Thomasin stands out.

Purple is also a colour that is very closely associated with spirituality and the supernatural. A lot of clerics wer deep purple accessoires, in fantasy stories they’re usually reserved for more magically inclined characters.
By wearing such a colour – even if just in a very light variation – Thomasin is commiting blasphemy by wearing a colour that is usually only reserved for higher clerics. She bites of more than she can chew; greedily thinks she could long for more, put herself on the same level as the free and highly spiritual people, yet she reaches to far, gets to greed and is ultimatively the downfall of her family.
The only way she could ever become a spiritual being ist to fall off to the wrong side and completely give into her greed.

The Baby – Gluttony

Birth control wasn’t really a thing in 17th centuary America. Even if: I am most certain a deeply religious family would not make use of it.
Therefore pregnancy was an often occurrence for women. And a dangerous one at that: Pregnancy and birth could both be very comlicated events and the survival of mother and child was never guaranteed.
Even if: Not always was there room for another family member to be fed, clothed and taken care off. Infanticide was a surprisingly wide-spread crime.

And there can be something quite parasitic about fetuses and newborns: The leech off their family and their mother while still in the womb. They need energy to grow and their hunger seems neverending.

The baby is the first family member to vanish and the reason for Katherine and Thomasin’s relationship to turn hostile … Or is it?
Thomasin was the one watching her sibling, before it vanished into thin air … Or did it?
Maybe somebody was just trying to get rid of an ever-hungry nuissance.
To finally satisfy the simple and sole representation of gluttony.

William (Father) – Pride

The man of the house. The lion of his pride.
The father is – even in our modern society – often and exclusively seen als the head of the family. The person leading, the one everyone should be able to trust with their lifes. But what if it’s him who leads his pack astray?
It’s William’s pride that ultimately has the family cast out. And it is his pride that keeps him from admitting their dire situation.

Katherine (Mother) – Wrath

Katherine likes to keep up appearances but can be incredibly vile underneath. Instead of having everyone come together after the disappearance of her youngest, she starts austracizing her oldest.
Her wrath gets the better of her.

The twins – Mercy and Jonas – Sloth and Envy

The twins are by far the creepiest characters of the entire move. They are almost never seen to be alone and run around the farm, chanting nursery rhymes; seem to be surprisingly uninvolved with most of the goings on at the farm. They don’t particularly help much, like Caleb and Thomasin. Weird, considering that they seem to be old enough.
They also never seem to get into trouble for either not working or making life harder for Thomasin.
Both of them always seem to get excused for their laziness, for their sloth.

Mercy in particular – seem to have it out for Thomasin. There seems to be something unspoken between the sisters. Mercy badmouthes Thomasin at any given moment and acts incredibly hostile towards her.
She sews the thoughts of witches and devils and is the first one to blame the eldest.
It’s not sure where her hate stems from but chances are she is very much green with envy.

Caleb – Lust

Caleb’s the second-born and eldest son of the family. He seems very young still but is about to enter puberty.
Like many young boys his age – Even though I don’t really know much about being a young boy – he develops what his religious community would probably consider very uncouth thoughts.

The camera sometimes takes his place, oogling Thomasin, taking on an incredibly male-gaze-y perspective, purposfully.
On one hand, it is very understandable – he, too is lonely and doesn’t have anything to compare his experience to – on the other hand, we as the audience are shaken to our core, uncomfortable, disgusted.
And Caleb himself seems to try to hide his impure demeanor, takes hushed look only, tries to distract himself.

His lust is being pushed away into the darkest corners of his mind, yet it only takes the correct spell to bring it forth again.

The VVitch and the use of language

We recently watched La Grande Illusion for film history class and took a specific look at how the movie uses language, foreign tongues and dialects and how that shapes the relationships between the characters and between the film and the viewer.
The characters speak three different languages and different dialects within those three.
While, sure you can turn the subtitles on, you are likely to lose some information in translation – Plot Points as well as subtle information.

Now, I am no expert – so I cannot fully judge on the genuity of the dialect – but I like how The VVitch uses historical language.
By doing so it does something similar. Though English is my second language, I like to consider myself a ver fluent speaker and great listener. I understand and can immitate some dialects and I’ve never had issues understanding a film … Yet I struggled with the old New England dialect.
That adds to the films mysthique. There’s no way to gather all the information, first time watching.

The VVitch – Magic or Madness?

As with The Lighthouse Eggers plays beautifully with the idea of madness and adds a magical, fantastical element to it.
With The VVitch, one could think, that the resolution is fairly obvious: There lies true magic within the woods. Thomasin, the eldest has been corrupted, taken, turnt into the title-giving witch.
I feel like, things are never that simple, though. Maybe that’s my brain, making things way more convelluded, than they actually are but … Isn’t that the point? To confuse, to engage, to make the viewer go through something, even if it’s the madness the characters face themselves. Imaging being in such a situation as to not know, what is true and what is wrong anymore. Imagin being caught between your convictions and your family. What if there’s no one left to trust, nowhere left to go? That’s scary, isn’t it.

The VVitch takes a lot of its inspiration from actual, historical events, mainly the Salem Witch Trials.
There are many discussions as to what may have caused such a mass panic, what led to the execution of that many people … And theories vary. It is quite unlikely, though that any of it had to do with actual witchcraft.
It might have had something to do with halucinations, though. Infestations among crops were common. Mainly bugs and funghi. One of those funghi may have caused said hallucinations … There is a shot in the movie that highlights that in particular.
So? Did the puritan family just suffer from an illness caused by parasites? Or – because that’s the beauty of movies: Improbabilities and Impossibilities don’t matter – did they really get caught up in something … more inexplicable?

Either way: What stays is fear and horror. Both scenarios seem horrifiying to me: Turning on my loved ones, helpless, not knowing, what’s happening or completely surrendering myself to a force unbenonst.
And thats the beauty of Eggers’ two-sided horror. No matter how you pick and chose to read the film: You’re gonna go home with a creeping suspicion that won’t let you escape its grip so quickly …

As always …

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