THE MINIMALIST
Moonrise Kingdom: Review

Wes Anderson made another masterpiece that will take us back into our childhood when all of our dreams are possible and that first love can last forever.The romantic-comedy film Moonrise Kingdom centres on two young lovers, Sam and Suzy, and their escapade to a secret place where they can build their life together and be in love.

Directed and written by Wes Anderson and Roman Capolla. The film was also produced by Wes Anderson together with Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson.  Set on Rhode Island from April to June 2011.  It received positive reviews from critics and nominated on different awards.

It all began in a house at Summers End where Mr. and Mrs Bishop live together with three sons and a 12-year old troubled girl Suzy Bishop (played by Kara Hayward). His brother was playing a Benjamin Britton record. All throughout the music was a glimpse of the everyday life of Suzy’s family, panning from left to right. The narrator introduced a detailed account of the island of New Penzance, where the story happened in the year 1965.

On the other end, Camp Ivanhoe is a small camp run by Scout Master Ward. Leaving his tent to do his everyday check of the status of their camp, everything seemed to be in place; with the scouts attending to their duties and responsibilities, until Scout Master Ward noticed that someone’s missing during their breakfast. When they checked the tent, Sam Shakusky (Jared) already left, leaving only a letter of resignation from Troupe 55. Scout Master Ward reported the “escaped khaki scout” to Captain Sharp (starred by Bruce Willis) a local police officer. He then informed Sam’s parents of the escapade of their son only to find out that they will not invite him back to their home when found.  Captain Sharp got confused but Sam’s unconcerned father declared that he’s “emotionally disturbed” and that Sam is just their foster child.

With the eagerness to find his escaped scout, Scout Master Ward gathered his troupe to have a “non-violent search party”. Captain Sharp also did his own search party asking everyone of Sam and eventually landed on Suzy’s house at Summers End. It was then witnessed again by Suzy of the secret love affair her mother and Captain Sharp are having through her binoculars after he visited their house.

Sam and Suzy first found each other at St. Jack’s Church. It was a Noyde’s Fludde play of Noah’s Ark where Suzy’s part was a Raven. Because of Sam’s boredom, he decided to look around the church landing on the girl’s dressing room where his eyes caught Suzy and fell liked her right away. After the play, Suzy gave him a note telling Sam to write to her. They began writing to each other, sharing little details of their life and their hatreds. After some time of exchanging letter, they decided to run away together. Sam and Suzy finally met in the meadow like they agreed to. They began their journey together to their secret destination.

During their adventure, Sam exercised the survival and camping skills he learned from the camp while Suzy observed with her binoculars. While resting they did an inventory of their stuffs where Suzy brought a record player, her favourite record, her favourite books, and some other things. Sam recognized that the books were from the library and asked Suzy why she stole the books when her family’s rich. Suzy explained that she’s planning to return it and only did that to have a secret to keep.  Sam laughed at Suzy that resulted to a teary eyed girl. But eventually Sam apologized for his fault and let Suzy read her favourite book to him.

Inside Suzy’s house at Summers End, Mrs. Bishop was looking for her to have dinner only realizing that her daughter ran away from home. Mrs. Bishop found Suzy’s letters from Sam where they exchange details about their life and complimented each other.  It then began to have a search party of the two fugitives nowhere to be found.

The search party of scouts cornered the two in the forest that ended in a bloody battle. Sam and Suzy escaped continuing their adventure -leaving one scout injured and one dog dead. The two love birds reached their destination named Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet. They celebrated their arrival jumping in the sea and dancing to Suzy’s favourite record.  Their relationship deepened as they declared their love for each other and shared their first kiss. But their romantic days were over after being found in the morning by the search party.

The two were miserable after being apart. Sam stayed at Captain Sharp’s home since his foster parents disclaimed him, while Suzy was back again at their house in Summers End. Captain Sharp and Scout Master Ward are upset after the social service called for the turnover of Sam at a new foster home for dangerous kids. The scouts of Camp Ivanhoe had a change of heart with a plan that will reunite the two lovers and help them escape. Now all of Troupe 55 including Suzy are fugitives for escaping the camp.

They all head towards Fort Lebanon where a cousin of the Khaki Scout is employed. Upon the arrival at Fort Lebanon, Sam and Suzy explained their situation and their love affair. Cousin Ben offers to make an impromptu wedding to bless their union. Though, the wedding will not be legal due to their age and no legal permission from the parents, it will still hold an emotional significance which was fair enough for the two. Soon after the wedding, they boarded to a sailboat to escape but went back because Suzy left her binoculars and Sam had to get it.

Sam was confronted by the injured scout that Suzy stabbed. Because of his insults Sam can’t help but attack him. The endless shout ratted that Troupe 55 was in Fort Lebanon. Troupe 55, Sam and Suzy was chased off camp on a lightning rainstorm. It was the rainstorm that New Penzance Island had been preparing for. Sam got hit by a lightning but survived.

Back at New Penzance Captain Ward, Scout Master Ward, Social Service and Suzy’s parents are on their way to retrieve the missing kids to Fort Lebanon. Commander Pierce was disappointed on Scout Master Ward’s irresponsibility and incompetence. They were preparing to leave the camp due to the heavy thunderstorm when a flash flood hits them. Commander Pierce was trapped inside a cabin but was rescued by Scout Master Ward.

Meanwhile, back at St. Jack’s church, all swarmed together for safety. Troupe 55 was also present together with Sam and Suzy whom are hiding under costumes used in the play. The adults fought about the betterment of Sam. After too much squabbling they found that their fugitives escaped to the roof of the church. With a solution in mind, Captain Sharp asked social services to permit him in taking care of Sam just to make him near Suzy. He knows that the two are being intangible for fear of separation. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop certified that there are no laws abiding the adoption of Sam. When the two were about to jump, they shared their soon to be last kiss and thanked each other.  Captain Sharp, just in time, informed Sam and Suzy of the great news. The roof was struck by lightning and left the three hanging by a rope.

The thunderstorm left a great deal of damage to New Penzance. Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet was erased on the map. But Suzy and Sam continued seeing each other and are still n love. Sam visits him everyday climbing in and out of the window without the full awareness of Suzy’s parents. Captain Sharp began to train Sam as an island police officer while living with him. The movie ended on a painting created by Sam with a name of Moonrise Kingdom.

 

REVIEW

This is not just the typical romantic-comedy film produced for the past years for it has this certain theme that will capture its audience. I’ve seen the film for about five times and never grown out of it. The more I watch it, the more I get to love the characters and the story. It reminds me of summer when I feel like I have an infinite time to discover the world.

Wes Anderson took the opportunity to write about love that is pure and innocent that was greatly portrayed by the characters. The take of every scene was done artfully with the panning of the cameras as if you are walking with the characters and taking 1960’s lifestyle and fashion into film gives us a vibe of belongingness in the past. It takes us into a love that is classic without the technology that make everything easy today. It makes us remember of longhand writing of love letters that we dearly wanted to receive from our lovers. The spontaneity of the story provides its viewers a comical rhythm to enjoy.

The music inserted on each scene was researched on a full scale as to make the film grand as well as harmonious to the scene. It’s musical vibrancy enlivens every scene that will not makes it audiences bored. Visually speaking, Wes Anderson takes us into a reality depicted in a setting of sophisticated art of the 60’s. with a mixture of French and American vibe, the story was balanced into an adventurous, romantic and comedy feel.

The movie was actually intended for adults, of course, having such big stars including Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and the newbie leads Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Still it is acceptable to be viewed by young audiences. But Wes Anderson wanted his adult viewers to turn the clock counter clockwise back into their childhood and first loves and wanted his young viewers to know more about love. The lightness of Moonrise Kingdom gives its viewers a fresh feeling.

Sam and Suzy share a different kind of love. Unlike other teen romance that fall in love out of looks and curiosity, both characters developed their fondness of each other because they sense that they have a bond that cannot be easily broken. With their simultaneous exchange of letters, eventually the two were able to know each other. They displayed interest with one another in the hopes of getting together someday.

Their runaway adventure makes me think of the Little Rascals and their teensy weensy love reminds me of films such as Flipped, Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging and a lot of Submarine. I love how Sam, being open-minded and smart, still elucidates being a kid when he told Suzy that he might wet the bed at night.

If we look closely into Suzy’s character, we can tell that her childhood have gone by fast because she already acts like an adult and even thinks like one. It was Sam who eventually made her feel young during their adventure. But I still love Suzy for being mature, especially when she told Sam how she can see closely through her binoculars.

For a typical viewer, it may seem like the movie displays no social relevance of such but if we dig deeper into to the story other than their love, t is that a child’s innocence and way of thinking is an after effect of how they were raised. Suzy grew up in a family where her parents are not in love with each other and thought of her as a troubled child, to which she had taken seriously. Add the fact where she witnessed her mother having a secret affair with Captain Ward that eventually develop into hatred towards her mother.

In Sam’s case, growing up with no parents and hated by people, he developed a personality that is annoying to others and unhealthy for him. He turned out to be a young man looking for someone that will understand him and accept him: a person that he can call his home to which he found in Suzy in some way.

Both of them take on their issues on a different scale. Sam venturing his issues on adventure and other interest such as paintings and cartography while Suzy channelling her depression into reading and observing through her binocular. Both of them have odd personalities that compliment each other. Sam is outgoing and talkative and Suzy as berserk and unsociable. The two of them possess an intelligence that is not of young age but of an adult. The feeling of falling inlove for the first time, the power it posses and how the kids act on their love seriously. Because mostly, young love are often ignored by adults saying that it will soon fade away.

Not only Suzy and Sam displayed a matured character but the other members of Troupe 55. The serious acting of each actors and actresses is kind of funny. Every character in the movie has its own distinct personality. Even the scouts of Troupe 55 can be distinguished. Sometimes, it seems like their world was reversed when the adult one act childish. Wes Anderson took into liberty to create a comedy where the characters are realistic and natural and not the type who are trying hard to be funny. He knows precisely how to execute a romantic-comedy without eliminating the purity and innocence of the young characters.

Also in the movie, the only family that is complete is Suzy Bishop’s family but it’s as if they are not a family at all. We can see that Wes Anderson is trying to make a family out of people who are strangers to each other. They only have each other to protect whether or not they are related by blood. Every characters are irresistible with all of them seeming to be in trouble.

 I really love Wes Anderson’s idea of making snail mail as their form of communication. Because as we may see in today’s era all of us are ran by technology. Letter is a lost art. And Wes Anderson takes it into consideration to relieve that art in his film Moonrise Kingdom.  The movie is worth the celebration and praise for Wes Anderson’s unique cinematic talents and his compelling characters. 

1 year ago | 1 note
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erksine: A Review

Kathryn Eskine is an American author of children’s literature.  She has written three books including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature “Mockingbird”. All of her books have received awards from different categories. Her books are all about young people or simply called as children and the complex world in front of them.

Kathtryn’s work is not far from other children’s book author. They all have a humorous yet poignant way of writing their novels to touch people’s heart. Compared to a similar author Lisa Yee, Kathryn’s stories are focused more on children with special abilities and how they deal with it. In comparison to Alan Silberberg and Jonathan Safran Foer, they both took the same path in writing which is how kids tries to find closure in dealing with the death of their loved ones.

 Kathryn’s inspiration in writing the novel is a real life event of shootout in Virginia. She adopted Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird as a reference to her novel. I cannot compare her to Harper Lee in respect to the great author but I will celebrate Erskine’s honesty that her novel Mockingbird was inspired by his novel. It is read all over the book how To Kill A Mockingbird made an impact on the character’s life.

 In the worldof a ten-year-old, Caitlin Smith, everything is seen and understood in a totally different way. With no mother around and the sudden death of his big brother Devon, her dad is just having a hard time to cope up with the loss and Caitlin have no idea how his dad is feeling for she too is having a hard time dealing with her own self.

Mockingbird is beautiful and heart-warming story of a young girl with Asperser’s syndrome. The story is told on the pont-of-view of the main character Caitlin. It gives us the insight of how she sees and understands everything that revolves around her.

Caitlin is mocked by her fellow classmates because of her character. Mostly, people see her as very awkward. Dictionary is what she considers as her friend. When she encounters an unusual word she would explain the meaning of it. She has a rule with what to wear. She doesn’t like colors because when the other color mixed with the other one, she can’t tell what the color is and she hates that. For Caitlin there are only two sides and no middle. Only good and bad. Sad and Happy. Black and White. All those in between is what she hates the most for its difficult for her to understand. Unless explained by her brother who is gone. (http://www.goodreads.com)

She also poses some mannerisms, such as chewing her sleeves. Caitlin tries to be nice most of the time so that she can get a star from her father in their list of “your manner” – a chart that her father did to check on her manners where she can get a reward after getting seven stars for being good. But most of the time, being nice for her is perceive as rude to other people. Of course in Caitlin’s mind what she did or said is right because that’s how she does things and she is being honest but people misunderstand her kind gestures. During those situations of difficulties, she misses her brother. Devon always teaches her what to do and say in any situation. He explains things to her that makes sense that others can’t. That’s what she likes about her brother. Whenever people use figures of speech that she can’t understand, it must be explained so she won’t take it literally.

The story began right after the death of his brother, Devon. Everyone in their community was devastated with the tragic incident that recently happened, accounting the death of three people including Devon. The shootout on Virginia Dare Middle School made the town mourn for the great lost. Caitlin knows that her brother is dead and is gone forever but she never really felt how emotionally it is to lose someone. She misses her brother but she cannot really express how he misses him and so she began to set forth in looking for an answer.

Mrs. Brooks is Caitlin’s counselor at school who helps her talk about things. She is trying to help Caitlin deal with her issues and the state she and her father are going through. What Mrs. Brook wants to do is to make Caitlin have some friends- true friends that she can talk to and share her feelings. But Caitlin refuses to do so for she doesn’t know anyone friendly enough to be her friend. Also, she believes in “personal space” which she often talks about since Caitlin doesn’t want people too near to her. She also wanted to help Caitlin feel emotion and empathy- which she really hates because she can’t understand how it works.

Mrs. Brook gave her a routine which she will have to mingle with the kindergartens during their free time. That is when she met Michael Shnieder; her first friend. Though their age is not the same Caitlin didn’t find the difficulty to be friends with him and that goes the same for Michael. Not only that they understand each other in a very childish way, they also share the same condition- death of a loved one. Michael’s mom was also killed at the shootout together with Caitlin’s brother. They always talk during recess about different things – death, father, stars and so on.

Then during one talk with Mrs. Brook, Caitlin encountered the word closure and tried to find the meaning of it.  Eventually, she became weary of all that is happening with her life and wanted to have closure. She misses her brother. Her dad is always sad and cries inside the bathroom. One thing to stop all of this is closure which she doesn’t know how to do.

In her quest on finding closure, Caitlin encountered a lot of difficulties. First is losing her friends Michael to one of her classmate Josh who is often misunderstood as a bully. Josh is the cousin of the murderer. A lot of people are blaming him for his cousin’s sins.

 Second is that her attempt in being friendly turned into a humiliation. Third is when the gym teacher bawls at her as an autistic. Sixth is that Mrs. Brook is out of town and she has no one to talk to. And lastly is that her father won’t help her find closure. The only thing that keeps Caitlin’s mind off the hook is her love for drawing - which she is really good at.

Then after some time of lying around her brother’s room and spending time thinking of closure, her infinite thought have settled down on doing one thing- finishing Devon’s Eagle Scout project. His brother’s big dream is to get the reward of being an eagle scout by finishing the chest that he and his dad have been doing before he got killed by the man with the gun. Caitlin thought that by finishing the chest, she and her dad will get closure. It lies on the end product to eventually feel free of the sadness and longing that is surrounding them.

After convincing her father to continue with the chest, they work on the project day after day. Caitlin was finally socializing again beginning with a group project with her classmate Emily whom she hates for being too loud even if there is no talking in the hallways rule. Her drawing skills were being recognized by a lot especially in her class. His friendship with Michael was beginning to tie up again after learning that Josh is a nice friend to Michael. Every time that both she and her dad worked on the chest, Caitlin manages to put a smile on his dad’s face with a simple remark that she kept on repeating.

She had the sudden feeling of empathy on her brother. For his death. On how her brother must have felt to lose his life suddenly. How sad that his brother will never get to experience a lot of things because he’s already gone. Then she began to cry not for herself but for her brother. That is when she felt empathy. Now she knows what empathy means because she now feels what the other person is feeling or must have felt.

After finishing the chest, with all their blood and sweat put to effort that turned into a beautifully crafted Eagle Scout chest, they decided to donate it to the school as a symbol of closure. Caitlin realized that not only she and her dad needed closure but everybody in their small town needed closure. Not all of them experienced the death of a loved one but all of them are in longing on those people who were lost.

Kathryn Erskine did a really great job in writing the Mockingbird. She made it a point that to use the protagonist point-of-view so that her readers will understand people with Asperger’s syndrome. I liked how she began the story with death because mostly this type of novels would end the story with death or put it in the middle. In here, Kathryn let us cohere on the journey of Cailtin in dealing with life without the person she really looks up to. Instead the author made us see another side of the story. The side where she will discover herself and slowly change by her own voluntary instinct. The way the character pull together and grow made me fill very proud of Caitlin. Even though Devon’s character was already dead, I can still feel his huge presence in the story because of his role in Caitlin’s life. In the book, not only Caitlin’s character was described but his brother’s too.

It is very easy to understand, but at some parts you will have to read twice to understand the character which is good since the author wants us to think that the readers also have asperger’s syndrome. The author’s objective of putting yourself on someone else’s shoes has been greatly executed in the novel. A lot of people think that they understand people with syndrome but without reading this story they may think twice of their knowledge of understanding how they think.

Other books that I’ve read with the similar type of story such as Wonder of R.J. Palacio and To Kills a Mockingbird gave us unique perspectives on the characters. The plot and twist of the story is easy and a perfect example on how to mix laughter and sorrow in one story. The story is written in a simple way in which readers of all ages can enjoy. While I was reading the book I can’t help but laugh and put a smile on my face because of the funny way the character tells her story.

Devon, Caitlin and her dad are inspired by the characters of To Kill a Mockingbird. I feel like both characters of the story are well revised in Kathryn’s novel. She also put some similar character to her story from To Kill a Mockingbird. The only difference is that her protagonist have Asperger’s syndrome in which in To Kill a Mockingbird, everyone is just normal.

In comparison to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Mockingbird have a simpler way of telling the story. With Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the character is also looking for closure to the death of his father. In finding closure he did a lot of adventure and met a lot people in looking for what he thinks is the last treasure hunt from his father. While in Mockingbird it simply settled on finishing his brother’s Eagle Scout project. It goes the same for The Catcher in the Rye of J.D. Salinger that had a day of adventure on finding himself and how to begin his life again.

With another story, It’s Kind of a Funny Story is another twist for it deals with suicide attempts. Though they are similar for many reasons such as that both characters in It’s Kind of a Funny Story and Mockingbird both use drawing as a type of therapy to keep themselves at ease and dissolve from the world. It’s also quite similar to The Curious incident of a Dog in The Night Time of Mark Haddon. But with the story, it is not a person who died but a dog and the main character is trying to find the closure to the death of the dog.

To the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, I can really see the essence of the story and its familiarity to Mockingbird. Both stories spirit is that it is appalling to take on innocent people’s life. That to take someone’s life, not just by murder or any act of violence, is like depriving that person into experiencing the joyfulness that the world has to offer. Kathryn is trying to fit three different stories in one novel; she was still able to complement each story with one another without ruining the real essence of the story. You can see throughout the story that To Kill a Mockingbird’s character was adopted in her novel.

 All stories have similarity with Caitlin’s character. All are finding closure for something and with the help of people surrounding them, they finally realize that closure is within themselves and not some kind of crazy adventure or school project to finish. It is only them that will help themselves with the change.

I like reading this type of stories- a story of which I can understand people that are suffering from something psychological or dealing with death. It gives us a reality that is truly experienced by some people. Though it is a fiction, I know that at some part of the world, someone is having the same situation.

REFERENCE:

www.goodreads.com

1 year ago
24th

2-22-2013

Last day. So sad. I accompanied Sir Mike at the shoot today. He asked me to search around quiapo for possible location shoot. I used my charm and communication skills to ask different people to make the shooting possible

I also did an MOS as a spiel for the segment. Right after that, we came back to ABS. Miss Khulet made me do a transcription for the interview.

then i was back to basic office duties.

1 year ago
23rd

2-21-2013

It’s a sepcial day because I was reunited again with my closest ojt’s. We all went with Sir Mike to have a shoot on segunda mano. Unfortunately my story was not accepted but good enough that they have a reserved one for segunda mano segment.

Just like with other shooting scene, we assisted the writer with everything. i was assigned to dictate the next scene. Sir Mike told me to always read the script so that I know how it works. I also suggested ways to make the scene look good on camera.

They also asked me to search for potential talent for the shoot. I really like Sir Mike because I learned a lot from him today.

1 year ago
22nd

It’s my first day on my last week at OJT. Sir Bien asked me to come with him to the shoot. it was about the conjoint twins. The shoot was located in Quezon City are only. When we got there, I kind of felt heart broken to see the conjoint twins and their situation. 

Of course me, being a researcher, I asked so many questions to the mother. I also asked Sir Bien about the work system at different shows of the news and current affairs. I learned a lot from his stories. 

When we got back to the office, I was back again to reality with all the office works. 

1 year ago
21st

2-15-2013

Friday again is the hassle day. everyone in RK is in motion because of the studio shoot with Miss Korina. Sir Kim asked me to do some research about  Baysa Negros Occidental. Then he also asked me to call some hotels for reservation for their shoot. It wasn’t a hard task but the hard part is that there are no hotels near the shoot location.I even asked for the help of Department of Tourism and the Negros Occidental local government to ask for the nearest hotel at the shoot. Eventually after hours of phone call and internet search, we found a nice  but cheap hotel. 

I did all the permits again and other new duties assigned to me. It was kind of a funny day because I did the voice over for RK. The editors of Konsepto are already close to me so they teased me after I recorded the voice over.

1 year ago
20th

2-14-2012

It’s tsinelas day again today. I really love our tsinelas shoot because Miss Vicky always trust me to make the design of the tsinelas. Today, I had a bigger thing to do because the researcher, Miss Kat, can’t come with us so I had to do all the duties a researcher must do during a shoot. I was happy that I did all my task. I also had to teach the new ojt’s on what to do during the shoot. 

After the shoot, Mama Ona made me stay at the editing room to help her with the editing of video since I was the one who knows about the segment of K-pop.

1 year ago
19th

2-13-2013

There wasn’t much to do at Rated K today. But I helped Miss April to search for the contact numbers of the k-pop music distributors for the copyrights of the songs. It was so hard to contact them because they’re not sure who handles k-pop music in the Philippines. eventually, we found the right person and emailed him. Then mostly all I did today was office duties.

1 year ago
18th

2-12-2013

Today, our call time was 6 am to have a shoot on K-Pop again at Cavite. Miss April was very nice and funny. When we met the case study, we were very happy because they look so much like Koreans. I assisted the camera man with the instructions on how to make the video look like the original music video.

We had a really long day,

1 year ago
17th

2-9-2013

There was also a shoot the next day for my case study. this time it’s an all girl group kpo cover. I was sort of dissapointed because the original member of the groups were absent and that they had to look for substitute. miss len was also dissapointed because we expeted them to be very goodlooking.

1 year ago
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