choisissez n mélange OR 'pick n mix' - Somehow calling this department of the newsletter something other than 'monthly favourites', "things I've been loving" or 'weekly recommendations!' makes this seem a little less youtubey and beauty blogger-esq; but its basically the same. Also, having it in French made it seem more bearable too?!
I have really been enjoying has been revisiting old gems of things. Places, faces, books, pictures and familiar films i've held fond memories of throughout my life. Inviting these things back into our lives is a reassuring and warming act of kindness for our souls.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is put yourself first, to help yourself so you are able to help others. To make yourself happy, so you are able to make others happy too.
In light of this, I wrote a review of my favourite film (which, if you haven't seen - you must!)
If films could smell, what smell would Amelie be? Duey and arid, like freshly cut spring grass? The sweet smell of, homemade Lemon Cake? Or the warm, adorned scent of a beloved relatives apartment?
I often entertain how a film affects my other senses; those not limited by sight and sound have a broader impact on you and provide a far more immersive, lasting experience. The 2001 Jean Pierre Jeunet film, Amelie does just this by enchantingly telling a simple and beautiful tale of a simple, yet beautiful girl. Played by the beguiling Audrey Tatuo, Amelie is the "Madonna of the unloved", impelled to complete quests of bestowing joy onto the ignored and wounded. This harmless creature does however, artfully punish the cruel and belligerent; a romantic robin hood. But this imperfection only makes her, and the film, more engaging and lovable.
I found Yann Tiersons' soundtrack struck an elegant balance between lulling and invigorating sounds, complimenting the film's contrasts perfectly; an basic story led by a captivating girl. Songs are nostalgic and romantic, they have heart and soul and subsequently imbued themselves so far into the tale that, the picture would seem lost without them. The footage of this French marvel was a treat too. The talented Bruno Delbonnel kept audiences invested in the film with clear, dynamic and emotive shots; capturing Tatou's portrayal of this curious imp-like soul perfectly.
So, I was sold into the world Jean-Pierre had so magically constructed, falling only deeper with the close ups of Tatou's deep dimples. With familiar faces effortlessly animating the scripts' bemusing characters, the director magnifies their quaint quirks (obsessions with garden knomes to incessant popping of bubble wrap) but also celebrates the normalities of life in every medium, not skimping on catching the subtle sounds of keys unlocking a door, creaking floorboards, rumbles of the subway. To make room for these indulgences, considerable events (A La Princess Diana's death) were pushed from focus. Jeunet weaves this theme throughout, giving beauty to the monotones of life and inadequacies of us, to our strange rituals and faults. This is no more encapsulated than by the album Amelie finds and feels it her mission to return to its owner. It comprises of a collection of torn up deficient passport photographs, accumulated from various Parisian train stations. Nico, its owner and consequential lover of Amelie, carefully pieces together these discarded photos, forming a lovable exhibition of personalities. What I love most about the film, is these minute details are awarded attention and acknowledgement. That despite the unexciting activities, faults and great despairs of daily life; there are always positives to be celebrated.
Amelie is film is baked to perfection, to my taste at least. And although garnering mild controversy when released, the film accumulated a heap of satisfied spectators upon release and 17 years on, I am certain its garnered a few more pleased viewers.