This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ssssh... Speaking Of The Library

The bumper sticker says I ♥ My Library. It's stuck to a car that belongs to one of my neighbors. I don't know which neighbor. I've never seen the car's owner. I do know one thing though, we'd have something in common: I ♥ My Library too. In fact, I go to the library more often now (as an adult) then I ever did as a kid.

As a kid, my library card gave me entry to ONE branch library. In Bellevue, Nebraska. The two biggest downers were that it was small and you had to drive there. This was long before I could drive, but long after the days when I could read. I didn't go often. And I was annoyed that the only reason I couldn't check out books in Omaha branch libraries, was because I lived in a certain country that belonged to Bellevue, not Omaha-- which, being a much larger metropolitan area, had numerous branch libraries. Sometimes, I'd sneak by and check out books at an Omaha library but I had to lie and give my grandmother's address. This worked until they started requiring address verification with a drivers license or utility bill. Gosh darn it. I was boomerang-ed back to Bellevue.

Today things are different. In Los Angeles, I can walk to my local library. I go all the time. Probably more often than I need to (or should), but hell, I'm making up for lost time. And when I've exhausted the books in the English language section-- I can choose between a number of other branches nearby. The Los Angles Public Library System is quite extensive. I can check out books, CDs and DVDs at any of these branches I'd like, including Central Library in Downtown L.A.

As bookstores continue to disappear, a library remains a treasured, beautiful place. Sure, we can sit at home and surf the internet and read books on our Kindles and text people we may never get around to actually seeing. The library, however, is a place of community-- a meeting place where children and adults alike can learn about the world in which we live.

I always chat with the librarians there. They all recognize me. No matter how many times I go there, I always discover something new. I lucked out last time. Currently, I have several books by Alice Munro and the book, I Found This Funny, edited by Judd Apatow. If you haven't visited your local library lately, I suggest you do. Because a library is something you may not miss until it's gone, but a world with no libraries is a world I don't want to see.

The Los Angeles Public Library

©2011 by KLiedle

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Another Earth" in the aftermath of tragedy

I’ve always been fascinated by the stars. Curious about what’s out there. Amazed by the sheer vastness of the universe. Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), a young woman recently accepted into the MIT’s astrophysics program, is similarly transfixed.

At first glance, “Another Earth,” is about the scientific discovery of another planet just like our own. This planetary discovery is the headline story—announced on the radio and broadcast on TV. It’s all anyone seems to be talking about. This, however, only provides the backdrop to the drama that will soon unfold for Rhoda and the people affected by her partying and recklessness.

For Rhoda, the new planet is a curiosity that distracts her far more than it should. As a result, two human worlds collide. “Another Earth” is not so much about an astronomical discovery as it is about the shattered lives left behind by one person’s ill judgment.

Rhoda, gifted in the sciences, is not unlike John Burroughs (William Mapother), a composer, gifted in the arts. They are both highly intelligent people in their primes and at the cusp of something new. For Rhoda, it’s MIT. For John, it’s a second child. The ensuing accident irrevocably changes their connections to the world, themselves, and their disciplines.

In the aftermath, John becomes a near-recluse in his slovenly-kept home where he drinks too much. He is no longer a successful musician, a composer and a Yale professor. He no longer has a beautiful family with a baby on-the-way. That was his life before. This is his life after.

Meanwhile, Rhoda is released from prison and takes a low-level maintenance job in which she has little contact with people. At work, she’s paid to clean up after others, but all she feels compelled to do is clean up after herself. On the 4th anniversary of the new planet's discovery and thus, the anniversary of the accident, she reaches out to John in an attempt to pay for her sins in some human way. In the end, another Earth, a duplicate existence looming in the night sky, offers the possibility of a new beginning for them both.

How does one apologize for causing such a catastrophic event in someone’s life?

If you were to meet yourself, what would you ask yourself?

“Another Earth” explores more than it explains. It asks big questions, many of which it can’t answer. It contains some over-dramatized moments, but you come away appreciating what it's trying to say. It's about the healing power of music and the scars that life brings us. It's about apologies, resurrections, redemptions, rebirths, and getting to know yourself and your place in the world. In the end, I dare say, “Another Earth,” like a glimpse of heaven, is a very moving and spiritual experience.

Video/ Embedded from Youtube
Written content/ © 2011 by Kliedle