La-la land

It’s insane that I’m just getting to watch this movie now especially since it officially premiered at the 73rd Venice International Movie Festival on August 31st 2016 and released on December 9th 2016. I am however JUST getting to watch it now, so I’ve decided to make la-la land the first movie review on I, isa. Yay!

Okay, so I was very skeptical to go see the movie when it first came out for a spectrum of reasons,

1. I’ve never really known myself as someone who enjoys musicales or movies in that genre and

2. . I couldn’t really picture Ryan Gosling in a musical.

So, unlike a lot of movies that I wait on their release dates and go see it almost immediately, I took my time with this one and honestly, it was a good watch.

La-la land is an American Romantic Musicale staring two people who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles while pursuing their dreams

The movie opens up with this massive singing and dance routine on the highway in traffic and I was already laughing, but was pleasantly surprised at how almost amateurish the routines throughout the movie seemed. They weren’t sleek but they managed to leave me feeling filled.

As the movie progressed I began to see how much depth it really had. It boasts the combination of a perfect blend of comedy, romance, drama and just a refreshing light hearted watch

A movie with an amazing Director and writer (Damien Chazelle who also wrote and directed 2014 hit Whiplash), wonderful acting, great songs (Justin Hurwitz is a musical genius) and very tangible chemistry between the two main characters (with enough experience of performing together in past movies including Crazy, Stupid, Love), very deserving of the seven wins at the 74th Golden Globe Awards (winning in every category it was nominated)

I found it really interesting watching Mia (Emma Stone) at the very many auditions she took part in while chasing her acting career. As someone who has always been enraptured by the art of acting and performance, it was really an eye opener (however little) getting a more in depth look at the behind the scenes, the work, courage as well as the rejection that goes into following that particular career dream or any dream at all.

The movie also asked the question ‘How much of a priority should chasing your dream be given?’

As human beings, we all have dreams, things we want to do, places we want to go and people we want to meet. But, we also have bills, and payments to be made. Is it worth it going after your dream with rent and feeding, light and water bills, loans and payments to make? Is it okay to give up on your dream if it isn’t fetching much and not seeming to go your way to focus on a steadier job with steady income? How important is your dream? Should you give it all up to go after your dream despite how rough that road may be? Would you?

Now, let’s talk about the music.

The first song in the movie that really hit me (Mia and Sebastian’s theme composed by Justin Hurwitz) didn’t even have lyrics but still managed to give me goosebumps.

I felt every note every strike of the piano, I felt his breath hold and release as mine held and released, I felt the silence in the background, I felt the noise in the background. At that point, it was just me, the piano, the notes and the way Ryan Gosling’s hair kept falling into his face.

People generally react to art in different ways; whether it be music, dance, acting, painting, sculpture. People feel things differently and see things differently, so the courage in putting out music where all there is to it is feel is beyond me.

I would have been scared and in my head thinking that no one will see what I wanted them to see or feel what I wanted them to feel, that no one will get it. To people it would be just be another sound on just another piano but they did it and they smashed it.

And this is a huge part of what jazz is which is another aspect the movie brought to light; bringing back jazz.

I for one didn’t grow up on jazz (and still frankly don’t knowuch about it) but have over the years learnt to respect and enjoy it, the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus I’ve listened to and enjoyed.

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in this movie wants us to fall back in love with pure jazz; the one without electronics and computers, the one with just acoustics that selective and combative.

Today’s artists (subtly represented by Keith played by John Legend) prefer to think letting go of these conservative notions (the ‘neo-bop’ way) is the best way to save jazz.

This brings about the whole argument of what is real jazz and what isn’t. Did La-la land adequately express jazz with its idea on contemporary jazz or is the fusion jazz (like the likes of Esperanza Spalding or even Kendrick Lamar on his highly acclaimed album ‘To pimp a butterfly’ that payed homage to several genres including Jazz) preferable?

Is jazz really dying or are we just not looking hard enough?

The entire soundtrack had really amazing music (again, another nod to Justin Hurwitz) and another scene that really left me feeling goosebumps was the audition scene where Mia (Emma Stone) performed ‘The fools who dream’.

Here’s to the ones that dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

I couldn’t help but relate to the lyrics; I am one of those fools!

The locations as well were spectacular, summing up the American Dream and the passion the characters hold for Los Angeles and reminding all of us who have ever dreamed of going to Hollywood and joining the theater why we started dreaming those dreams in the first place.

I probably might have rewritten the end if given the chance and I remember screaming ‘what a horrible way to end the movie’ but almost immediately after started to realise how it wasn’t that bad of an end.

In summary, watching La-la land after two years was definitely worth while. If you have not watched it, I really suggest you do. Give it a try, you’d be surprised.

If you have watched it, please tell me what you thought about it and if you agree or disagree with me on some things.

Also, try and answer some of the questions; would you give it all up to go after your dream? How much are you willing to sacrifice for your ambition? Is jazz really dying?

I always love to hear from you so please, like, comment, follow, send me a personal request or message on my email

iisabellaoffthecuff@yahoo.com

Thank you.

Love always,

Isabella.

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The One Where ‘L’ Means ‘Love Yourself’.

A friend of mine once told me she was probably one of the most self conscious people she knew. “I like to think that it was caused”, she’d said, “that someone made me like this. But I know deep down that even if she did make me feel little, unimportant or ugly, it was all me. I felt little, I felt unimportant, I felt ugly. She might have said the words, she might have pushed all the right buttons, but I let it affect me. I let it get to me.”

“Do you know how I know that now? ” she’d asked.

“Because the moment I started to know that I’m beautiful, I’m special, I’m unique, there’s no one like me, I started to flourish. I had let her get to me for so long, because I did not feel special, important or beautiful. I did not feel it, so whenever I looked in the mirror, I saw what I felt; the little unimportant ugly girl.”

“But then, you see once I knew I wasn’t who she said I was, her words held no more ammunition. Sure, they’d sting, but I’d still look in the mirror and see a strong, special, beautiful and intelligent girl”

“You may look like the shit”,she’d went on to say, “but if you don’t feel it inside, it really won’t matter to you.”

I took a lot from her that day. Too much that it has stuck with me all these months after.

‘Living your best life’ comes from within. Once you have there convinced, it starts to show out. “You might look like the shit, but if you don’t feel it inside, it really won’t matter to you”. And it’s You that counts.

Not whoever made you feel down, not how many likes on instagram, not even the people who love you and tell you how good and beautiful and amazing you are, because in the end if you don’t see it, feel it, know it, all this wouldn’t matter.

I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect. No one is. Everyone keeps saying it; ‘Nobody is perfect’, so why are we all still killing ourselves to be? There’s so much more to the world, so much joy, happiness, adventure, even pain, and we cannot go through it all if we don’t even know ourselves enough to love ourselves.

How exactly can we love ourselves? Is it enough to wake up every morning and tell myself how much I love me? Is it enough to recite everyday all the reasons I should love myself?

Absolutely not. I cannot just say I love myself and ‘poof ‘ I love myself. Surely, that’s not how it works

For so many years I used to ask myself how one could possibly not love themselves, like it’s inbuilt in every one to love themselves first. Love your neighbours as you love yourselves. We must really have to love ourselves a great deal huh?

What happens then when we don’t? Are we now given the pass to show our neighbours as little respect as we give ourselves?

Until recently, the concept of not loving oneself was foreign to me. Strange that even whenever I felt down and self conscious or unhappy, I still couldn’t fathom the idea of not loving me. But then, did I really know what loving myself meant? Do you really know what loving yourself means?

In a way, yes.

Striving to make your tomorrow better than your today is loving yourself. It shows you’re not ready to give up on that life that was so Graciously given to you.

Allowing yourself to move past hurt is also loving yourself. You allow yourself to choose you, your happiness and peace of mind over pain.

Showing love to people around you is loving yourself because you can only give out as much love as you have within you.

Eating healthy, exercising, taking care of yourself, making good choices; that’s all loving yourself because you want to see you be better.

Talking to God is loving yourself because you value a relationship with your creator, because the human is body and soul and maintaining the soul is of utmost importance.

As much as we’d love to tell ourselves that the things people say about us don’t matter, the sad truth is that they do.

Each and every single one of us cares how we’re perceived by others. Why else do we dress well and practice what we say and how we say it before an interview? Why else do we smile and say ‘hi’, ‘good morning’, ‘how are you’? Why do first impressions matter? Why do we post pictures on social media?

Because we care what people think and we want them to think good things about us.

Another sad truth; not everyone is going to think good things about us or have only nice things to say.

We live in a world where we will have to take the good with the bad, because as much as there is good, there is also bad. How could we then possibly expect to balance this; people’s opinions of us, if we can’t even balance ours?

Don’t look at me. I’m not here to give all the answers. I do not know anything, so I can definitely not know everything.

What I do know is that contrary to popular belief, loving yourself is not easy. Loving Isa hasn’t been easy and I’m sure loving you; Ade, GG, Nonna, Kodie, Ose, all of you reading this, hasn’t been easy either. But we push on, and we fight, we work and put in effort everyday.

And that, my friends, is a lot.

To everyone that has been here from day one, thank you so much. To everyone just hopping in on our journey, welcome, Hi my name is Isa, what’s yours?

I gave a shout out to a few of our I, Isa family, and I’ll be doing more in future posts, so, if you haven’t dropped your name yet, please do in the comments or my email iisabellaoffthecuff@yahoo.com

It always means so much to me to hear from you guys.Tell me what you think, answer some questions.

How else can we love ourselves? Should we be given the pass to show people around us little to no respect when we’re feeling down? Why do we kill ourselves for perfection? Why do people’s opinions matter?

Feel free to ask questions, give suggestions and proffer solutions.

Have an amazing week ahead!

Love always,

Isabella.

Amor Perdido O No Amor?

Imagine a world where Juliet died and Romeo didn’t. A world after Augustus Waters’ death. Or a world where Guinevere rules as Queen of Camelot without Arthur by her side.

How does one get over the loss of such a love? How do you move on? When do you stop seeing their smiles on other people’s faces? When do you stop smelling, feeling and seeing them in every little thing around you? When is your heart supposed to heal completely?

Now, imagine a world where Romeo and Juliet never met; maybe she would have ended up with Paris and he with Rosaline. A world where Hazel Grace and Augustus didn’t attend that support group. Or a world where Gwen was just a girl and Arthur just a prince.Maybe all their lives would have been better.

That is the question.

If we could choose our fate; decide who we meet, where and when to meet them, would you rather not experience a great love knowing that it will inevitably end as a result of the death of this great love of your life?

What is the easier pill to swallow; going through life without a great love story or experiencing one and losing it?

Hi guys! How is everyone doing? It’s been a while I’m sorry, the entire week has been hectic but absolutely amazing (thanks to a wonderful friend). Please let us all tackle the question of today in the comments. What do you think? Let me know. Let us know. And as always, don’t forget to like, follow and send me a personal message on my email
iisabellaoffthecuff@yahoo.com
and dm me on our new instagram account @iisabellaoffthecuff. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful weekend!

Love always,

Isabella.

New Year, New Me?

It’s the beginning of a new year. There’s no way to get past, around, over or under it. It’s a new year and with every new year comes new beginnings. Right?
What are new beginnings? New year, new me? What is that? What is a new me? How is a new me supposed to look? Act? How different is she from the old me? Am I expected to completely change? Do all the bad habits I should probably leave in the previous year remain in the previous year just because I’m moving on into the new year? Is the fact that it’s now 2019 supposed to mean something?

There is no new me. Or at least I don’t see her. I’m the same girl I was on the 31st of December, a little taller, shorter, fatter, skinnier; maybe, but I wont consider myself new. I still watch the same series and listen to the same songs. I still talk to the same people. I still stay up late at night and yet complain to anyone who cares to listen that I’m not getting enough sleep. I still laugh to myself about jokes I heard days ago. I still get excited about the same things. I’m still curious about all the things that intrigued me in the past year. I still get hurt. I still cry. I still make mistakes.

What is the new me? Where is she?
Maybe I’d get to meet her if I cut off some people? Or if I stop watching the same shows? What makes me different in the new year?

Maybe there is no new you. Everyone just gets excited about new things; new cars, new phones, new boyfriends, new years.
The difference is in the why. Why do new things excite people? Why does the prospect of a new beginning seem to usher in so much hope?

A new car makes us think about all the many trips that can be made in it and all the memories that will be made during those journeys. It gives us hope that unlike the old one, it will not stop in the middle of traffic with fifty thousand other cars behind you filled with angry drivers and passengers honking, cursing and yelling.

A new phone makes us want to take new pictures, makes us want to explore. It certainly won’t crash or hang like the old one.

A new boyfriend or girlfriend makes us think of all the new possibilities; All the things we’ll learn about each other, the places we’ll go, the people we’ll meet together, the memories we’ll make, how much stronger a bond we’ll have than in our previous relationships.

And a new year makes us think about where we’re going, how we want to get there and what we’ll do when we get there.
It makes us think of setting new goals and planning out how we’ll achieve them. A new year makes us want to be more spiritual, know God more and talk to him more. It makes us want to focus a little more on our well-being, health and state of mind.
It makes us want to be positive; to talk about things that are going well and breathe life into things we want to see better, to be optimistic; because the world needs so much more of that.
It makes us want to see new good in people. It makes us want to improve everything around us; our home, school, workplace and social circles.
It makes us want to talk about now; not yesterday, not last year, but now. The present. We stop being distracted by the past. It makes us want to laugh more, smile more, have fun more, go out more, live more and be happier.
It makes us want to start. Whatever it is we want to start, it makes us see 365 more days to start and 365 more days to achieve.

Society expects us to know what we want to do, but sometimes, we just don’t. A new year gives us hope that as long as there is life, we have all this time, an entire year, to make things happen for ourselves, to know what we want and to go out and do it.

So, there is a new me. A me that wants to make things happen!

I might still talk to the same people and stay up late when I know I should be sleeping, but I’m also talking and thinking more about my goals and passions and working hard at them, I’m working harder at improving my spiritual life, I’m thinking more of where I want to be and what I want to do.

You see, that’s the magic of the new year; It gives us a clean slate to start on. It gives us all 365 more reasons to hope!

Love always,

Isa.

Hey guys! Please don’t forget to like, comment; tell me about your plans this new year or what you think we should talk more about as a society this year, and follow. Or just say hi. It means the world to me.

email: iisabellaoffthecuff@yahoo.com

Hi, My Name is Isa. What’s Yours?

Hey there,

This has definitely been a long time coming. I’ve had this blog up for a little while now, but the battle with my self to write something down and actually publish it, allowing people free reign to read and judge, has so far proven not an easy one to win.

This, writing, has and always will be a huge part of me because for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing and every word I put down, every sentence I construct, comes from within me, from the depths of my soul and the thought of sharing it publicly, is honestly very scary.

I’ve gone through a lot of thinking leading up to this, and ultimately, the raw and intense passion I have for writing outweighed all other fears I had about publishing this. I can honestly tell you that I’ll still be feeling the effects of publishing my first post on my blog long after its already been published.

So, all that being said, hi guys and welcome to my blog. It’s so nice to meet you. I’m Isabella.

This is a personal blog, so basically, we’re going on a journey together. Yes, you and I. And as in a journey, there’s a starting point and a destination. Our starting point is right here, in every word, and our destination; wherever we want. Between the starting point and destination, we talk. About everything and anything. We share our experiences, we talk about what is going on around us, we discuss books, movies, music, art, we learn about each other and learn from each other as well

This, right here, is honestly just a means for us all to decompress. There are 7.53 billion people in the world (as at 2017) ,we can’t help but sometimes feel small and it doesn’t hurt to have a space, our little niche where we just talk, laugh, learn, relax and just be ourselves freely and unapologetically, where it doesn’t feel like there are seven billion five hundred twenty nine million nine hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine other people. This is ours.

I would love to hear your opinions, stories, experiences and thoughts. We’re having a conversation and conversations involve me and you. So please, drop your comments here and send your suggestions, questions and thoughts to my email. If you have a topic you’ll want us to discuss, or a question you need all our advice on, or you just need a place to rant, people to rant to, or a reason to rant, this is the place for you. This is ours.

Remember, this is us having a conversation, getting to know each other and the world around us, don’t forget to drop your name in the comments.

Have an amazing week ahead and thanks for stopping by!

My email will be posted below for your personal questions and suggestions. I’m always eager and happy to hear from you.

iisabellaoffthecuff@yahoo.com

Oh, and welcome to the family. Cheers!

Love always,

Isa.