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.

Monday, February 27, 2012

And The Academy Award Goes To...

Many people think of awards shows-- especially the Oscars-- as elitist. The Academy. Who are those people anyway? Famous, rich people giving gold statuettes to other famous, rich people. Congratulating each other. Why does anyone care?

I don't feel that way at all; I never have. I've never missed an Oscar telecast, even as a little girl. I've always watched it LIVE, the old-fashioned way. To me, they are inspiring.

When I see someone win an Academy Award, I see that it's possible.

The Academy Awards is a celebration of movies. It's a way to recognize the powerful history and legacy of motion pictures while shining light on the professionals who continue to aspire to excellence in their respective fields.

Movies have touched me and inspired me in so many ways throughout my life. That's why I re-routed my life so I could work on films and experience all the details that have to come together to make those films happen. That's why I write stories that I hope will make it to the big screen someday. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

On Oscar night, I'm reminded of why I came here. That dream is re-ignited, and that's important because big dreams are hard to follow sometimes. When I see people from my hometown and people I know (and have worked with) as nominees, as winners, I truly believe it can happen for anyone, even me-- a girl who grew up in Nebraska having no connection to Hollywood.

I'd like to thank the Academy and its 5,783 members for continuing the Oscar tradition that began 84 years ago. Thank you for giving film professionals a shining moment they will remember for the rest of their lives.

And thank you for inspiring the rest of us to keep trying...

Congratulations to every single NOMINEE and the WINNER of last night's show.

I hope you all slept in this morning.

©2012 by KLiedle

Friday, February 17, 2012

She May Be Lively, But I Don't Get It

Whenever I see the covers of OK and Star and In Touch, I realize they're all the same magazine. I feel the same about the stars they write about. Maybe I'm just getting older, but I don't recognize any of them anymore.

They're all clumped together: leggy blondes with no distinguishing features. Some have kidlets that look exactly like them. Sometimes there's a dash of a Kardashian thrown in for extra spice, but I wouldn't know. I don't know what a Kardashian is.

Stars They're Just Like Us! screams the caption in every issue of those magazines. I keep flipping the pages-- looking for the stars.

Where are they?
Maybe they're so much like us that I can't recognize them anymore.

On rare occasions, an Emma Stone or an Ellen Page emerges from the crowd with some level of genuine talent and elusive star power, but it doesn't happen very frequently. And even Ellen Page has the capacity to annoy me. (Juno anyone?) And everyone missteps... ( The House Bunny, Ms. Stone?)

I don't watch TV. Maybe that's why I can't pick out a Gossip Girl from a line-up. Maybe that's why I don't have any idea who Blake Lively is. I certainly couldn't name anything she's been in. When I see her face, my mind responds with zero recognition. (In other words, I don't even know I'm seeing her face.)

However, the fashion world loves her. She's seduced them with some invisible power based on pixie dust and empty calories and Gossip Girl- equivalent wardrobe possibilities. What designer wouldn't want to dress a gossip girl? I don't blame Ms. Lively. I just feel like an ingenue should build up solid credits and flex her acting muscles before romping around in haute couture by designers with more name cred than she has.

In IMDB message boards regarding Blake Lively, one contributor posted the question:

Why is she so famous?
Several people posted theories, but no one had the answer. Maybe because there isn't one. What I do know is the question: Why is she so famous? could be directed to any number of faceless actresses these days.

Who crowned this new generation of stars
? I don't get it.

In a recent interview I read part-way, Lively admitted to having 600 pairs of shoes. Perhaps she should make a Goodwill donation and watch the Iranian film, Children Of Heaven, by director Majid Majidi. In that film, a young boy accidentally loses his sister's shoes and must share his own shoes with her for several weeks to avoid telling their parents.
Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film)

© 2012 by K. Liedle

Sunday, February 5, 2012

David Levithan's modern love story

The Lover's Dictionary: Defining The Nature Of Love

A dejected Charlie Brown famously said, "Nothing spoils the taste of peanut butter like unrequited love."

Years later, Woody Allen would believe "Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it." Lady Gaga would be addictively caught in a bad romance. And Lily Tomlin would plead with the world at large: "if love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?"

Do I believe in love? It's like asking I ♥ Huckabees. How am I not myself? Am I myself? Do I believe in love? Or is it a concoction like the word normal-- a theory to make us feel inferior and unsure of ourselves? It's intangible, unproven but proven, fleeting yet everlasting. Love.

It's like God and the Devil and heaven and hell all wrapped into one. It makes us float and giggle and believe in the very best of everything there is to believe in. It's magnetic and unpredictable. It makes us believe in magic, fairytales and happily ever afters. It tempts us and taunts us. Sometimes, it makes us do things, reckless things, we wouldn't normally do. It makes us stay in relationships much too long. It makes us postpone decisions, settle for what's right, what's wrong, what's stable. What's love?

It's hard to capture and hard to hold. It chases happiness and hides from sadness, but sometimes sadness finds it. And like bloodhounds, loneliness and jealousy and hatred can sniff out its trail, too. When it's good, it makes us lace fingers and curl into each other's arms. When it's over, it makes us curl into a ball. Alone. Starting over from scratch. Again.

Love is confusing. And complicated. Defined yet undefinable.

The Lover's Dictionary
, an experimental novel by David Levithan, explores this very thing. The novel originally evolved from a story that Levinthan had given to friends as a Valentine's Day gift. Released in 2011, I recently discovered it, or rather, it discovered me, as I believe books tend to do.

Levithan, a young adult novelist, best known for penning such fare as Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist, approaches the many facets of love through words. The novel is composed of dictionary/journal entries in which nouns and adjectives provide the impetus to exploring and understanding feelings, beliefs, memories, and experiences of love. The nature of love is beautiful. The hypocrisy of love is ugly.

The Lover's Dictionary is organized alphabetically, but the entries describe events and moments that are not necessarily in chronological order. As Levinthan states in one entry: "We do not divulge our histories chronologically. It's not like we can sit each other down and say 'Tell me what happened,' and then rise from that conversation knowing everything."

It's like he's saying that the only known is that we will never know everything: about ourselves, the world, nature, love, or even our most intimate lovers and friends.

Early on, Levinthan's unnamed narrator states: "There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself."

Who wouldn't want to be in love? It's like asking, who wouldn't want to be happy?

However, in another entry, a character thinks: "I am myself, and that is the point. Pairing is a social construction. It is by no means necessary for everyone to do it. Maybe I'm better like this…"

The moments described in Levithan's unconventional novel may be from one couple's relationship or that of many different relationships. It doesn't matter. What matters is that they reveal the intimacy, the truth, the uncertainty, and the undefinable nature of love.

"I've always been deeply terrified to really be someone's wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really," Marilyn Monroe once wrote in her private journal, while married to playwright Arthur Miller.

As another Valentine's Day approaches, remember this:

We all have our own moments. And love is not easy for anyone.

©2012 by KLiedle