What is this blog all about?

The main purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the things I do, in my everyday life, in order to improve my English. Since I am a very lazy person, I mostly read, and watch movies, and do things which make it possible for me to improve my vocabulary, my grammar and my accent without getting bored... So this blog is going to be about the books I read, the movies I watch, and some other things which I find relevant (or not)...

I hope you'll like it! Don't hesitate to leave comments if you have any suggestions concerning what I should write about!!

lundi 24 décembre 2007

And a partridge in a pear tree...

Christmas carol time, reader!!

Colmar is so pretty right now, all the trees are frosted, I wouldn't go out for the world and I curse myself for choosing such a ridiculour christmas outfit (No sleeves. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING YESTERDAY'S CLAIRE??? Why did you resent today's Claire so much that you wanted her to catch pneumonia???) But well, you know, it's christmas time, so even if my feet are going to turn blue, even if my fingers fall off, it wont be sufficient to ruin my mood.

It must be the sugar I guess, from all the bredalas my mother baked... I don't know if you know what a bredala is, reader, it's the name of the little cookies we eat at christmas in Alsace. Well, some people bake them, and the blessed rest eat them. While the others keep baking in order to keep the stock high enough to feed the whole Russian army, in case it comes on foot all the way from Russia just to come and say hi to my grand-mother in Oberentzen.

Anyway. The purpose of this post is not to talk about Christmas in Alsace, the purpose of this post was to get you singing "and a paaartriiiiige in a pear treeeeeee" at the top of your voice (the only real way to celebrate Christmas...) and to wish you a very merry christmas time!! I hope you'll have a really nice evening and all the presents you have wished for, and send you lots and lots of love from Colmar!!
PS: Here's a special mention for my sister Marion, who'll come later this year, from Belgium, and for her boyfriend V, who's going to have a lonely 25th December (If I understood everything properly...) I just wanted to tell you that we'll keep smoked salmon and a little foie gras for you guys!!! Can't wait till you're here!

vendredi 7 décembre 2007

Om Shanti Om

Well, Reader, there's been a miracle!! A sarian miracle!! ("Oh, Lord, there she goes again, the saree business is back..." I can hear you reader!!! Be careful!! I know you're already feeling lonely and all, I know I can't afford to lose you, but be careful!! I'll throw you out!!)

So yeah, there's been a sarian miracle tonight, which might lead to great progress as far as my saree-wearing career is concerned: I might not have to have blue-green armpits anymore from today on! Indeed, I have finally decided to attack the sewing on the arms, and there was some kind of trick (I guess it's for Indian women who intend to wear only one saree in their lifetime, they keep some space in case they'd gain weight...) and you can make it one size bigger just by un-sewing the thing!! I don't quite know if I'm making myself clear, right now, but I'm extatic, because now I can actually breathe!! and my arms don't look like sausages anymore!! The blood can circulate to my hands again!! Which means I'll be able to write autographs when I'm a Bollywood star!! (That's about two months from now, reader, just so you know... you can prepare the wedding presents already. I hear Shahrukh likes his china blue. So blue china, please. And we also don't have a TV. The full wedding-list will be published soon anyway...)

I take the opportunity offered by this (incredible!!!!) saree event to tell you about my latest Bollywood discovery and the ensuing reflexions. Yeah, Reader, I do think once in a while, and no, it doesn't hurt too much, thanks for asking. I just watched Om Shanti Om, the latest Shahrukh Khan movie, and I was kind of disappointed in it... I mean, it was cool, of course, really funny, and Shahrukh does make me happy, I feel like smiling everytime I see him. But still. I think there's been a big problem with Bollywood lately, which has been caused by two paradoxical events: They have become more and more successful and they worry more and more about not being successful.

Look at Karan Johar. He made real Bollywood blockbusters, which blockbusted all over the world, and not only because of "non resident indians," but because other people, from other cultures (like me!! Hi! I'm Claire, by the way. And I do have a brackets problem). Really good movies, intelligent, moving and great. And he said "Bollywood movies need to improve their quality in order to conquer the world." I said: Gooooo team Johar. But then he shot Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, and I figured what he meant by "improve their quality" was "make a pale imitation of bad american movies" -not "get proper subtitles"-, and what he meant by "conquer the world" was "sell a lot" -not "spread Indian culture all over the planet"-. I'm not saying Bollywood movies should not sell a lot, I know they can't stay "underground" forever, and one day everyone is going to know that my crush on India is owing to corny-cheesy-curried movies. But still. What's the point of exporting Bollywood if it's not Bollywood anymore?

Exactly the same problem goes with Om Shanti Om. The dialogues are not better, the costumes are not prettier (see that photograph on the left?), but you can see that more money's been put into the movie. That's not what I call better quality. When you compare it with Farah Khan's previous movie 'Main Hoon Na', you can see that this one is very self-congratulatory (is that a word? I don't know, but you see what I mean anyway). You can see that even though the movie really is cool and makes you feel good, it was not meant to be a good movie, it was meant to seduce, and sell a lot. But it makes you feel a little like the filmmaker thinks you're an idiot. Some scenes are really funny, as I said, I liked the movie as a whole, and would recomend it, because it's original and funky, but I just felt like saying what was wrong with it.
Anyway. My goal is not to deter you from watching Bollywood movies, please don't get me wrong, it's still one of those little things that make me happy as a person. I could watch Bollywood movies forever. But I think they need to make a choice, now, and I'd appreciate it if they chose to stay who they are now, or who they were in 2000. I think that's the only way for them to achieve real success, and really manage to sell a lot. Pretending to be Spielberg won't help, and they are not good enough in this area to succeed.
Well, I'll go to bed now, Sorry if you did not enjoy this post for lack of knowing what I was talking about. I'm in my Indian phase again tonight. If you did not know what I was talking about, though, go ahead, google the names, a whole new world is awaiting!! Hmmmmm chicken palake.... ^_^

Try a little tenderness

Hey reader!! Well, as I promised, I went and saw "My Blueberry Nights" yesterday evening with my friends V, A and A so I figured I'd tell you about it!

I was kind of tired when I went (I had some kind of trouble taking my train the other day, fell off, hurt my ankle, got barked at by a homeless guy's dog who did not like my lying on the ground, and then I fainted, and made a complete show of myself (I'm very good at that, really). Now my knee is bright blue, with nice litte red and green streaks, which is very disco-pop)... anyway... I mention it just because if you go see it, you might find it completely corny, but I liked it, so I'm making excuses...

Well, first of all, the casting is brilliant of course. All of them were great actors, no one annoying like SJ (I'm not writing her full name on my blog, I can tell you!!). Of course, you could see the end coming, it was very very predictable, but then again, you could also see Jude Law, which is always a good thing. There's something about that guy... I don't actually like him, I think he's a little annoying in interviews, and I don't always like the movies he plays in, but there's something really attractive in his looks, I can't put my finger on it (too bad ^_^)... It's not just that he's handsome, I don't know, it's something else... I think he's got the exclusivity...

If compared to the only other Wong Kar Wai movie I've ever seen (In The Mood For Love), I'd say it was less original, and probably less worthy of everyone's attention, but still, it was really cute, and all the characters were really sweet, you wished you could be their friends too. And as for the "blueberry pie complex", okay, okay, it's not very original, but still... It made me feel better, hearing Jude Law put things this way. (Now that I've said the movie was "cute" and "sweet", from a girl who loves musicals and just wrote a post about Enchanted, I bet you think you won't be able to sit through it, but really, go, go ahead, it's really good. Won't sprain a neurone, might not change your world, but if you're looking for a really nice evening at the movies, that's the one to go for. Gets you In The Mood For Love, though, which can get a little depressing.

Anyway. I guess I'll move on now, go study for my Law exam (ugh, Lord, I haven't even PRINTED the stuff yet!! How in the world am I ever going to be able to read it through and learn it by next week? I think it's hopeless. I think I'd better go straight ahead and watch the BRAND NEW SHAHRUKH KHAN movie which is nicely waiting for me in the living room... I'll tell you about it as soon as I've seen it!!)
Good evening Reader!! A bientôt!!

dimanche 2 décembre 2007

A hundred posts or more...

Big news reader!! It's my hundredth post! I don't know why exactly, but it makes me feel happy!! A nice, round number!

Apart from that, I just wanted to tell you about my latest movie-experience... which was, "Enchanted" with Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey (I seem to be going to the cinema every other day, recently, it's weird, but it's really nice!). I am no "Grey's Anatomy" fan (I never saw a single episode, though I hear they're really good), and I did not like his looks too much, so for once, I did not go and see a movie just because of the casting. And it was really cool.

The first five minutes are a little tough, because you need to get back into your ten-year-old self, but once you're into it it's really really funny and entertaining, in a very classic kind of way. it's not as funny as Mulan, for example, but it's more of a classic Walt Disney, so if you're into Cinderella and Snow White, go see it, you won't regret it. I was not able to wipe the grin out of my face for at least an hour, and that's exactly why I went and saw the movie.

I liked the characters, Amy Adams plays really well, and so does everyone else, Patrick Dempsey, as I said, convinced me straight away, and I really liked the Prince, and the squirrel of course (that was kind of the same effect as the cat in Shrek 2, it's just so cute you can't help liking it.)

So yeah, reader, go see this one as well, join me in my cinema-going campaign! Next on the list, "My Blueberry Nights". I really don't know how this one's going to be, but I'll keep you posted! (I'm sure you can't wait to know my opinion about "My Blueberry Nights"...)

Have a nice day reader!!!