Movies & Films Review: Boyhood

This Boy’s Life

By Johnny Pomatto

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Director Richard Linklater has always been fascinated by the effects of time.  His “Before Sunrise” series has successfully followed the romance of two characters over 18 years, with nine-year gaps in between each film.  When a new “Before” film comes out it’s up to us to figure out the details of what has transgressed over the last 9 years, just based on their current, real time interactions and conversations.  Linklater’s new masterpiece of a film, BOYHOOD, takes things a step further.  Linklater filmed his actors over 12 years, taking his young protagonist from age 5 to 18 in the process.  In sharing with us the adolescence of a boy named Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, Linklater has provided us with not just an unforgettable character, but he’s done nothing short of a creating a life.

From the opening shot of Mason gazing up into the clouds, I was half expecting the tone of BOYHOOD to be almost dreamlike and surreal.  It seems like it would be easier to shape a life that would have to evolve over time if you kept things abstract and vague.  However the world we see between 2001 and 2013 is very familiar to us.  Mason loves “Harry Potter” books, and his sister, (played by Linklater’s daughter Lorelei) sings the latest Britney Spears chart toppers.  The in home lighting effects have that warm, bright florescent glow of what we remember from our own homes.  This is very much the world as we remember it from the last 12 years.  You might catch yourself reliving memories of your own as you watch Mason and his family during a particular time and place.  For the first half hour or so of the film, I was hyperaware of anytime there was a change in Mason’s appearance.  I’d instantly notice when a year had passed and then thought about what events the characters may have experienced in the previous year and what they might have to look forward to in the next one.  However, I got over this pretty quickly once I became fascinated by the characters themselves and not the world around them.

One can imagine that Linklater had a few plot points he wanted to hit on when he first started this project, but most of the trajectory of the characters seems to be based on how the actors grew up and matured over time.  This is film does not present Mason’s life as a series of greatest hits.  Events that are typical for any young boy’s life are brushed over or avoided entirely.  We don’t see Mason lose his virginity or try drugs for the first time, but still we know these things are happening.  We’re able to fill in the gaps and piece together what we’re missing just from the behavior and changes that we observe.  Mason’s family goes through many changes as well.  His parents, (played by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, both turning in the best performances of their careers) don’t just serve as support for Mason’s journey.  At times, their story is just as compelling and crucial in shaping who Mason grows up to be, and vice versa.  Arquette in particular stays with you, as seeing her attitude about motherhood change throughout the tale, perfectly encapsulated by bookending scenes at both ends of the film.  She begins the film saying “I went from being somebody’s daughter to suddenly being someone’s mother,” but a mere 12 years later you see how her attitude on motherhood has changed as she looks to an uncertain future of no longer having caregiver be a part of her identity.  One guesses that this woman probably doesn’t even remember a time when she wished to have a night unburdened by the presence of her children.

There are some tense years in Mason’s life, particularly when his mother marries an abusive alcoholic.  But for the most part, Mason’s life is mild and uneventful.  You keep bracing yourself for something big and possibly tragic to happen.  We see Mason and his friends carelessly messing around near some sharp tools, he fires a shotgun for the first time after getting one as a gift, and all the children seem to narrowly avoid danger when the stepfather is drunk behind the wheel.  But Linklater never makes the mistake of interrupting Mason’s journey with a life changing tragedy.  If something horrible did happen to him, then this would be a movie about that event and it would diminish the moments that led up to such a thing.  Mason is maturing and changing all the time, but no single event or instance ever defines him.  No matter what we see him go through, we know he’s going to get past it and move on to something else, as we all do.

As I left the theater with a friend, we walked by the poster for the film we had just watched.  There was Mason again, five years old, lying on the grass, and looking up at the clouds.  It was shocking to once again see him as a child after we had come so far with him over the years.  I felt like a parent, stumbling on an old photograph and was suddenly flooded with memories of an adolescence that I had just observed.  And I began to wonder about Mason’s future as well.  I don’t know if Linklater plans to revisit Mason in the way that he revisited Jesse and Celine in the “Before” movies, but whether he brings us another film in 15 years called “Manhood” or if it’s just left to my own imagination, I can’t wait to see what lies in store for this boy next.

Hear more of Johnny Pomatto’s reviews on his podcast MOVIES AND FILMS WITH JOHNNY AND FRIENDS available on iTunes

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Happy Weekend!

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Greetings from sunny California! By the time you read this post, I will be sitting on my parents’ deck overlooking a sea of pine trees and enjoying very dry heat! I hope you enjoyed our posts this week. If you’re planning on seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this weekend, you should read the review from guest blogger Johnny Pomatto. Hopefully it’ll motivate you, as it was his favorite blockbusters of the summer. The reason for my California trip is for the wedding of my two dear friend which is why I was inspired to write this post about wedding attire. So check this out if you haven’t already. The week started off strongly on social media. As you may know I love Twitter and I spend a large portion of my time tweeting with my favorite bloggers and readers. But by the end of this week, I was burnt out and I found myself needing to take a break from social media. I’ll be back Monday but, for now, I am going to shut off my computer, read a book, relax, and enjoy quality time with my family. I hope your weekend is as good as mine will be and I’ll see you all next week for my new stories!

 

A Night at the Museum

Have you ever wanted to spend an evening after hours in a museum?  Last week, I had a very special evening when I attended The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Young Members Party.  It was thrilling to get the opportunity to dress up in a festive cocktail dress and my designer shoes and spend the evening feeling connected to the arts and New York City.  There was a definite “Night at the Museum” vibe when I was strolling through the empty galleries and was able to have my own private showing of the extraordinary paintings and sculptures.   Several wings were open to the public, including the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit.  I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to view the gorgeous gowns while the museum was closed to the public.  I was blown away by the exhibit and pleasantly surprised by the projections demonstrating how James crafted each piece.  This was truly the highlight of my night.  I had plans to view the exhibit, of course, but to be alone in the room without swarms of people made it a very special experience.   If you haven’t had the chance to visit the show, you must!  Charles James created works of art and the dying technique of couturier is a sight to behold.

For the party portion of the night, we took in the breathtaking sunset views of midtown and Central Park from the rooftop, enjoying the Dan Graham lyrical sculptures of curved steel and glass.  Most of the guests congregated there while we sipped rose until the crowds made it unbearable.  Ending the evening in the main entrance hall, my husband and I danced the night away to a band playing Gershwin and Porter.  To say that I was on cloud nine is the understatement of the year!  Alas, the clock struck midnight, the evening came to an end and I floated away with music still playing in my head.  I don’t often attend such posh events, but now that I have gotten a glimpse of how the other half lives, I want more!

See images of the fabulous evening below!

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Questions? Comments! Feel free to connect with Eat.Shop.Live.NYC on:

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Wedding Guest Style Guide

If you are going to a wedding this year, one thing is for sure, you’re going to need a fabulous outfit!  Now, most of us don’t get off with just one wedding a year, and now that wedding season is in full force, you’ll probably need more than one ensemble.  Every couple has their own unique style, but this often means that one wedding may be a daytime garden event and the other black tie.  I know what you’re thinking:  black tie in summer?  But it does happen!   My tip for you is pick a dress that can be easily dressed down, such as a basic summer maxi, so you can wear it again.  As for a garden and/or backyard wedding, the key is to keep it comfortable and laid back while remaining festive.  For a garden wedding, I feel it’s best to wear separates.  That way it is versatile and you get more than one use out of it.   I know it may seem overly complicated, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!  These two wedding guest style guides show how to be effortlessly chic, no matter what the dress code is, without upstaging the bride.

For even more outfit ideas, check out my “Wedding Guest Style” collection on Mavatar.  Happy shopping!

 

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1. Humble Chic – Multistrand Beaded Necklace | 2. Jules Smith – Allie Ring | 3. Jigsaw – Blue Depths Silk Top | 4. Jigsaw – Blue Depths Silk Skirt | 5. Gigi New York – All in One Bag | 6. Franco Sarto – Orlina Pumps

Wedding Guest Style Guide

1. Stella & Dot – Reverie Chandeliers | 2. Julie Vos – Coin Stone Charm Bracelet | 3. Mango – Blush Beaded Collar Gown | 4. Vince Camuto – Horn Clutch | 5. Mendbur – Milan Satin Sandal

Questions? Comments! Feel free to connect with Eat.Shop.Live.NYC on:

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Movies & Films Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Human See, Monkey Movie

By Johnny Pomatto

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

In a summer that has given us almost exclusively forgettable, insulting sequels, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has come to save the day.  When the previous installment, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” arrived a few years ago, we were right to be wary.  After all, the sci-fi masterpiece that was the original film had been desecrated by several enjoyable but increasingly silly sequels, and Tim Burton’s 2001 remake, one of Hollywood’s biggest misfires of the millennium.  But “Rise” was a glorious origin story with obvious respect for its source material, without constantly referencing it with cutesy nods and imagery.  Best of all, it introduced us to Caesar, played by Andy Serkis who proved more than ever with that role that motion capture could produce performances strong enough to make you forget you were watching computer animation.  Caesar was just as real and engaging as the living, breathing movie stars, such as James Franco.  Finally we were given a “Planet of the Apes” movie that wasn’t about a Charlton Heston stand in reacting to talking monkeys.  Caesar was our protagonist and we were eager to follow him anywhere, even knowing full well that his actions would eventually lead to the downfall of mankind.

Continue reading

Weekly Finds

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Happy Friday everyone!   Did you all have a good Fourth of July?  I don’t know about you, but after a long holiday weekend, I always have a tough time getting back to my daily schedule.  I was definitely more distracted this week than usual, which is why, I was shocked at how quickly it went by.  How is it already the weekend?  I am excited for a semi-quiet break.  Tonight I’m going to listen to the New York Philharmonic in Central Park, and tomorrow is a dear friend’s birthday celebration. One thing high on my list of things to do this weekend is shop!  I’ve been participating in a lot of online “window shopping”, but I like to go into a real store every now and then.  I know that it’s going to go by in a blink of an eye, but this summer has been so busy that I am trying to make every day count!  One thing about this week was that I did a lot of procrastinating on the Internet.  So I wanted to share with you the links that I found most interesting.

MAKE A GAME OUT OF IT:  Why should guys have all of the fun?  Now us girls can too!  BattleShop takes the idea of fantasy football and turns shopping into a game! Find out the rules here and discover how exciting fashion can be!

HAPPY BASTILLE DAY:  This weekend, trade in the red, white and blue for le bleu, blanc and rouge and enjoy free tastings of a French essential: Authentic Dijon Mustard!  Click here for details.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO:  One thing you may not know is that I love award shows.  I try to hide it, but my interests go beyond the red carpet.  The Emmy nominations were announced Thursday, and in my opinion, they got a lot wrong. What do you think?

9 TO 5 STYLE:  Asos has introduced a premium daywear line called, Asos White.  I can’t decide which piece I love most; I guess I have to get it all!

PERFECTION:  Fall 2014 Couture shows were held this week in Paris.  My favorite so far has to be Elie Saab’s exquisite collection.  If only I had somewhere to wear them to.

FITNESS:  Do you ever find yourself in the situation where you have to go somewhere after the gym?  Here’s how to leave the gym looking good without affecting your workout?

COCKTAIL HOUR: High on my list of places to try is Gallow Green.  Located in Chelsea, this rooftop bar is known for their artistic cocktails and a lot of greenery. You’ll feel like you’re in a garden.

TECH:  Do you want access to all of the latest information about fashion right at your fingertips?  Then check out this stylish app: Regalia.

PIN OF THE WEEK: Technology has made letter writing almost extinct,but after coming across this stationery, I’m going to bring it back!  Who wants to be my pen pal?

Questions? Comments! Feel free to connect with Eat.Shop.Live.NYC on:

Facebook , Twitter & Pinterest

 

Currently Coveting

The problem with blogging is I am always thinking ahead and, as we are past the Fourth of July, I feel summer is slipping through my fingers.   I, for one, am determined slow down and really enjoy the months ahead.  Whether it is sitting outside for dinner, reading on a blanket in the park, or forgoing the subway for a walk home, I am loving this summer and plan to make the most out of it!  After all, fall will be here before we know it and the boots and layers will come out of storage.   But don’t panic; we’re not quite there yet!  Instead of sticking to my usual all black or nude ensemble, I have made it a mission of mine, to embrace this season’s vibrant hues and prints into my wardrobe, beauty, and home.  The following is what I am currently coveting this July that will bring this season a whole new lease on life!

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IN THIS POST

1. Bauble Bar – Raw Geode Collar Necklace | 2. Vita Fede – Mini Titan Stone Bracelet & Titan Bracelet  | 3. Nars Orgasm Collection – The Multiple Stick | 4. Celadon Garden Stool | 5. blackandytypeshop print | 6. TopShop – Lace Trim Romper | 7. Dune – Henrietta Barley There Sandals & J.Crew – Mirror Metallic High-Heel Sandals | 8. Zara – Mini City Bag     

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