Blue Valentine (2010) :: Monday Movies

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Blue Valentine (2010) :: Monday Movies
Written by Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis and Derek Cianfrance
Directed by Derek Cianfrance

What’s your name?” ~ Dean

Go away.” ~ Cindy

Go away? That’s a weird name.” ~ Dean

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About the movie:

Blue Valentine is a 2010 film, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance. The film was co-written with Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis. The film originally premiered in competition at the 26th Sundance Film Festival. Michelle Williams (Cindy) and Ryan Gosling (Dean) played the lead roles, and also served as co-executive producers for the film. The band Grizzly Bear scored the movie.

The film focuses on married couple, Dean and Cindy Heller, shifting back-and-forth in time between their meeting, dating, marrying and the dissolution of said marriage several years later.

Michelle Williams received an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for her performance in the film. Michelle was twenty-one when she first received the script. Ryan committed to the film four years later, but filming did not begin until 2009, when Michelle was 29. Originally the filmmaker had wanted to film the “young” and “older” scenes several years apart, but lack of funds put constrictions and delays on the project.

The film was to be shot in California but production was moved to Brooklyn, New York and Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Michelle had wanted to stay close to her Brooklyn home to take care of her daughter, Matilda, so the director chose Honesdale due to its proximity to Brooklyn.

Ryan and Michelle improvised dialogue during the film. For instance, the scene where there characters wander through New York, was improvised. Also, before filming the marriage dissolution, Ryan and Michelle prepared by renting a home, bringing in their own clothing and belongings, buying groceries with a budget based on their characters’ incomes, filming home movies and taking a family portrait at a local Sears with the actor who played their daughter, and staging arguments between them.

The film was shot in Super 16mm and Red One. The former was used for the pre-marriage scenes and the latter was used for the post-marriage scenes. Andrij Parekh used only one professional light in the filming of the outside scenes, otherwise using only practical lights for the inside scenes.

“You & Me” :: Penny & The Quarters

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My Thoughts:

This movie crushed me when I first watched it. I felt so much for these two characters that I was shaken up when it was obvious there would be no resolution in the end for them. I kept wanting there to be a glimmer of hope, a moment’s pause, a small gleam of light in the distance. There was none though, and in more ways than I can articulate, that was the more realistic ending, and it is why the movie crushed me so hard.

After watching it for the first time I had trouble shaking the characters off of me. They stayed with me for days and days, and I kept going back and forth on deciding if it was one of the saddest movie I’d ever seen, or one of the best movies. Looking back, and revisiting now, I’d say it is very much both.

The story of Cindy and Dean is heartbreaking to me, and also very familiar. I have been there, been in that magic of first meeting and falling in love, and I have been on the flip side when it all falls apart, and I know exactly what that kind of decimation of love feels like. Scenes in this film felt ripped from moments of my own life and it hurt badly to watch. That dreamer in me kept holding her breath for a happy ending, even though deep inside I knew that there just isn’t one. Just like in life.

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I got us a song. You know, like our song that will just be for you and me.” ~ Dean

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) :: Monday Movies

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Written by Charlie Kaufman & Pierre Bismuth & Michel Gondry
Directed by Michel Gondry

You know me, I’m impulsive.” ~ Clementine

That’s what I love about you.” ~ Joel

About the movie:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind follows an estranged couple who have erased each other from their memories. Pierre Bismuth created the story with Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry. The ensemble cast includes Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Tom Wilkinson.

The title of the film is a quotation from Eloisa to Abelard, by Alexander Pope.

Featuring psychological thriller elements and using a nonlinear narrative to explore the nature of memory and romantic love, the film opened in North America to wide acclaim on March 19, 2004, and grossed over $70 million worldwide.

The movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and Kate Winslet received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Since its release, and initial recognition, the movie has developed a cult following.

“Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” :: Beck

My Thoughts:

This movie, my forever favorite film, touches something in me that is impossible to articulate, something beyond words, and typed out explanations. Since the first time I watched the movie I felt a deep kinship with the character of Clementine, so much so that watching her hurts sometimes.

Other times, though, it gives me a strange comfort in not being alone in my own flavor of fucked up girl-ness. I get her. I get Joel. I get what they have, what they lose, and what they fight so damn hard to hold on to.

This is a love story to me, the most real kind of love story, so perfect in all its glaring, fucked up imperfectness.


I’m not a concept, Joel. I’m just a fucked up girl whose looking for my own peace of mind. I’m not perfect.” ~ Clementine

Blue Jay (2016) :: Monday Movies

Blue Jay 1.jpg

Blue Jay (2016)
Written by Mark Duplass
Directed by Alex Lehmann

About the movie:

Meeting by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown, two former high-school sweethearts reflect on their shared past. The film marked the Duplass Brothers’ first film under their four-picture deal with Netflix. Netflix financed the film without seeing a script, but just reading a 10-page outline of the story. This allowed for a true independent film experience.

The film had no script. The actors were given a summary of the movie and their characters and the rest was improvisation.

Blue Jay was the first feature film for director Alex Lehmann. He also served as the director of photography and cinematographer of the film.

The film was shot over the course of seven days in and around Crestline, California. It was filmed on a canon camera without built-in recording or built-in power source.

The film’s score was composed by Julian Wass.

Blue Jay 4.jpg

My Thoughts:

Nostalgia has plot holes, but oh how I have such a soft spot for it. How many times have I thought about what it would be like to run into a past love, to have a day to spend together, to talk and re-connect, and share a moment again. Not just any past love, but one that mattered, one that had real significance. But, given that opportunity, is it not potentially loaded with emotional landmines that can, or most likely will, go off unexpectedly?

This movie hit very hard. I had a nostalgia reuniting situation recently, and it was full of wonder and magic and passion, and a hell of a lot of landmines that all went off eventually. Would I do it again? Yes. Would these two characters do it again? Yes, I think they would.

Blue Jay 5.png

This film reminded me at times of the second installment in Richard Linklater/Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy’s “Before” series, as well as Graham Greene’s book, “The End of the Affair”. The former because of the reconnecting of past lovers, and the day spent together, though to me “Blue Jay” had more hope and joy to it, even in the sad moments, than “Before Sunset” did. The latter (“The End of the Affair”) in the reveal that what you assume, and what you decide to say, is not always what you want, or mean. I do not want to spoil anything, but there is a moment where you see that things that happened, and things said, were not as true as they seemed at the time.

Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass are two favorite actors of mine, and they were brilliant in this. They had chemistry and ease and emotional deft that brought these characters immediately to life for me, and also pulled my heart around for the entirety of their day/night together. I felt so much watching this film. I laughed, I cheered, I sang-a-long, I hurt, I cried — a lot, and I felt — a lot, too.


I think what hit me the most was how lost Amanda seemed to be, in her life, and in herself. Jim is lost, too, but he seemed more cognizant of it, more recently aware. But, I felt like it was all hitting Amanda. Maybe seeing Jim joggled some of that in her; the experience of hearing her voice on the tape, coming head on with her younger self, as well as her first love. That resonated with me as I find myself wrestling with my own lost self, and traversing my way through it.

I loved the way these two connected to music in this, and how music played a part in their relationship, and their meeting up again moments. I love the black-and-white filming of it, the way it added to the starkness of winter in this small town, and the bleakness of being lost and being back home again. And, I loved both of these characters so much. When the movie ended I wanted so much more, but at the same time was good with where they left it.

Blue Jay 2.jpg

This is definitely a movie to be added to my all-time favorites list.

“No More I Love You’s” scene

Before Sunrise (1995) :: MOTD


Before Sunrise (1995)
Written & Directed by Richard Linklater

I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.” ~ Celine


List Films That Had a Big Influence On You :: FilmListography


List Films That Had a Big Influence On You
courtesy of Film Listography : Your In Movie Lists

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Written by Charlie Kaufman
Directed by Michel Gondry


Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.” ~ Clementine

2. Almost Famous (2000)
Written & Directed by Cameron Crowe


I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriosuly, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” ~ Penny Lane

3. Reality Bites (1994)
Written by Helen Childress
Directed by Ben Stiller


“You can’t navigate me. I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you ’cause you know I’m the only real thing you got.” ~ Troy

4. Chasing Amy (1997)
Written & Directed by Kevin Smith


You know, I didn’t just heed what I was taught, men and women should be together, it’s the natural way, that kind of thing. I’m not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from day one. The way the world is, how seldom it is that you meet that one person who just *gets* you – it’s so rare. My parents didn’t really have it. There were no examples set for me in the world of male-female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person, to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender, that just seemed stupid to me. So I didn’t. But then you came along. You, the one least likely. I mean, you were a guy.” ~ Alyssa

Still am.” ~ Holden

And while I was falling for you I put a ceiling on that, because you *were* a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who’d complement me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms, ’cause I got here on my own terms, and I have no question there was some place I didn’t look. And for me that makes all the difference.” ~ Alyssa

5. Garden State (2004)
Written & Directed by Zach Braff


Fuck, this hurts so much.” ~ Andrew

I know it hurts. That’s life. If nothing else, It’s life. It’s real, and sometimes it fuckin’ hurts, but it’s sort of all we have.” ~ Sam

6. All Over Me (1997)
Written by Sylvia Sichel
Directed by Alex Sichel


Open your eyes...” ~ Claude

7. Lost in Translation (2003)
Written & Directed by Sofia Coppola


I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.” ~ Charlotte

You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” ~ Bob

8. Take This Waltz (2011)
Written & Directed by Sarah Polley


Sometimes I’m… walking along the street and a shaft of sunlight falls in a certain way across the pavement and I just wanna cry. And then a second later, it’s over. I decide because I’m an adult, to not succumb to the momentary melancholy; And I thought that sometimes with Tony, she just had a moment like that. A moment of not known how or why, and she just let herself go into and there was nothing anyone could do to make it any better. It was just her and the fact of being alive, colliding.” ~ Margot

9. Before Sunrise (1995)
Written & Directed by Richard Linklater


“If there’s any kind of magic in this world… it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. I know it’s almost impossible to succeed… but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.” ~ Celine

10. Wild at Heart (1990)
Written by Barry Gifford (book) & David Lynch (screenplay)
Directed by David Lynch


This whole world’s wild at heart and weird on top.” ~ Lula

11. Me Without You (2001)
Written by Sandra Goldbacher & Laurence Coriat
Directed by Sandra Goldbacher


I talk to you in my head all the time.” ~ Holly

12. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Written by Truman Capote (book) & George Axelrod (screenplay)
Directed by Blake Edwards


“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”  ~ Holly Golightly

13. True Romance (1993)
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Directed by Tony Scott


Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died, if that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I’m not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I wouldn’t have named our son Elvis.” ~ Alabama

14. Pretty in Pink
Written by John Hughes
Directed by Howard Deutch


I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.” ~ Andie

15. The Anniversary Party (2001)
Written & Directed by Alan Cumming & Jennifer Jason Leigh


Would you like a lolly? You’re never too old for a lolly.” ~ Joe

16. Desert Blue (1998)
Written & Directed by Morgan J. Freeman


What’s wrong? We’re okay.” ~ Blue

I know. Just having a fun time dying with you.” ~ Skye

17. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Written & Directed by Lorene Scafaria


I don’t know, I just… I love records. I mean, they’re not for everyone, you know? You really have to take care of vinyl. It’s very delicate, it can get wrecked so easily. You really have to love it. Do you hear how full it sounds? Now, what you want to buy is a thicker record. They’re more stable. The grooves in them are sort of deeper and wider. You get more detail. I mean, they’re harder to carry around ’cause they’re heavier, but they’re worth it. You know, my parents have this… It’s an amazing turntable. It’s vintage, cherry wood Victor 45. Oh! Perfect tone. All the original parts. I can’t wait to hear it again.” ~ Penny

18. Gas, Food Lodging (1992)
Written by Richard Peck (book) and Allison Anders (screenplay)
Directed by Allison Anders


“If it weren’t for Elvia Rivero, this story wouldn’t even be worth telling. Whenever Elvia came to this litte town, well, it’s like she woke the place up. My home town, Laramie New Mexico, it came alive. Elvia Rivero was the one who made me laugh when I needed to laugh. She made me cry when no one was looking. But most of all, Elvia was able to put into to words what I was thinking.It was Elvia who first gave me the idea. It was decided then and there, I knew what was missing from my life, a man.” ~ Shade

19. Modern Girls (1986)
Written by Laurie Craig (story & screenplay) & Anita Rosenberg (story)
Directed by Jerry Kramer


And we never pay for parking. And we never carry cash, it’s bad luck.” ~ CeCe

And we never buy our own drinks.” ~ Margo

Words to live by.” ~ Clifford

And we never wait in line.” ~ Margo

20. Begin Again (2013)
Written & Directed by John Carney


You know, I wasn’t trying to win you over. I was telling you to fuck off.” ~ Greta

21. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Written by Philip Barry (play) & Donald Ogden Stewart (screenplay)
Directed by George Cukor


“My, she was yar…” ~ Tracy

22. On the Edge (2001)
Written by Daniel James & John Carney
Directed by John Carney


You can never really know what was going through a person’s mind at that exact moment. If they survive, they’ll never tell you. If they succeed, all you can do is spend the rest of your life feeling guilty. You’re only concern can be for the people they leave behind. They’re the ones to look out for.” ~ Jonathan

23. Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Written by Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Directed by Drew Goddard


[incredulous] “Giant evil gods.” ~ Marty

I wish I could have seen them.” ~ Dana

I know. That would have been a fun weekend.” ~ Marty

24. Sid & Nancy (1986)
Written by Alex Cox & Abbe Wool
Directed by Alex Cox


I’ll never look like Barbie. Barbie doesn’t have bruises.” ~ Nancy

25. Laggies (2014)
Written by Andrea Seigel
Directed by Lynn Shelton


You can’t keep putting aside what you want for some imaginary future. You’ve gotta suck it up and go with you gut.” ~ Megan

26. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Written by Susanna Kaysen (book) & James Mangold, Lisa Loomer & Anna Hamilton Phelan (screenplay)
Directed by James Mangold


“You know, there’s too many buttons in the world. There’s too many buttons and they’re just – There’s way too many just begging to be pressed, they’re just begging to be pressed, you know? They’re just – they’re just begging to be pressed, and it makes me wonder, it really makes me fucking wonder, why doesn’t anyone ever press mine? Why am I so neglected? Why doesn’t anyone reach in and rip out the truth and tell me that I’m a fucking whore, or that my parents wish I were dead?” ~ Lisa

27. My First Mister (2001)
Written by Jill Franklyn
Directed by Christine Lahti


I’d like to propose a toast to all the special ‘f’ words – to friends, family, fate, forgiveness, and forever.” ~ J

28. Practical Magic (1998)
Written by Alice Hoffman (book) & Robin Swicord, Akiva Goldsman & Adam Brooks (screenplay)
Directed by
Griffin Dunne

“Sometimes I feel like there’s a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean. The moon tonight, there’s a circle around it. Sign of trouble not far behind. I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing… I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for. I just want someone to love me. I want to be seen. I don’t know. Maybe I had my happiness. I don’t want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon.” ~ Sally

29. Swingers (1996)
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Doug Liman


30. A Place in the Sun (1951)
Written by Theodore Dreiser(novel) & Patrick Kearney (play) & Michael Wilson & Harry Brown (screenplay)
Directed by George Stevens


” I love you. I’ve loved you since the first moment I saw you. I guess maybe I’ve even loved you before I saw you.” ~ George

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) :: MOTD


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Written by Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth (story) and Charlie Kaufman (screenplay)
Directed by Michel Gondry

Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.” ~ Clementine