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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Please leave recommendations for either of my picks, for new entries or for plain enjoyment. I’d love to see them.
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
A childhood favourite
A series you wanted to finish for a long time
A Latin-American show
A cartoon – The Hollow
A series that has been based of off something else
A series inspired by real-life events
Something I feel like I’d hate it (but hopefully turns out good!)
2020 Series Watchlist – Webseries Picks
A series created by one person
A true passion project
An old classic, newly adapted
Something in a language I’m not fluent in (No German, no English)
2020 Series Watchlist – Documentaries Picks
Something that isn’t true crime
Something business related
A documentary about a (not-so-)famous woman
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Please leave recommendations for either of my picks, for new entries or for plain enjoyment. I’d love to see them.
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.
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
A book by Isabel Allende – Fortuna’s Daughter
An Afrofuturist book
A book about the apocalypse
A non-fiction book
A book in Spanish
A book by a Latin-American author
A book about a cult
A book by a female author
A book by a queer author
A children’s book
A book about animal training (cause I have a pup and I would love to learn more)
A book written by Octavia Butler
A young adult book
A book by Jane Austen
A book written by an author unknown to me
A romance novel (so scared of that one)
A book well known in a different country but not mine (I’m from Germany)
A book published this year
2020 Reading List – Short story picks
A story about a mysterious town
A story about the unknow
A story written by an amateur author (p.e. on tumblr, wattpad, etc)
A short story about an animal
A short story with a twist
2020 Reading List – Article Picks
A scientific paper
An article related to my studies
An article completely unrelated to my studies
An article from before 2000
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places.
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 …
… I would love for you to follow my on any of my social media:
Good Morning, evening or afternoon, friends. I thought I might start some new things in 2020 – even though I am not entirely sure of what all of those may be – but here is one of the new things I’m trying: I want to put my month into a blog post – which would then make twelve posts a year – for you to read and enjoy. I’m not sure, what this Post of the Month will include but I am feeling like using it as some sort of way to look back and reflect on all sorts of things: It’s gonna be a little personal, I may include things I’ve achieved each month, I may talk about products I used and liked, new revelations, plans, movies, games, music or updates on projects all of those things. Secondly, I’d like to include some future-oriented content: What are my plans, what’s my watchlist? That sort of stuff. I am starting with my Post of the Month – January 2020 and figure things out along the lines …
I would like to use this as an opportunity to blog regularly, for you to get to know me better and for me to get to know you better. So commenting is highly encouraged. I’d also love to use it for some reflection at the end of the month and you are very welcome to join! I might add a monthly quote or a task for the future each time, as I please. So, without further ado: Post of The Month – January 2020.
Post of the Month – January 2020: Movies
This movie has been on my list ever since I saw the trailer … And like it happens with me it never got to a cinema near me, I missed out, moved on and forgot.
Honestly? I should probably start a watchlist of what to watch and how much I want to watch it … Right now I just couldn’t be bothered.
I am working on a post about this film but it might still take me a while.
It was literally the first movie I watched this year/decade. I met up with a friend (You can check out her Film Instagram it’s @pommes_de_fucking_terre) for New Years’. We technically wanted to keep it chill and actually not do anything and then ended up having a sleepover, playing Uncharted and watching snippets of movies in the evening (If you’ve seen a lot and are really picky, it gets hard to find something your truly want to watch). We went on to watch The VVitch in the morning.
I quite liked it actually. It is a very interesting movie that does a lot with some clichéed aspects of horror. It was also quite hard to understand the accent but I feel like that really added to the experience.
I don’t want to speak on it too much since I’d love to still write a post on it in the future.
Audrie and Daisy
A true-crime documentary I stumbled across over a couple of corners. It deals with some heavy topics so I recommend watching at your own risk.
I do not want to get too much into it – first, since I still want to write a separate post about it – secondly, since I’d prefer to keep these light-hearted and I want them to be “readable” for people who may not show any interest or even have some triggers related to the topics it deals with.
I am quite the true crime fan. If I weren’t in Media Studies I would have probably gone into criminal psychology. I’m just a regular Clarice Starling.
I want to make it incredibly clear, that the interest I have is mainly based on psychological and scientific interest. I can be quite macabre and noir in the jokes I make – something I feel like is an important part of catharsis – but I always try to stay on the non-idealizing side of things. Like a friend of mine once said: Most of those people (referring to serial killers) were probably huge assholes … Like, I wouldn’t want to talk to them at a party, really. I prefer journalistic and documentary if not even scientific (there’s a huge difference in those three, but I’ll make my inner media studying self shut up) content and I’d recommend anyone who shows an interest in the darker subjects as well.
I listen to some Serial Killer and Cult content – and I am always delighted to get new ideas for which to follow – but I wanted to broaden my spectrum a little. This documentary deals with neither … though it is not very lighthearted either. I also wanted to add more documentaries to my movie-watching resumée (So in case anyone knows any … Shoot me a message, I am begging you!).
I really like the way it is using parallelism through some different, yet similar cases and still ends on a hopefull not. The subjects of this documentary are incredibly strong and I wish the best (well, except for the perpetrators, obviously).
Rolle Red Roll
Similar in topic and style like Audrie and Daisy yet not as well executed. A true-crime documentary dealing with crimes at a high school, social media, sport, and white male privilege, rape culture … Probably not gonna write about it, though.
Post of the Month – January 2020: Games
Did anyone say PlayStation Sale? Well, sadly they did so it was time for me to spend some of my Christmas money to bad use. I least I can excuse buying video games with beeing in media studies and therefore buying new materials for uni … I bought a couple of games but I haven’t gotten around to playing most of them.
Persona 5 was one of them, with the exception that I am actually quite far into the game – I think. It’s a huge game with a huge world and oh so many opportunities so it is quite hard for me to estimate how far in I am.
I can say I quite like it so far. The characters are amazing and it is so well balanced. I’d like to run around Tokyo a little more and somebody please kill the cat … But oh my god it is so creative! To be fair: I haven’t played any of the other games so I am a total newbie. I also rarely play JRPGs … No particular reason. Just never get around to doing it.
The world is fascinating and creative and oh man I love the characters … Some of them truly remind me of my friends in real life …
The Witcher: Wild Hunt
Yes. I have not played The Witcher: Wild Hunt yet. Yes, I know. It’s one of those series that I have tried and dipped my toes into but never got quite warm with. I started on game one and always stopped playing after chapter one. I didn’t like the gameplay. Felt way too clunky.
Some of my friends kept bugging me to start on game three … Which: for the record: Seems horrid to me! Series want to be played in according order, goddammit!
I listened to them anyways and here I am. Again: It’s a massive game with so many things to do and I haven’t even gotten past the first five main quests! So we’ll wait and see …
Post of the Month – January 2020: Cosplay
Oh boy … I was itching to get started on Persephone and Aziraphale yet I haven’t gotten much work done since; I am almost done with Kore’s cape, though. Since I am having some trouble with focusing recently I get distracted quite quickly. There’s still so much to do! I have shoes and gloves, yet I have to change the dress pattern, make the dress, make the brooch and hair accessories, cut the wig … AHHH! I’d like to finish by March, 12th since I’ll be in Leipzig after and I’ll be at the book convention on Sunday.
I have a new sewing machine now. My last one broke down – it’s still usable – and was getting quite old so a new one has been on my list of things to get for 2020. I just had to get it a little earlier than I would have otherwise. It’s really good and sewing is a lot easier now.
I would love to work off my list of cosplans but I am already having so many new ideas … Since I am playing Witcher: Wild Hunt I am getting kinda into the idea of doing either Triss, Ciri or Priscilla … Welp, yo ho, yo ho a cosplayer’s life for me.
Post of the Month – January 2020: Uni and Personal Stuff
I am currently still writing some of my exams. The weeks in January have been quite stressful since I hade two to write in the first week of February. I also had some uni projects to finish – a short film to edit, an audio project to record and mix and a short game prototype – so life has been hectic.
I went to a drag workshop at my uni and met some amazing people. Apart from us media people there’s also one theatre oriented course and they – like us – usually have to deliver on a project to end their studies. So that workshop was one of said projects. It was a lot different from what I’d imagine it to be. Like most, I was expecting us to actually fully dive into what you’d see in mainstream media: Create a character, dress up, do makeup … And we did that … But differently. It was more about experiencing and accepting yourself. Learning new things about society. Working with your mind, your body and getting past anxieties you have. The people organizing the workshop were really involved and did their best to create a safe space for all of us. We managed to grow really close together.
I also met two guys from my uni’s fencing team so I guess I am fencing now. It’s something I always wanted to try but was a little shy about so I just went on to seize the opportunity. I’ve been doing it for nearly a month now and I’ve really grown into it. The team is great and I think I found a sport I’m really into. I also had them talk me into a tournament after holding a saber twice in my entire life and it went … expectedly. I still managed to land a couple of hits, though … So I’d say not too shabby.
Some uni related projects
I finally got around to finishing my first project with my uni’s student-run tv/youtube project so I am proud of that. It felt incredibly awkward to be in front of a camera – even though I usually have no problem talking – but the result is quite hilarious. It’s a cooking show and we filmed three episodes for now, though I hope there’ll be more of it. You can watch it here.
I also went to the first podcast meeting with my uni’s radio station and pitched some projects I had in mind. I still have some I’d like to keep and work on in private, though. I’m pumped to get started on those projects. One is a feminist media podcast, the other more of a narrative thing and one is a true-crime podcast focussing on crimes involving students (in case you know any particularly spectacular ones please let me know!) I’ve talked to the guys and the project rights will stay with me so I’ll link them as soon as something happens.
Post of the Month – January 2020: Plans
I thought of putting some specific plans here but … I’d like to keep it vague so I can set my pace myself. Plans are usually very dependent on my current state of mind, uni and other things I have limited to no control over.
I would like to get into making some Youtube Videos – though I am a little camera shy – and get a little more into media studies content-wise. I’d love to talk about some basics and maybe some film history. That’ll give me the chance to practice some cutting and editing as well … Both can be fun but can also be very torturous. I am working on putting some of my Toko Cosplay Process into video form.
I’ve started to get really into Foley and I’d love to record more sounds – maybe get my own personal little library started – so podcasting seems like a good idea for starters.
I am working on a private podcast project and I have some research for an episode – to clear some starting points – and I have some ideas for further episodes yet I’d have to do some more research. It’s not going to be about media but more about darker topics, yet I don’t want to get too much into it.
I also have a second idea I’d like to follow up on that has some more relations to media … Yet it still has a true-crime element to it … We’ll see.
I’ve also been collecting some short film ideas that I would like to get into soon. As soon as my exams are over I set myself to get into writing.
On to February
I think that’s it for this month … I hope everyone had a great one and let’s see, what February will bring.
As always I’d be incredibly grateful if you could check out any of my Social Media:
But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean.
Darkness lies within all of us. And if there’s one thing that brings it out perfectly it’s loneliness and isolation. Let’s dive deeper into: The Lighthouse
Director: Robert Eggers Writer: Robert Eggers, Max Eggers Year: 2019 Country: America, Canada Cast:
Ephraim Winslow – Robert Pattinson Thomas Wake – Willem Dafoe
Length: 110 min
Where and how do I start? What is actually happening in this movie is actually hard to grasp and even harder to describe. To this day I am not quite sure what I actually witnessed. That is part of the experience though. So I recommend you still keep an open mind. This is why I will only give a very short, very rudimentary summary:
A young man takes a job with a reclusive lighthouse keeper all the way out at sea. The men don’t necessarily get along. The rough forces of nature, as well as the isolation, don’t necessarily make life easier and soon weird things start happening: Mermaids and dead birds and the weird seductive calling of the light …
Spoilers may be inevitable!
One visual aspect of this movie that isn’t particularly hard to miss: It’s black and white!
Most people I know would probably – in some way or another – react negatively to a modern movie completely filmed in black and white. And that it is including my fellow media studies students (Not all of them, obviously, since I went to see the movie with two others). It gives the movie an antiquated feel and that is something a lot of people would probably associate with boredom.
Black and white – An antiquated concept?
Why? Well, it could be due to the fact that we are very much used to seeing what in the olden times would be referred to as “talkies”. We’re used (diegetic) sounds: Dialogue, Foley, Ambience … It’s all part of the experience. We’re so used in fact, we seem to forget that film is a visual medium in the end. Sound should not be necessary to understand what’s going on… It does make the experience more exciting – I think great sound design is an art form in and of itself! – but it also makes the experience more comfortable. You don’t have to exhaust your eyes watching … You can just listen and get on with other things. I am very guilty of this as well: Right now, I am “listening” to youtube videos in the background.
But at times it feels as if we’re not able to deal with movies that are still very much visual and visual only. They are not boring per se but they are harder to watch because you actually have to watch them!
So naturally, I admire filmmakers going against the grain (That and I am also a pretentious and petty bitch).
Let’s talk about sound first …
As already stated: The lighthouse is filmed entirely in black and white. And looking back on it: It doesn’t have much of non-diegetic sound (not much music), and not much of diegetic sound either. There is very few dialogue – at least for the most part – and the whole island seems to be bathed in silence. This makes the sounds there are – the spoken words, the specific tones assigned to specific symbols – so much more powerful.
One can never produce anything as terrible and impressive as one can awesomely hint about.
… and get back to colours later.
But that is not the only pair of masterfully used contrast you notice when watching The Lighthouse. To get back to what I was actually hinting at: Black and White. Light and Dark. I like the vintage vibes of this movie. I really do. It fits in perfectly. I also feel like the black and white look gives it – surprisingly enough – more depth. Due to information being missing – colour – and the film being visual in nature – again: You have to really watch! – it demands the viewers’ attention. At all times. And even if you’re always watching: There’s still a chance you might miss a lot.
One very important symbol throughout the film is the lighthouse’s light. Pattinson’s character is not allowed anywhere near it, yet it seems to call him. Dafoe’s character seems to protect it with his life. Due to there being no colour the contrast in light and dark speaks so much louder and clearer. In particularly dark or bright scenes there is almost no information on the screen at all. We’re blind or blinded, just like the characters. Light – as it so often does – does not bring clearness or knowing to a situation. It makes it even harder to grasp.
Burly Men at Sea
Intimacy. Most of us would probably consider it a good thing. A great thing even. Some of us would probably conflate it with sex (Which … Boo! You can be intimate without being literally intimate!). It means being open with somebody. Having someone who knows aver tiny thing about you. Someone you can be yourself with … Complete and utter intimacy … also means being completely bare. Completely naked. Easy to attack. Having nowhere to hide. And soon intimacy turns rotten, spoilt. Especially when forced upon you: Your parents entering your room unannounced, a roommate without boundaries, sharing a room in a hostel, a partner that’s a little too attentive … You’re stuck. Can’t leave, can’t hide, can’t lie. You’re being forced into intimacy with a person you barely know and soon the relationship turns toxic.
The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination.
When two men live all alone on an island, caught thee by a storm, bound together … Things are about to get ugly. The relationship between the two lighthouse keepers does not start well and it does not end well either. Just like the ocean’s waves, there are ups and downs in between. Sometimes they seem to even grow together, form a bond. Friends? Father and Son? Lovers? Yet every bit of positivity, friendship, openness seems to shred itself sooner or later. Being forced to be open with each other makes these men grow further apart … And soon it is unsure whether they ever even met…
We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
Lovecraft and the Ocean
There is something quite Lovecraftian about this movie: Whether it’s the old-timey look – as if the movie sprung from a different time – the secret horrors, always lurking, or the ocean: An all-powerful force all too prevalent.
Tales of outsiders
Lovecraft used to say about himself that he felt as if he were born into the wrong time. A feeling some of us – especially us artsy types – can somewhat relate to … Being born into the wrong time. Around the wrong people. How could life have turned out if that weren’t the case? If we were just a little bit luckier. This feeling of not fitting in is something your average Lovecraft scholar may be well aware of: Not only have they felt it (I mean why were you reading good old H.P. in the first place?) but they are also well aware of it being a very prevalent theme in most of his tales. Stories of outsiders that are incredibly hard to pinpoint time-wise.
The Lighthouse already feels very Lovecraftian in that regard. The black-and-white look, the minimalist sound design, the lighthouse motive … All of that gives it an incredible vintage feel. Whilst other movies this year went all out with CGI, epic scores, massive costumes … All of those things, trying to prove how forwards, how modern, how on-trend they are … This one stays quiet. It is an outsider amongst other stories and it seems to have been made years back; yet that’s what makes it so charming.
Not only is it an outsider amongst its contemporaries … It is also the story of two outsiders. Both men have secrets; They both don’t seem to find solace in each other; And they both are completely cut off from all of society.
Insanity in the Water
Also a very Lovecraftian motive. He loved to isolate his protagonists socially and locally as well … But that surely is not all: All throughout the film, Robert Pattinson’s Winslow seems to fall deeper and deeper into madness and insanity: At first, it seems to be just him adjusting to the new situation: A new job, new people, new location… It all seems less than ideal. The further the film progresses the deeper we dive into the craziness until we wonder whether everything we just witnessed was anywhere near true or whether it was all just a fever dream.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
You start to wonder: What is real? Is this just a nightmare dreamt up by a lonely man? Is one guy trying to gaslight the other into insanity – we have Willem Dafoe’s character hinting at different symbols all throughout the movie? Or is there really something unknown, something deeper, scarier … yes, even something of cosmic proportions hiding beneath the waves? What if it’s the ocean’s doing? What if something is hiding behind the light? Simply blinding humanity, acting like a guide through the darkness but in the end simply leading us towards it.
Into the unknown
Winslow finally finds a way to get to the light in the lighthouse – something that had been forbidden all throughout – simply for it to have tentacles reaching out towards him … Maybe that’s nothing more than the images ripped from an insane man’s had or maybe it’s much more. Maybe the unknown finally got what it wanted: Like an anglerfish, it managed to lure its prey and is now finally able to devour it. We will never know, just as we will never know whether or not we are being watched by something similarily sinister at this very moment. Which is what gave both Lovecraft’s stories and this movie its intrigue and it’s scary potential.
Fear is our deepest and strongest emotion, and the one which best lends itself to the creation of nature-defying illusions.
There’s nothing particularly scary whilst watching (or reading), the true horror comes from thinking about it. From being alone with your thoughts. From being alone with the unknown. Some of the situations may even seem so bizarre that they may almost be funny at first glance. And comedy and horror are very similar if you think about it: Both are a form of catharsis, both have victims and both deal with deep and dark fears of humankind. They’re just different in their way of going about it. And the lighthouse could have very well been a comedy with me just missing the point.
The Shadow over The Lighthouse
One Lovecraft story I felt particularly reminded of while watching The Lighthouse was The Shadow over Innsmouth. With the latter being one of the first Lovecraft stories I have ever read I must confess: I have some very specific feelings of love and nostalgia for it. I remember listening to it on my way through Newzealand, driving along the rough cliffs and steel-blue ocean.
In the said story, our protagonist finds himself in the oceanside town of Innsmouth. The town itself does not seem particularly extraordinary at first glance but turns out quite peculiar on the second. You see, for decades the women of Innsmouth have been “breeding” with mysterious ocean-dwelling creatures to better their offspring. Said ocean-dwellers are very close to what we would probably consider gods. The children springing from said relationships – however strong and powerful they may be – do not come without dangers …
I’m gonna stop now. I can only recommend you read that story yourself, you can do so here.
I feel like at this point I should talk about the mermaid. And well … her mermaid vagina. If that is not enough of a hint to you, here’s on: The following paragraph(s) may get a little graphic. I’ll be talking about themes of sex and consent. If you do not feel equipped to be confronted with these topics – DO NOT CONTINUE READING. I’ll add a pointer to where you can go on, in case you want to finish this post.
Winslow finds a little mermaid-statuette between the sheets of his predecessor and decides to keep it. Later in the film, he seems to be haunted by apparitions of said mermaid herself. It is not sure, whether she truly does exist – is she more of a siren, playing tricks on his mind or just a mere figment of his imagination? She pops up a couple of times around the film, always seeming to be somewhat stranded on land, helpless, unable to breathe or talk or communicate in any other way. She seems to be trapped, just like the protagonists. Again: Is she truly there? If yes, is she as helpless, as she seems? Or is all of this just a trick, to lure him in? An illusion, sent by the unknown to further its goal?
The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.
Towards the end of the movie – the situation is (slowly) escalating – he is shown having sex with the mermaid. At least we’re supposed to think so. Again, intimacy and loneliness are prevalent themes. And a lot of people conflate intimacy with sex.
It is kind of interesting and weird, though: The mermaid is shown to have an opening (cue Awkward-Lilly now) where a human woman would. All throughout the act, she doesn’t really seem to show any interest in it at all (neither does he by the way) it seems to be almost painful to her. And indeed: It’s worlds colliding. Now, I’m not sure about the consent of this situation. It doesn’t fully seem to be a wanted occurrence … And it is very uncomfortable to watch. There is nothing positive or romanticized about it and it only further promotes the fall into madness.
Disclaimer over. You should be able to read on now.
But is it even happening? We’re never sure whether the siren is even real. And it is a very interesting choice indeed, looking at it historically: The idea of the mermaid (at least over here in the west) originates from sailors’ stories. They’d see sea-dwelling creatures such as manatees or dolphins – which from afar would almost seem like humans with fins attached – and their lonesome minds would turn them into unreachable but beautiful women. It’s a myth created my lonely and horny men that in and of itself blends reality into fantasy. Sounds familiar?
It’s also what really made my mind go to The Shadow over Innsmouth while watching The Lighthouse. Humans and Fish-People procreating. Winslow in this situation does not care about consequence – all aside from wondering whether this situation is real or not. He is messing with powers he cannot comprehend and he may have just brought the first stone rolling … Or he may have not. Nothing matters anymore.
The Lighthouse – Senseless sense
In the end, I still don’t know what to make of The Lighthouse. It was an experience and I feel like I should watch it again … But it doesn’t seem to make it into my list of personal favourites. Maybe that’ll change after a few more watches? Maybe I’ll find something to make everything be more coherent … Because like many people’s: my mind does not like to be in distress. It would like to peace things together perfectly. And maybe that’s the true strength of this movie: To show us how little it takes to introduce a little bit of insanity into our lives.
Imagination is a very potent thing, and in the uneducated often usurps the place of genuine experience.